Defining Your Unique Selling Point

“What is your Unique Selling Proposition? What makes you different than your competitors? Wrap your advertising message around that USP and communicate it in a clear and concise manner.” – Lynda Resnick


When planning your business it’s easy to focus on price (how much you are going to sell your offering for), cost (how much it’s going to cost you to make the thing) and what the size of the market is (how many people are likely to want to buy it).  Few people stop and first think ‘How can I make this truly different?’.

If you change your thinking and find the ‘truly different’ then you’ve found your unique selling point and this changes the rules.

Whatever you are selling, you can pretty much guarantee that someone else got there before you – probably with more experience and more money behind them.  If there is truly nothing like what you are offering on the market then ask yourself why?  Are people solving their problem another way?  Will it be too much of an uphill struggle to educate people and get them to change their behaviour to spend money with you?

The most successful businesses in recent years have taken a mature, proven business sector but done it in a substantially different way – making it easier to access, or delivering it significantly cheaper than established companies.  Few have been successful by just ‘doing it better’.

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Ask yourself this about your own business: instead of ‘how can I take on the competition over price or service’, ask ‘how can I sidestep them entirely with a different model and make them irrelevant’?  Take a look at Uber, they created the world’s biggest taxi company without buying a single car.  Airbnb are the world’s largest accommodation provider without owning a single property.

Consider having a session with a disruptive-minded business advisor who has seen business models in other industries that could be transferable to yours.  For example, the high-street chain BrightHouse sell household goods at multiple-times their normal retail price to people who have the least disposable income by offering them credit and weekly payments.  Before you condemn the ethics of that, Rolls Royce use an almost identical business model to sell jet engines to cash-poor airlines!

Finding your unique selling point allows you to take a share of the market and a share of profits that someone else is currently enjoying!

Being cheaper, or giving better service, or having more experience is not a unique selling point.  It is exactly what all your competitors say in their marketing.  If you can’t see a way of doing something different, then you may want to question if it’s worth launching or continuing in that marketplace at all.

Take time to pull your industry apart and ask why things are done the way there are.  Go back to the drawing board about how things are done.  Use your customer profile to learn what they hate about the industry and consider how you can use technology to make a service easier to use or cost significantly less to the end user, by introducing a unique selling point to your marketing mix allows you to improve your business strength.

Being cheaper, or giving better service, or having more experience is not a unique selling point. Be different.  There are business advisers, marketing experts and consultants who can guide you to achieve the USP you need!

Thinking about a unique selling point by Yorkshire Powerhouse
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