Differentiate With A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Buying choices are made on differences – not similarities. Here’s how to make them choose you.
It is your job as a marketer to set your company or product apart from your competitors in the mind of your prospect.
When I start with a new client I always ask, “What makes you different – and therefore better – than the competition?” Unfortunately the responses are often trite, vague and uninspiring.
- “We treat you like family.”
- “We’ve been in business since 1822.”
- “We go the extra mile for you.”
If I’m going to buy from you, I want a reason I can sink my teeth into. Every business MUST have at least one compelling and meaningful difference they can express in a few simple, well-chosen words.
Talk About A Benefit Your Competition Doesn’t
Promote a benefit they either cannot – or do not - offer. Remember M&Ms? “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” Does this say anything about the quality, taste or creaminess or the chocolate? No. M&Ms built an empire on one thing - giving your kids chocolate without the chocolate mess.
Burger King made its mark with a great differentiator. “Have it your way.” It was the best selling proposition they ever used. Why they went away from it, most of us will never know. I don’t think they know.
My favorite book on the subject (other than my own : ) is Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout. Get a Free copy of my 13 Books If You Haven't Read, You're Dead.
Ask Your Customers
Can’t come up with a powerful and compelling difference? Ask your customers why they buy from you. It’s the cheapest – and probably the most accurate – marketing survey you can do. And it’s free!
If your clients highlight one or two reasons consistently – and your competitors are not using it – it’s yours!
- “You always have what I need.”
- “Your staff is knowledgeable and courteous.”
- “Your product lasts long and has very few problems.”
These are great answers you can turn into great differentiating tag lines. Now, go ahead and differentiate the heck out of your business. It will pay dividends.
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