A good USP strategy is essential for any business. However, it becomes even more important when you start a new business. But there’s no need to worry, because the following insider tips will provide you with the insight you need for an excellent USP strategy!
Determining Your Target Group
Looking for your target group is the building block for your new business. A target group consists out of clients you want to sell your product to, so you will have to determine what speaks to these potential customers the most.
If you’ve already made some sales, have a look at your existing customers and what binds them together. However, if you haven’t made any sales yet, don’t worry! Research your competitors and try to research your target group that way.
When adjusting your product and services to your target group, there are three factors you’ll need to identify and adjust: delivery, service and reliability. These three things form the corner stone to adjust your pricing policy, the products you offer and the distribution channels you will be using.
Understanding the needs of your customers
There is only one way to create a long lasting relationship with your customers, by understanding their needs and catering to them. Use the following guidelines to identify the most important denominators for your market:
- List all the needs for your product or service market;
- Create an understandable model that caters to the needs of your customers, not the general sales market;
- Research the purchasing behavior of your potential clients and incorporate it into your model;
- Find a unique angle that isn’t covered by your competitors;
- Identify additional markets you could expand to;
- Create evaluation criteria to check your marketing plan;
- Take a look at the potential international market.
Whether you’ll be providing services or products, this research model works for both. It will give you a better insight in your target group and give you extra tools to make your sale.
Research your competitors
Unless you have a truly unique product or service, you are always going to encounter competitors who already have a portion of the market. The first thing you need to do is find out who your competitors are. Type in your product or services in popular search engines, have a look at premium sellers and find out their prices and the product variety they offer. Don’t forget to research how long your competitor has been around. The longer they have been selling, the harder it will be to get your foot in the door.
Don’t try to compete in all areas
Trying to undercut your competitors for the same products, offering the largest range of products are just a few examples of how you shouldn’t go about it. The only way to discover and implement your USP is finding something that nobody else is attempting. Change the game, instead of fighting a game you simply cannot win.
Find the Missing Ingredient
Have you researched your competition thoroughly? Then you can try to find the missing ingredient! Try to put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients and discover what they could still use. Going on certain forums can certainly help you with this and it is an easy way to find out what your target group values the most.
Advertising is not everything
When people think about marketing, they think about advertising their product and pay to do it. However, this is not what marketing is about. It’s about finding unique angles that your competitors do not have, about finding a product that speaks to your target group!
The most important thing to remember is that you cannot build a good marketing or advertising campaign around a bad product. You’ll need a product of good quality and standing to build your reputation as a company. Takes this into account before you buy any stock or offer certain services.
Give your business personality
Using your own personality to create your USP is definitely recommended, especially when you speak to a niche market. Personality can make the difference between a thriving and failing business.
However, if you decide to use your personality, you’ll need to make sure that it will match the product or services you offer. The beauty of personality is the uniqueness it brings to the table, because nobody else is exactly like you. You have a unique personality that can also be used in your USP.
Do not put all your eggs in one basket
The most common mistake that is made during the creation of a USP, is trying to work from one angle alone. It is always better to have a backup plan or even combine a number of ideas to ensure the success of your plan. Are there certain ideas that you could combine to make your business a bigger success? Or do you have a backup plan that could be implemented directly if something does not go as planned?
Choose a smaller target group
When many people create their USP, they try to speak to every target group possible. However, this is the worst thing you can do. By trying to be universal, you could lose the target group that will actually buy your product.
Speaking to a smaller target group, gives you more chance to actually make a sale. For example, a web designer trying to get every type of business versus a web designer that only works for car dealerships. The web designer that targets the car dealerships will have a much easier time getting clients from the car dealership market. By targeting a certain group of people, you are also more familiar with their wants and needs and you can provide a better service to them.
Find the emotional need of your product or service
It sounds like a very cold business point of view, but every product and service has an emotional need you can play on. This is not an easy angle to explain, so let’s use an example to show the emotional angles you can use.
You are selling coffee grinders. The emotion you want to create is coziness, family bonding and good memories. The smell of fresh coffee in the morning, enjoying a cup of coffee with your family, these are all emotional angles you can use to sell this particular product.
Don’t state the obvious
Some things about your product or service are self-explanatory and do not need to be explained. If you do decide to elaborate on certain things, do not use the obvious ones. This can make clients turn away and look for someone that does offer something unique. A few examples of these obvious statements are:
- Our coffee-machine makes coffee;
- Our cars will get you from point A to B;
- Our lipstick adds beautiful color to your lips.
Try to avoid these types of statements as much as you can in order to attract and keep your clients.
Implementing your USP is not a onetime thing
Your work does not stop after the creation of your unique selling point, because you will need to be active in order for your plan to be successful. You’ll have to constantly remind your clients what you stand for and why they should choose you.
Luckily there are tons of social media platforms and services you can use to deliver your message, from Twitter to Facebook! Remind your clients constantly why your business is different than the rest.
Evaluate the costs
There are costs to take into consideration when implementing your Unique Selling Point. You could be promising free postage or maybe you are offering hair styling services in people’s homes. These are all good angles, but they can cost you in the long run.
Shipping costs is usually a denominator for people who go into e-commerce and general online sales. However, offering free postage is not always a possibility, especially when your run your own e-commerce website. There are certain ways to go around it though, by offering free postage for people that make a minimum order of $50 dollars for example.
Free postage and packaging is more important on selling platforms such as eBay and Amazon. If you are expanding your product to these platforms, you might want to incorporate free postage and packaging in your selling price. Make sure that your selling price is big enough to cover free postage. The majority of eBay and Amazon sellers will search for free postage items, but also by location, so take this into account when you draft your USP strategy.
Another denominator to take into account is the cost of a website, website design and advertising. If you are a small business, advertising such as Adsense might be very costly. A cheaper way to get your website out there is by good content, proper keywords usage and submitting your website on the Google Search Engine. Don’t forget to use free advertising platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Yes, there are some paying options as well, but it is not recommended to use them if you are a small business owner with a small budget.
Once you have created and implemented your unique selling point, it is time to evaluate yourself compared to competitors. You might know that you are offering higher-quality and better priced products than your competitor, but do your clients know?
When evaluating what you’ve done, try to be as objective as possible. This is not always easy, especially when you spend months preparing your unique selling point. That is why it is a good idea to ask the opinion of your clients. However, how you ask them is important as well. People don’t like to be spammed with intrusive phone calls during the day, but they do like to give their opinion. So how do you go about it then?
A good way to ask the opinion of your clients is by a poll on your website. It is a voluntary tool and is not forced upon them. Another option is a survey or email survey. These surveys are a little more intrusive and could potentially annoy your clients, so be very careful with spamming them to your customers. Sending one survey is more than enough and will not be as intrusive as spamming customers with a dozen surveys over the course of a week.
Once you have a decent amount of feedback from clients, it is time to look at how effective your strategy has been. The things that clients are really happy about are the things you have to keep building on. These are your initial building blocks, so make sure you use them.
However, where there is positive feedback there is also negative feedback or things that could improve. It is very important to listen to your clients and implement these changes into your unique selling point if this is possible.
A client is requesting a cheaper product or some nice discounts. However, the supplier you are using does not allow this price cut.
At this point there are two things you could do, look for a cheaper supplier with the same quality product or have a look at your competition again and see if someone is actually offering the same product or service at a reduced price. If they aren’t, then you can be sure that clients will return despite of the price – but do keep an eye on it in case prices change in the future.
Starting your own business can be relatively easy if you take the previous tips into account. If you don’t really have a plan and just start selling your products and services without any research, you have a very high chance to fail.
People who have been in the sales industry for years are very familiar with the USP strategy and can probably hire experts who work these things out for them. However, if you are a small business owner who is just starting, you cannot afford these experts and you’ll need to create a strategy of your own. But this does not mean that you cannot succeed, quite the opposite really. As a small business owner, you’ll care more about your customers and you’ll also be closer to them. You’ll be able to identify needs that larger cooperation’s aren’t targeting.