This contributor post was written by Genevieve of Lightbox SF.
Unique Selling Propositions or USP is a sales and marketing term that boils down to: What do you offer that makes your business stand out from all your competition? What makes you unique?
Its actually a harder question to answer than you think. I was stumped the first time a marketing coach asked me. I knew that Lighbox SF wasnt like every other creative business coach out there, but I couldnt put into words why or how. After really mulling it over, the answer came down to a few things that made us different. Our various backgrounds that influenced how we worked and wanted to work with clients, our philosophy of marketing a business that focuses on storytelling, embracing uniqueness, and community and our focus on creating a sustainable life and business at the same time come together to set us apart. However, it took us almost a year to be able to really express it.
Today Id like to pose the same question to you and I really want you to think about it. Do you do anything that no one else can or does? Do you offer something that cant be found anywhere else? Is your design style so unique that no one else can come close? There are a few of you that may answer yes to one of those questions, but many of you wont. Dont despair!
A USP can be something as simple as how quickly you complete custom orders or the personalized service you give in your shop. It doesnt have to be amazing new technology or even a product no one else has seen, but it needs to be something that people want to come back for. It needs to be a distinction that makes it easy for customers to decide to pick you over your competitors.
Think of your product from the customers point of view. Youre looking for a new pair of shoes and you see two pairs that look very similar and you like the style of both of them, but one is almost twice the price of the other. Seems an easy choice right? You choose the cheaper one. But what if you knew the ones that were more expensive would also be so comfortable you could wear them all day, running errands, to work, and even out for a night on the town and your feet wouldnt hurt. However, the cheaper ones, even though they looked the same from the outside would give you blisters by lunch. If the expensive shoes fit within your budget, wouldnt you buy them?
A USP is often about perceived value, not straight up cost or detail. Customers like things to be easy, they like to have experiences that make them feel special, and we generally buy because we want something, not because we need it.
Answer these few questions and youll be a lot closer to defining your USP.
1. How does your product make your customers feel?
2. What keeps them coming back?
3. What do you do thats different from your competition?
4. Do you or can you solve a problem for your customers or within your industry?
Be specific. Give proof of your benefits. And most importantly can you consistently deliver on this USP every single time you make a sale?
Id love to hear what makes you different from your competitors.
Leave your response in the comments below.