Unique selling points (USPs) are factors that differentiate you and your business from your competitors. Most of us are aware of the idea, but far too often we find that small businesses come up with USPs which are not unique and far too generic. In todays world, many small businesses face stiff competition from both local companies and providers online. Having well defined USPs displayed on your business website can therefore make the difference between success and failure. In this article we suggest points to help you craft value statements that are unique to your business to help you attract more customers.
Identify your speciality:
Every small business is unique because of the people involved in that business are different. The industry you are in may have a standard set of products or services that most companies offer. However, it is likely that you and your teams skills and experience will lend themselves better to some elements of your offering more than others. Look to identify the strengths that you have and how you can utilise these to offer something over and above the standard services of your competitors. By creating a niche, you can target specific groups of customers with a service more specific to them. Life is also far more enjoyable when you focus in on doing more of the things that you are naturally good at!
Consider your experience and how to leverage it:
The experience you have is another easy way to differentiate your business. If you are an established business, you can mention how long you have been trading, or offering a particular service. If you are a new business, consider your previous experience prior to setting up and how you can frame this to reassure customers of your expertise. You should also think about your team and any professional experience they bring to the business that is worth noting. Many small businesses will add up the individual years of experience their team has to promote a larger collective number.
Explain how your services meet your customer’s needs:
A customer will not buy your products because of the features they provide, they will because of the problem it solves or the benefit it offers them. All too often, businesses think too inwardly when marketing their services and focus in on the technical aspects of their offering. Whilst it’s important to have this level of detail, you need to make sure your USPs identify with the needs of your ideal customer. For example, our customers don’t buy SEO Services from us because we optimise their website to be more SEO friendly. It’s not even because they want their website to rank higher! Their ultimate goal is to increase relevant traffic to their website via search engines – usually so that they can acquire new customers. Try to think about your customers and how they may benefit from the services you provide.
Define your ideal customer and talk directly to them:
What your business offers is unique and you are more likely to appeal to certain groups of customers over others. The key is to identify your ideal customers and then focus your marketing messages to talk directly to them. Some companies create a “customer avatar” which encapsulates the characteristics of their perfect customer. This can be a great refence point to help you ensure that your website content and marketing communications are consistently inline with the needs of this customer. When writing copy for your website and campaigns, imagine that you are directly addressing this customer avatar, it will help you create better content that resonates with the prospects most likely to buy from you.
Are there any aspects of your service that is different:
The key to identifying aspects that differentiate your service is good market research. You should invest some time looking at what your competitors offer and pinpoint differences in your own offering that you can leverage. If you can spot any gaps in the market that you don’t think other companies are addressing, this can be a great way to offer something unique. If you are conducting market research, try and evaluate a good cross section of providers – both nearby and further a field, large and small, generalist and niche. This will give you a better appreciation for the wider industry and help with identifying compelling differences that you provide which will benefit your customer.
Writing your unique selling points:
If you want to create compelling USPs, you need to invest some time to refine them. We would recommend starting off by reading through the points above and brain storming words and phrases that pop into your head on a piece of paper. Once you have all your points down, try and group these into categories that can then become your USPs. For each category write a sentence or paragraph that encompasses your unique selling point. You may also choose to give each sentence or paragraph a heading. Now that you have your draft USP’s, show them to some colleagues or trusted customers and ask them for feedback. This will help you refine your statements into the finished article. You are now ready to promote your USPs on your website, company literature and marketing messages. It is also advisable to review your USPs on an annual basis to see if you can improve and check they remain in line with your companies mission statement.
Remember to focus on what makes your business unique and talk directly to your ideal customer!