Unique Selling Proposition (USP)- Why Am I Going To Use You Instead Of Your Competitor?

USP POD WIIFM
How your POD will influence your USP for your customers WIIFM- http://www.damienfoley.wordpress.com

So you have a great business selling widgets. Now you are about to go and market your business to bring in clients. But why are people going to buy your widgets over your other competitors widgets?

This is where you need to be clear on what your unique selling proposition/point (USP) is. A USP is what makes you different from your competitors. This consists of your point of difference (POD). To do this you really need to know the product you are selling and how it meets your customers need, want or desire. This may mean you need to reassess what your actual product is. It could mean you need to refine your product. For example, you may be an accountant. But you may need to specialise in tax advice to Doctors. Or you may need to expand your product. For example, you may need to not only provide a web design business, but also provide graphic design, copy writing, SEO, Database design etc.

WIIFM

WIIFM- Whats In It For Me. This is what you are trying to answer in your USP to your customer. How are you going to solve their problem? Do they even know they have a problem? As part of your marketing, such as your elevator pitch, you may actually need to identify the problem your customers might have and how you solve it. For business, typically the WIIFM is “how are you going to add value to their business?” For customers, it is generally “how are you going to make them feel?”

Price

Now you might say “Well my widgets are cheaper”.

Well, if I buy a widget once a year and your widget is $1 and your competitor is $1.20, do I really care, for the sake of twenty cents, that you are cheaper? No.

What if your widget is $1,000 and your competitor is  $1,200? Yes, for $200 I might want to buy your widget. But what if it takes you one week to deliver my widget and your competitor delivers overnight? If I need the widget for my business that costs me $1,000 every day I don’t have the widget, is being $200 cheaper important? No.

Price alone isn’t always a unique selling proposition.

Technical Jargon

A big problem many business owners have when they explain their USP, is they use technical jargon. Remember- WIIFM above and KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid. I don’t care if your widget is made of high tensile polycarbonate. I don’t know what that is. But if you tell me it will last 5 times as long as an ordinary widget which will save my business money in down time for maintenance, or saves me time by only having to replace it once a year instead of every 2 months, now I know what you are saying!

Examples of POD’s for your USP’s

Remember, you need to provide a strong enough reason for someone to purchase your product over a competitors. List your POD’s from strongest to weakest.

  • Value- Reduce costs, increases revenue; adds value.
  • Emotions- Sell the emotion. Makes them feel good/happy; reduces stress; removes fears or concerns; people we love/care for such as family; creates attention/importance; feeling of acceptance/part of a group/ smart/  etc.
  • Time- delivery time; down time; response time; productivity; impulse buy; availability etc.
  • Quality- improved performance; reduced repeat maintenance; reduced down time; warranty or guarantee; assurance etc.
  • Legislation- meets or exceeds compliance standards; improves safety; enhances compliance or reduces legal risk; etc.
  • Social Responsibility- Community benefits; worthy cause; gives to others- school children; homeless; less fortunate; third world people; those affected by natural disasters; etc.
  • Environmental- environmentally friendly; green energy; carbon neutral; recycled/recyclable; reduces or eliminates environmental problem; etc
  • Status- Latest model; exclusivity; price etc. This is a part of emotions.
  • Add Ons- secondary features as a cars digital radio with blue tooth connectivity; Smart Phone with built in camera; bonus or discounted products as free delivery or a second one half price.

USP Examples

Different customers are going to have different needs- WIIFM, meaning you will need to identify the USP that applies to them.

IT Consultant- “We back up your files every 2 hours on local cloud servers offsite. Meaning if your computer files become corrupt, we can restore all your files within 4 hours, reducing your down time which makes you money.”

Green Grocer- “We support local farmers by buying local organic produce. This also reduces our carbon footprint from paddock to plate. Meaning you’re supporting local farmers and your family are eating healthy fresh fruit and vegetables.”

Accountant- “We specialise in medical professionals, meaning we provide you the best tax advice as a Doctor. This assures you pay only as much tax as you have to and minimises the risk of an audit.”

Cafe- “By using our app, you can order your coffee even before reaching our shop, saving time queing in line. By using our Coffee On The Go app, you also earn reward points towards your free coffee. You will also feel good knowing the coffee you’re drinking is made from coffee beans certified by the World Amnesty Against Child Labour.”

~ Damien Foley

Why Technology Will Improve Your Business- Brisbane Click Digital Expo 2014

Benefits Of Social Media
Benefits of Social Media- presented by Liam from Klyp

We are constantly bombarded that our business needs to be on social media or using ‘the cloud’- but why?! And what are they really to me and my business? First of all what are they?

I am glad I attended the Brisbane Click Digital Expo this year as it really opened me up to being more aware of what technology can do for my business. I have to acknowledge Regional Development Australia- Brisbane for putting this event together. Well done Margaret Blade and the team!

The standout company attending for their workshop was Klyp’s Liam and David. Both presented excellent workshops on ‘Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy’, ‘Digital aliens, migrants and natives: who are you marketing to and how do they behave?’ and ‘Gamification: The next trend in user engagement’ presented by each respectively. Liam provided a step by step approach to creating a social media marketing strategy. David presented on why it is important to understand who your audience are and how they use social media and what social media they use. I was impressed with just how specific you can be with statistics on what demographics use a particular social media channel! David also presented on the benefits of incorporating gamification to engage both external and internal users of your business, as gamification is primarily about behavioural change.

Tony from Rype
Tony from Rype presenting on the changing face of technology in business.

Tony from Rype spoke on ‘How to boost productivity and improve your bottom line’ the benefits of using cloud based software as to the traditional purchasing of software. The key aspects here is 1. The ability to integrate and work with others collaboratively and remotely 2. The reduced cost of up front capital cost to buy software and hardware versus the pay as you go monthly or annual fee structure for cloud based applications.

Adam from The Thumb Factory spoke on ‘App development: how, what and why’. Adam came up with some interesting statistics on how much mobile apps are becoming an essential part of doing business as the Digital Natives start to become greater consumers in the coming years. He also identified the importance of engaging these potential consumers as some apps have a very short half life. The statistics on China’s mobile commerce or ‘m-commerce’ is a window into Australia and the rest of the worlds growth trend.

Steve from Cullens Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys spoke on the ‘Making money from inventions’. I found this incredibly interesting as I am in the process of moving through my provisional patent to working out the next step of development. Steve spoke on the importance of protecting your idea and turning it into an asset through patents. Then converting that into a business to ultimately sell. One of Steve’s examples was Ric Richardson from Uniloc who is an Australian, who took Microsoft to court over patent infringement and won.

I did run into some people through the various networks I attend, such as Chris and Andrew.

This was a fantastic event and definitely one I will be attending in the future!

~ Damien Foley

How To Create Your “What Do You Do?” Elevator Pitch

So what is an Elevator Pitch? Well, an Elevator Pitch is essentially your response to the age old question asked of “What do you do?” An Elevator Pitch should answer this question in a few sentences in less than a minute or two with the purpose of 1. Informing them about what you do exactly; 2. Wanting them to know more; 3. Getting potential sales leads or follow ups.

There are three different Elevator Pitches I am going to introduce you to. All of them are very simple. From these, with practice, you can then develop your own unique elevator pitch. Remember that as part of your elevator pitch, you should be introducing your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), to differentiate your business from your competitors.

Slogan or Tag Line Pitch

Geddes/Getty Pitch

Why- How- What Pitch

Mix and Match Pitch

Remember- Practice Makes Perfect

Try each of your pitches as much as possible. Use as many networking events as possible to practice each of your pitches to see what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to experiment and change your pitch. Identify what catches the interest of people and what doesn’t. What makes them want to know more? Soon, you will have your elevator pitch down and it will confidently roll off your tongue as second nature when you are asked “What do you do?”

~ Damien Foley

Elevator Pitch- Mix and Match Pitch

After doing all three pitch methods, you can start to experiment with creating your own elevator pitch. For Example

“I provide financial management solutions in bookkeeping and consulting, mainly to Not For Profit’s and small business. You know how many Not For Profit organisations don’t keep very good bookkeeping records, usually because they are run by volunteers who don’t know how to do bookkeeping? Well I find organisations that will pay me to do their bookkeeping for them. This way the Not For Profit is able to meet their corporate governance requirements, making them more attractive to win government grants and funding.”

Elevator Pitch- ‘WHY – HOW – WHAT’ Pitch

I got this pitch method from a Ted Talk. Again, I couldn’t find the particular video but the basis is to pitch the opposite to what you would normally tell people. Normally, we would tell people WHAT we sell, HOW we do it, and WHY we do it. But this pitch flips it to start with WHY, then HOW, then WHAT.

For example WHAT- HOW- WHY, “I provide bookkeeping and consulting services to Not For Profit organisations and small business. I do this by having other organisations pay me to do their work. I do this because I want to be able to give back to the community.”

WHY- HOW- WHAT “I want Not For Profit organisations to be able to meet their corporate governance requirements. I do this by having other organisation pay me to do their bookkeeping for them. This way I do their bookkeeping without any cost to the Not For Profit organisation.”

Elevator Pitch- Geddy/Getty Pitch

I tried to find the Youtube video I got this elevator pitch from and is named after, but alas I cannot remember his name correctly. But there are three key parts to the pitch

1. Identify the problem you provide the solution to and pose this as a question. for example “You know how a lot of not for profit organisations don’t keep very good bookkeeping records because they can’t afford a professional bookkeeper?”

2. Pose the solution you offer to this problem- “Well, what I do is I find organisations that will pay me to do their bookkeeping for them, so the not for profit organisation is better able to meet their corporate governance requirements.”

3. Provide a great example of a client you helped by solving their problem- “For example, I had a client who was keeping their records in excel spreadsheets. By putting their accounts into an accounting package, I was able to show them where they were paying too much and why their projects were losing money. By doing this, the organisation stopped losing money and started making profits on their projects to return to their community!”

Elevator Pitch- Slogan or Tag Line Pitch

This is basically your tag line of 3 or four words. So for Foley Business Management when I am asked what I do, I respond “I provide financial management solutions”. This is very simple but very direct and to the point. More importantly, it creates an air of curiosity- people want to know more!