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- 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?”
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.
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.
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