Why should I pick you over my other options? That’s all I really want to know before I give you money. Put my worries to rest with one good reason.
Notice I didn’t say two, three, or ten reasons. Decide where you’re going to hang your hat as a business. You can be serviceable everywhere else as long as there’s one spot where you’re exceptional. That’s your Special Sauce (a.k.a. unique selling proposition).
Why do I need a unique selling proposition?
We’re all competing in crowded markets with a wealth of options. If you’re making buckets of money and have no competition at the moment, you will soon. Competition follows cash. That’s why you need a unique selling proposition.
Having a thing you’re known for makes it easier to win the best customers. Instead of being an option for everyone, you’re the option for a select group. Make it stupid simple for the right customers to tell their friends why your brand is the best option for them.
How to find your one thing.
Nobody wants to buy mediocre, but that’s what most companies are—ok, decent, serviceable. Mediocrity results from a lack of focus, insufficient competitive analysis, and poor understanding of your customer’s purchase motivations. It takes a firm grasp of all three to find your unique value.
Doing one thing your customers care about better than your competition sounds easy enough, but focus is scary. Being great at one thing requires sacrifice in other areas. You can’t have the best price and be the most luxurious.
You have to pick your battles. Understanding your customer’s purchase motivations and how your competition is positioned will help you pick the battles where you have an unfair advantage. Ask yourself these four questions to zero in on where to put your focus…
What are the customers I want trying to achieve?
Who am I competing with to win these customers?
What do these competitors do better than me?
What do I do better than them?
Your unique value sits where your customer’s purchase motivations (what they want to achieve) meet what you do better than your competition. Allow yourself to be serviceable where your competitors are better so you can go all-in where you can be the best.
This will mean losing some customers. There will be people who care about what your competition does better. Forget these people. They’re like the girlfriend who dumped you. They see something better in the other option. Go find a girl who loves what you bring to the table.
Build your brand around your unique selling proposition.
Walmart built an empire on the lowest prices. Buggati uses exclusivity to charge a fortune. Whole Foods owns organics. Redbull is a beverage company with its own TV channel. All of these brands face brutal competition, but they’re winning thanks to a strong USP. Every decision made relates back to their one thing.
Like it or not, you look a lot like the competition to buyers until you show them how you’re not. Figure out where you can win and then go all-in on that one thing. Use your differentiator to shape every decision you make as a brand. If you get your USP right, growth will come easy.
That’s The Recipe for building your USP.
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