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Lucinda Sloane, from Bird Media, has some tips on helping your business to stand out from the crowd

Your unique selling point (USP) not only ensures your business stands out from the crowd, but determines why customers should invest in your products and services over your competitors.

Following on from defining your brand, values as explored in my previous column, establishing your USP is the next step in building a strong brand identity.

We’ve determined your business ‘why’, now it’s time to ask, ‘why you?’

Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media
Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media

Defining your USP

The first step to establishing your USP is to develop a comprehensive understanding of your market and your customers. Let’s do some research:

Who are your customers? Why should they buy from you?

Bird Media
Bird Media

What motivates customers to buy your products/services? What customer need can you fulfil or problem can you solve? If you’re unsure what the answer is – ask. Market research, surveys, product trials and focus groups can provide invaluable insight. An interest in and appreciation of customer need will not only establish your USP, but ensure successful ongoing product/service development.

Who are your competitors? How are you different?

Who else in your market is offering similar products or services? How can you offer something different, something extra, something unique or something better?

A commitment to understanding your competitors will not only differentiate your business, but provide an opportunity to learn from their strengths/weaknesses and allow you to flex your offering as new products/services enter the market.

Examples of USPs

Here are some key examples of USPs that may help in defining how your business stands head and shoulder above the rest:

  • Innovation and invention – A truly unique offering.
  • Sustainability – The environmentally conscious consumer choice.
  • Niche – Appealing to a small and specific but potentially lucrative need.
  • Location – The only business offering a specific service/product in the area.
  • Price – A tricky one to navigate as low-cost doesn’t always mean high quality/good value.
  • A one-stop-shop – A comprehensive offering of complementary services/products.
  • Values – What you stand for, your vision and mission (see previous column).
  • You – Utlising your personal brand as your USP. People want to buy from you.

Positioning (and repositioning) your USP is a continual process. Whether a new business, an established business or a business looking to diversify its offering, it is important to understand what makes you truly unique.

For advice, support or a sounding board to establish your USP, feel free to contact me at lucinda.sloane@thisisbirdmedia.com or visit www.thisisbirdmedia.com