What makes a meal – let’s say the Nigerian Jollof rice – so irresistibly delicious and leaves you wanting a second serving? Is it the spice? Is it the sauce? What secret ingredient makes it different from fried rice or coconut rice?
Just like jollof rice, every business needs that spice or sauce that makes it stand out from all other businesses even in the same niche. There are lots of businesses out there selling the same products or offering the same services as your business and there aren’t as many consumers, seeing as there are lots of options for them to choose from, some even more so, overwhelmed.
A unique selling proposition – or USP as it is often called is that unique or special benefit that your customers derive from acquiring your products or engaging your service offerings. This is how you differentiate yourself from other brands
WHY DO YOU NEED TO HAVE A UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION?
There is always an onslaught of offerings to customers, especially in this internet age where accessing products or services is at the tap of a button. So, the only thing a customer wants to know is, “why is this product better than the others?” “What benefit can I get from this those other businesses do not provide me?”. Providing the answer to these questions is the key to your unique selling proposition.
Figuring this out is not a walk in that park of course. You have to really focus and dig deep into your creativity to distinguish you and your brand.
Your unique selling proposition can be a particular quality that your product gives your consumers that other brands can’t give or your prices –price matching, free shipping, bulk discounts, special offers– it could also be your location or speed of delivery. Whatever it is, the essence is that they must be eye-catching enough to grab their attention.
For instance, at Capitalfield Investment Group, our USP centers on the incredible rates we give our customers. On loans, savings, and investments, we make sure our clients are receiving the best rates in the market. Our service offerings may be similar to what you have out there, but what makes us different is the unique rates on credits and returns on investments we offer. That’s the spice.
HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR USP AND MAKE CUSTOMERS CHOOSE YOU?
• First, outline what differentiates your business from that of the next competitor. That value that you offer which other businesses in the same niche do not. Center on this specific value and expound on it. Make it the gospel message your brand seeks to preach to customers.
• If you study your products and see that perhaps you do not have any specific differences that make you stand out, the next step is to create one. Sit with your creative team and brainstorm ways to improve on your product features that would provide a distinct value other businesses are not offering.
• Step into your customer’s shoes: As an entrepreneur, you must always remember that the satisfaction of your customers, comes first. Carry out surveys, study your target audience and ask yourself “what do my customers really want? How can I satisfy their needs better?” treat them to good quality, convenience, reliability, friendliness, cleanliness, and excellent customer service.
• Incorporate this value into the vision and mission of your brand. Your USP becomes the voice of your brand. This would further communicate to potential and even existing customers the high value your business offers them in competition to others. Serves to tell them how your business will better meet their needs, and give them the experience they seek.
As Seth Godin once said; “Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not slapping on marketing as a last-minute add-on, but understanding that if you are offering itself isn’t remarkable, it’s invisible.” So, when you have identified and communicated your unique selling proposition, it begins to sell your product for you without you lifting a finger, giving you a competitive advantage over other businesses.
That right there is the sauce to your jollof rice.