It doesn’t make sense to do what’s been done before, who wants a carbon copy? Always ask yourself‘what makes my business stand out from the crowd?’, ‘what’s special about me?’
You’re not the only one clogging up your consumers emails with the ‘I can change your life’ solution. In order to identify your USP here are five key questions you should ask yourself…
Who is my target audience?
Having a clear understanding of your target audience is the starting point of developing a USP. It’s important to identify who you want to buy your products and services; it also makes life easier if you can be specific as possible. For example rather than trying to target the masses, can this be narrowed down to let’s say 18-24 year old women interested in sports…Once you have identified this, you’ll then need to consider why this audience will need your product or service, are you saving them money, saving them time or perhaps adding more fun and motivation to their lifestyle? It’s okay not to know the answer to this, that’s why we have market research. This can be as simple as asking your potential customers about what you’re offering and getting feedback.
What is my competitive advantage?
Start off by making a list of three things you believe give you more value over your competitors, you don’t need to be pedantic about it just write what you think. Then based on what you have written, evaluate how well your competitors meet those needs on a scale of 1-5. You’ll be surprised at what you can discover by doing this. Never assume that because someone is a reputable company they are meeting every consumer need, if there’s a way you can do it better, then DO IT!
What are the key trends in my industry?
Current trends are something you will need to watch and stay knowledgeable about, 1. Because they’re FORVER changing and 2. They tell you what your customers want. Now be careful not to see a trend and jump on the band wagon, yes it’s tempting but again, if everyone else is doing it why do you want to be the same? Think a little broader; is there a way you can extend your own advantages to capitalise on these trends? For example when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate announced the birth of Prince George, Oreo came up with a social media campaign featuring a milk bottle and Oreo cookie atop a stately cushion, the timely campaign was tweeted out with the message ‘Prepare the royal bottle service!’ as soon as the news of the baby’s birth broke. They capitalised on an existing trend, but made it their own!
What key benefits can I provide?
Key benefits can simply be three – five things that you can do for your customers. A benefit is something that adds value or gives advantage – what will that be for your customers? These benefits need to be conveyed throughout your business, including your image i.e. logos, colour schemes, font, slogans / catch-phrases. All these things add value and will help to bring your concept to life.
Does the image and activity of my business clearly communicate the benefits it offers?
Once you understand what your USP is, this will help you to create a marketing strategy. Your USP gives you a clear focus and will be the driving force of how your business is delivered to the world. Whether you’re doing an online advert, social media campaign, creating a website or a vlog, always use your USP as a foundation to evaluate if your marketing strategy(s) communicate the benefits you are offering.
- Keep your image fresh
- Watch out for shifts in trends and competitors that can potentially affect how your consumers view you and your USP.
- Speak to your customers regularly and never ignore what they ‘do’ and what they ‘don’t’ like.