How are you unique?

Before you can begin to sell your product or service to anyone else, you have to sell yourself on it. This is super important when your product or service is similar to those around you. In this day and age very few businesses are truly one-of-a-kind. Look around, how many restaurants, home builders, orthodontists, realtors do you see?

The key to effective selling in a competitive marketplace is what we call a “unique selling proposition” (USP). Unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you cannot begin to efficiently launch a marketing effort and maximize the time and dollars you spend.

Pinpointing your USP requires some serious soul-searching and creativity. One technique is to analyze how other companies use their USPs to their advantage. This requires lookin at their ads, social and other marketing messages. If you analyze what they say they sell, not just their product or service characteristics, you can learn a great deal about how companies distinguish themselves from competitors. In addition to looking at your own competitors you should look outside of your own business sector as well.

Here’s how to uncover your USP and use it to power up your sales:

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Companies to often fall in love with their product and forget that its the customers needs, not their own, that they must satisfy. Step back from the day-to-day and carefully scrutinize what your customers really want. Suppose you own a sandwich shop. Sure, customers come into your place for food. But is food all they want? What could make them come back again and again and ignore your competition? The answer might be quality, convenience, consistency, variety, friendliness, cleanliness, courtesy or customer service. Remember, price is never the only reason people shop. If your competition is hammering you on price because they have economies of scale, you have to find another feature that addresses the customer’s needs and then build your sales and promotional efforts around that.

Know what motivates your customers’ behavior and buying decisions. Effective marketing requires you to be an amateur psychologist. You need to know what drives and motivates customers. Go beyond the traditional customer demographics, such as age, gender, race, income and geographic location, that most businesses collect to analyze their sales trends. Try focusing on emotion for example as it is the most effective wild card and most neglected by business as it requires deft to articulate.

Uncover the real reasons customers buy your product instead of a competitor’s. As your business grows, you’ll be able to ask your best source of information: your customers. You’ll be surprised how honest people are when you ask how you can improve your product or service or what brings them in.

Once you’ve gone through this three-step market intelligence process, you need to take the next–and hardest–step: clearing your mind of any preconceived ideas about your product or service and being brutally honest. What features of your business jump out at you as something that sets you apart? What can you promote that will make customers want to patronize your business? How can you position your business to highlight your USP?

Imagica can help you with your USP as well as the tools to communicate your unique message to your customers including brand identity, websites, advertising, marketing plans, photography and collateral of all kinds.

 

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