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Marketing your business' unique selling proposition
A unique selling proposition (USP) is closely related to competitive advantage. A successful USP articulates the benefits of your products, service or brand to customers, and explains why they are superior to those of a competitor.
How do I create a USP for my business?
Creating a USP begins with conducting comprehensive market research and analysing the opportunities that your competitors aren't currently exploiting. It then involves identifying what it is that differentiates you in the market.
The point of differentiation can be anything - from the lowest cost to the highest quality, exceptional customer service or a new, one-of-a-kind, product or service.
Your USP will be entirely unique to your business. The key thing is that it explains to customers what makes your business a better choice and why they should choose you over a competing business.
Importance of USP in marketing
Your USP statement will likely be integral to your marketing. Businesses often communicate their USP by creating:
- tailored marketing campaigns
- attractive advertisement
- a memorable statement (eg a tagline or a slogan)
You can also express your USP in your business' positioning statement, explaining how your offering meets a particular customer need in a way that your competitors don't.
Strategies to promote your business USP
There are many cost-effective ways to communicate your business' unique selling points. You can:
- Build an online presence - via websites, social media or digital marketing. Find out how to set up a small business website, develop a digital marketing plan or use social media platforms.
- Network with other businesses - by attending trade shows, exhibitions, seminars and conferences. Search for events and read about networking for staff development.
- Join trade associations or business groups - for example, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) or the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. This can bring credibility to your business and offer other benefits such as cost-effective advertising in member publications and access to low-cost networking events.
- Look after your existing customers - use email marketing to stay in touch through newsletters or e-bulletins, keeping your USP at the front of their minds. Add value by including articles or offer solutions that would interest your customer.
- Develop business partnerships - overseas as well as in the UK. This could give you opportunities to sell and promote each other's products and businesses, and to sell to new customers. Read about joint ventures and business partnerships.
Whatever way you choose to communicate it, a unique selling proposition is an essential marketing tool to get the attention of potential customers and compete to win business.