What is your unique selling proposition and why is it vital that you pinpoint it? Marketing experts weigh in…
Assuming you are somewhere late in the research phase of plotting the best path towards business ownership, there comes a time after you have narrowed down your focus to a specific industry and made the decision between independent and franchise opportunities. It would not be premature to think about what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be at this time because “standing out in the crowd” is more than just a common saying, it is how you are going to begin to build your new future with clients that will want to flock to you, and stay.
Business Dictionary defines a USP as follows: “Real or perceived benefit of a good or service that differentiates it from the competing brands and gives its buyer a logical reason to prefer it over other brands. USP is often a critical component of a promotional theme around which an advertising campaign is built.” So the perception of your clients is paramount when it comes to differentiating yourself from your competitors.
Chances are that your potential customers need help choosing which option in your industry is the one that makes the most sense to give their money, time and loyalty. Consider them daunted by the selection process and in need of your help to learn what separates you from your competition. Can you make your unique selling proposition blatantly apparent and unforgettable?
There are times when you need help finding your “Eureka” moment
Karl McCabe, owner of Minuteman Press in Hall Green, United Kingdom, helps his clients find their USPs by asking themselves what it is that helped draw people in to use their products and services in the first place. He also acknowledges how valuable your team can be, to the point at which, if personalized customer service is perfected, your team can actually become your USP. Karl explains, “Ask yourself why should people use your business and the honest answer will contain what is your USP. If you have had a Eureka moment and designed something original and different it is not difficult to spot your USP. The vast majority of businesses are competing with seemingly similar businesses and it is important for them to know what their USP is so that they can maximize it for success. For a lot of businesses, my contention would be that the USP will be the people who staff it.”
The “unique” part of the USP demands that you do not take generic advice for your business or it would be a disservice that could cause you to lose money. This is precisely why we have marketing consultants within the business services industry to call upon and help us find our “shine”. There are so many variables specific to your needs and frequently it takes an objective party with a fresh perspective to help you identify and project what is genuinely unique about your products and services. The great thing about that marketing consultation is that once you have your USP, you gain an immediate advantage over others that are taking stabs in the dark. Your unique selling point will become the foundation of your marketing strategy. Without a clear USP, all the effort you put into communicating with your target audience will be lost in a whirlwind of advertising chaos and your business will pay the consequences.
A client story from a Minuteman Press franchise: A USP that strikes a winning chord with people’s sense of safety
Karl McCabe pays special attention to his clients’ USP. He shares a story that illustrates the importance of capitalizing on that “something special” that elevates you from the crowd. Here is one example of many in which a client of Minuteman Press, a security company, successfully maximized their USP thanks to a proper consultation and are reaping the benefits. Karl explains, “We put together a brochure and business stationery for a new company which trumpeted the fact that all of the people who were involved in the business were ex British Army – specifically they were from the Brigade of Gurkhas who have a reputation in the UK which stems from their involvement in World War II for being very tough and uncompromising fighters. They are Nepalese in origin.”
Karl and his staff knew that this was a fantastic USP around which a stellar marketing campaign could be built as he had before him a security company headed by people widely perceived as “good guys” or “heroes”. This is a prime example of entrepreneurs who, thanks to the help of marketing specialists within the business to business services industry, were able to differentiate their business from the competition with style.
Karl continues, “The thrust of all the literature we produced for this security company played extremely heavily on the knowledge that the name Gurkha is very strongly associated with this toughness and uncompromising attitude to wrongdoers. Basically the thread that runs through the campaign and makes it strong is that not only will you have dedicated army trained people looking after your property, they will be Gurkhas who have a strong ethical make up. This unique selling proposition positions the security company perfectly for customers who will appreciate that ‘wrongdoers’ who might think about interfering with their property will also be aware of the formidable reputation of the Gurkhas.
We successfully polished up and presented their message in professional packaging that really highlighted a solid USP.”
Find what your business has to offer that the competition just can’t match
Derrick Laas, owner of Minuteman Press in Fourways, South Africa, represents the number-one rated digital print, design and marketing franchise and as such, he is skilled at teaming with clients to isolate and highlight their own USP. Reflecting on what he feels defines his own USP within the business to business services industry as a franchise owner, Derrick’s answer is as multi-faceted as the needs of the B2B clients he serves. Derrick states, “We are not a firm believer in one USP for our business. We have USPs per market.”
Derek shares a glimpse of his USP as an example of how you can consider what draws your clients into your fold and by doing so, help to define your unique selling proposition. It works for him to break his USP into 4 distinct elements:
“For our Small business customers we have 3 USPs:
1. Advice and Assistance we give. If a customer asks for a quote on flyers, we always question how and to whom they will distribute the flyers. Based on the customers target and distribution we will make a recommendation as to the size & quantity they should print. In some cases we tell the customer not to waste money but to do something different. This personalized approached to customer service has become well-recognized and associated with Minuteman Press.
2. First and Last Step in Printing: USP for small businesses is our “first and last step in printing” approach. Small businesses do not have the know-how or time to find a designer, so we offer to do it all for them.
3. Bundle Offers: Our third USP is how we will bundle offers together for our clients. We will print 500 flyers this month with “x special” off and a different flyer for later or next month again a different amount off and again 500 flyers. We then charge the volume discounted price for 1000 flyers
Finally, for our larger customers we use the USP of speed and delivery. We find many large companies tend to have long decision-making processes. Thus, a quick turnaround of a job is an advantage.”
Ideally, you can offer your target audience what they need with a unique twist, so much so that they are inclined to pay a premium for your products and/or services. Monica Moody, owner of Minuteman Press in Coventry, United Kingdom, notes that, frequently, your team can be part of your USP. If they are skilled personalized customer-service specialists and outfitted in stand-out branded apparel, they can become the personification of a unique selling proposition. Monica shares, “Your best asset is your staff, so employing the right people is vital. You cannot be permanently in the office so it is important to train and trust the right people and have them wear your brand apparel proudly. They will be your USP as they will be trained to offer the products at the service level that will set you aside from online competitors.”
Too many new business owners are understandably lost when it comes to nailing down their own unique selling points. After all, many of them have bright and sustainable ideas that could thrive within their industries of choice, but are not experienced when it comes to isolating and effectively promoting what it is that will help them become stand-out choices for their potential customers. Fortunately, they need not fear being lost in the crowd for long, as there are experts with experience bringing USPs to life. Your local Minuteman Press is one such marketing franchise able to review and help you build a strategy potently infused with your own unique selling point. In fact, their new motto is, “We Design, Print & Promote …YOU!”
At the end of the day, finding your mark with just the right USP can be a source of pride, but most importantly, it will have a significantly positive impact on your bottom line.
Need help finding your USP? Find your local marketing experts at www.minutemanpress.com.
To learn more about joining the #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise family, call us at 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.