Brand Booster 21 Day 7: Unique Selling Point or Positioning Strategy

Abstract Diagram

This proposition absolutely sets you apart from the competition. In many cases it eliminates the competition all together by virtue of positioning.

Determine what it is about your company that works.

One of your biggest goals in the branding process is establishing a place inside of the customer’s mind. At this point, you have a good idea who your audience is supposed to be. You know what their income level is, their age, and possibly geographical details. This information is relevant in establishing an actual audience.

Your goal is to prove to the customer they have a need for your product or your service. The customer needs to find a reason why they need you. The brand positioning will tell the customer that your product resolves a problem they may have, fulfills a need they have, and makes their life much better if they purchase it. There has to be a reason to purchase the product and a positive aspect of why it is the best option to use it.

When you get inside of the customer’s head the customer will believe they absolutely have to have the product. As you see many infomercials talk about how someone will become rich if they use a product or how their health will be better you need to establish the benefit of the customer so you can make them truly believe that their life will be much better when they use your product.

This also means that you have to build trust and credibility with the customers. Many products do a fantastic job of proving to the customer why a product or service is beneficial and needed. However, they fail to establish credibility or trust with the consumers. Your reputation is not at stake but it is questioned at this point so you need to provide proof that you are going to deliver the promises you are making to the customer.

Many competitors leave out a vital pieces of information that they should be focusing on but are not. This could be a perfect solution to getting a foot in and immediately ahead of the competitors.

When you determine the positive aspect that is different that sets you completely apart from the competitors.

You never want to look the same as the rest of the companies in your industry. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and go different. This is how consumers will remember you. If you all look the same then it will be no difference to the customers when they make a choice that they are going to buy from.

Exercise:
Here you will need a newsprint flip chart.

What makes us different? A key first question and an opportunity to get all of the obvious and typical answers on the table so we can move on to the a-ha! moment.

What makes us different? – Everyone says our service is awesome, we do it better that the competition. Our people make the difference. (yawn). We have the lowest prices in town and we guarantee the lowest. I asked one financial service oriented business owner what his uniqueness was and he replied that “it was by far the best service in town – guaranteed!” I asked what the guarantee was if service fell short? His response was that they were free to go to the competition. What kind of lame guarantee was that? We ALWAYS have that choice. I prodded him – if I am not happy with your service what tangible thing am I getting back as part of your guarantee? He just looked at me with that deer in the head lights look. He didn’t get it. The guarantee meant nothing. It was advertising spin, a brand killer. He loved the idea of what the word ‘guaranteed’ carried with it in the eyes of the consumer but that was as deep as it went.

Every time a suggest is made – ask yourselves, “can the competition claim this also?” Be honest with yourself.

If you believe it is your people, does that mean that the competition doesn’t have equally as brilliant people. If they are larger than you, it stands to reason that are also great at what they do.

Dig deeper. Ask each on the team to describe what things they do when the do business with the customer, no matter how trivial it may seem. What we are trying to do here is uncover something in the relationship. Even if your sales are driven by lowest price currently, there are always some sales that are achieved when you are not the lowest. Why does this happen? What is it that the customers love enough that they are willing to pay more? Perhaps that reason can be leveraged by developing a series of small services that can be packaged and sold as a differentiator. Much like Freedom55 did with London Life. What they offered was a group of services that any financial planner could assemble if they tried – but they had the brilliant idea to identify them, group them and package them into a proprietary product, brand it as “Freedom55” and position themselves uniquely.

We used this model as inspiration when we had an accounting firm approach us on developing a unique selling point. They had a number of services that they routinely did for clients and never charged for. They were deemed ‘cost of doing business’. Money left on the table. The solution was care365. We packaged all those small services, coupled with additional complimenting services, branded it and offered it as an ongoing pro-active service for a monthly token. This approach effectively recovered money left on the table, increased cash flow monthly and better positioned them as more business advisors over mere accountants.

So is there anything in the running of your operation that would allow you to create your own product you can leverage? Maybe you may need to re-invent your category.
Maybe there is a negative stigma that is traditionally stuck to your industry? ie: pawnbrokers, vacuum cleaner salesmen, and politicians. If you no longer are a pawn broker but are now a clearing house – you are now the ONLY clearing house in your field. That is the solution.

Get the team below the surface and creatively develop a positioning solution that truly differentiates your company. When you think you have found the solution ask your self these questions:

• Will it take guts to make this happen?
• Will the competition stand up and take notice?
• Is it easy to copy?
• Can we make money from this position?
• We it invigorate the entire company?
• Does it reflect our Character Values?
• Does it reflect our Brand Personality?
• Are we prepared to market this aggressively?
• Will this position alienate us with customers?
• Will it open up new opportunities?

AND most importantly…

• Will it allow us to charge more for what we do?
• Will it strengthen our relationship with our customers?

You and your team will find Unique Selling Point the most challenging of the discoveries in this process, but it is also the most rewarding if it is truly a differentiator.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

Questions from this Lesson:

• Will it take guts to make this happen?
• Will the competition stand up and take notice?
• Is it easy to copy?
• Can we make money from this position?
• We it invigorate the entire company?
• Does it reflect our Character Values?
• Does it reflect our Brand Personality?
• Are we prepared to market this aggressively?
• Will this position alienate us with customers?
• Will it open up new opportunities?

AND most importantly…

• Will it allow us to charge more for what we do?
• Will it strengthen our relationship with our customers?

Comments

  1. Building trust and credibility is really important like you said. One of the services I promote to business owners is a totally unknown service. Trying to build trust and credibility when you have an awesome service but nobody has ever heard of it is tough to do.

  2. Jessie Fitzgerald says:

    The “secret” to succeeding in business is to provide value to your target clientele. Of course, if you don’t know who they are and, thusly, what value they seek, you can insert some folk saying here that lets you know that you don’t have a chance at any real success.

    The USP is the key to succeeding: you need to ask yourself why you’re what your target market wants.

    You’ve presented a lot of good information in this article but it really doesn’t seem that digestible or spoken directly to business owners as so much at them. I would love to see an interview / several interviews with successful self-employed business owners that reveals how they discovered their USP and how it brought them to where they are today.

  3. Great information! Personally, I have 3 things that I provide for value-add for my clients~

    1. I provide monthly reports that show their growth in social media
    2. I provide exceptional customer service which includes checking in with my clients to see if they have any concerns or questions about using the social media strategy we implemented
    3. I have a library of documents and articles that I provide to my clients to educate them and expose them to valuable information that can inspire them

    So far, so good….

  4. Online Business Cookbook says:

    A trick I like to use with my online business is to touch base with the four domains of reality. The intentional, the Behavioral, the Cultural and the systems. Take any topic and try to look at it through through each of the lenses!

  5. This is a good exercise to run. I think that whatever USP you come up with, you have to make sure that you present it consistently across all of your communications with your target market. Your entire message should be built around it

  6. Very informative. I find that I need to differentiate my services for clients in a very competitive CPA market. It seems that many CPA firms are very similar and I can get that edge if I do. Thanks for the tips and excercise.

  7. Very interesting. A brand’s delivery will vary but the it must always effectively communicate the unique selling proposition.

  8. Tiens store says:

    Great information it is true that to succeed in a business,one must be very credible if not the customer will not be interested.So you have to present value to your customers if you want to succeed.

  9. Laguna Realtor says:

    Great article! This is why most of our business is repeat and referral.

  10. Wow.. I had to put quite a lot of items into my to do list….