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When you first started your business, you likely thought about what made you different from your competition, and how your service or product would solve your customer’s problem. You may not have realized it then, but you were in the process of formulating your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition.
Your business’s USP is, quite simply, a determination of the unique factors that make your business different from all others. Why should your customers choose your business over the countless other options they are faced with on a daily basis?
When a customer makes a commitment to a purchase or to a future relationship of some kind — whether it’s a newsletter sign-up or an email entry or some form of positive connection to the new business — that customer is considered a conversion. In the marketing world, your conversion rate is determined by considering how many window shoppers you get on your website — and how many actually move further down the sales funnel toward that commitment. Your conversion rate is also a pretty good indicator of how well your unique selling proposition is getting your message across to your customers.
To establish your USP and use it as a springboard for an effective marketing plan, follow these steps:
1. Who is your target audience?
Developing your USP starts with identifying the potential customers you are trying to target. What do you know about why they purchase certain services or products in your market? What problem is that particular item solving? What value proposition does your product or service offer, and how can it make your customers’ lives better?
2. What is your business’s competitive advantage?
When you think about the best parts of your product or service, what are the most distinctive points that your organization really excels at? Which of these points are your competitors also achieving? How well are they performing? Just because a business has a certain position in the market you are targeting doesn’t mean they are delivering value.
If you think your business’s product or service can offer a better approach to satisfying your customer’s needs, that’s a great basis for market entry.
3. What will your product or service offer in the long term?
For example, how does your business solve a customer problem and contribute value over the long haul? What problems does your product or service immediately address that anticipate a better future for your client?
4. Once you determine your USP, refine it against market research for maximum brand positioning.
Strategic brand positioning means you are placing your USP where it will be most well-received and effective, and market research is invaluable during this phase.
Most businesses will benefit from the help of a brand strategist at this point to determine how best to target the ideal client for maximum exposure. Focusing on your ideal client is vital at this point — you don’t want to waste valuable marketing resources appealing to customers who don’t have an actual need for your product or service.
5. Communicate your USP to drive your marketing strategy.
Once you’ve developed your USP and you’ve positioned it for success in your particular market, you’re ready to communicate your brand to your ideal customer.
Formulate a strong statement — or tagline — that conveys your USP. Bring on the graphics in logo form to help bring that concept to fruition, and integrate everything consistently into your website and across all marketing materials.
In order to establish brand loyalty and longevity, consistency is key at this phase.
Once your USP and brand strategy are in full motion, you’ll want to continue your market research using site-specific analytics for your reach and conversion rate to stay on top of your campaign’s effectiveness.
Conversion is the holy grail of marketing, and to succeed, your business first needs to establish and communicate its unique selling proposition. A marketing plan designed by a brand strategist who is uniquely familiar with your industry and your USP can help you launch your campaign for maximum conversions and ultimate profitability over the long term.