My apple is more unique than your apple?
There a concept in marketing called the unique selling proposition or USP. You’ve no doubt hear about it. It’s also sometimes referred to as a Relevant Differentiated Benefit – a term I prefer.
Let’s break this down – Relevant – this means closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand. Differentiated – to be recognised as different. Benefit – the advantage or profit gained from something.
In other words, as a business owner, or marketer – you have to find something about your brand, product or service that is appropriate to the product or customer, thatthey can recognise as different AND that they can gain some advantage from.
What I see a lot of in business is the business owner making the decision about what is relevant, just deciding they are different, assuming the customer is getting a benefit – I mean they’d be stupid not to recognise it wouldn’t they?
You have to be patient with this key element of your marketing plan – most markets these days are very competitive – the people you are competing with are smart and well resourced, and often – the majority of the products are – well – ‘pretty much the same’.
So how do you differentiate yourself properly?
Well here are some steps to take:
- Talk to your customers – find out what they care about in your product or service area. Really drill down and find out what is relevant to them.
- Examine your product or service and really take the time to compare it to the competition. Get down close, examine the nitty gritty of all aspects.
- Marry both your research, with your close examination of yourself and the competition to find some potential areas of difference.
- Check this again
- Look at factors other than the product or service – what other things could differentiate you – could you be faster, be easier to deal with? could you collaborate with another brand to package together a better offer? could you align yourself with a community or not for profit and differentiate on being a better corporate citizen, could you target a different type of customer?
- Check this again
If you follow these steps, be patient, and be prepared to invest some time and energy into really thinking about it – not making assumptions – the rest of your sales and marketing effort will be much more rewarding – and yes I mean both in enjoyment, and in financial terms.
Hope you enjoy the journey of being different, really different, valuably different to your customers.
Have a great day!