What is USP and why is it important to marketing

The definition of USP is unique selling proposition or unique selling point.  It is a marketing concept proposed as a theory in successful advertising campaigns dating back to the early 1940’s.  The USP is what convinces a customer to switch brands on something they are using.

According to Alan from leaflet distribution company Compass Distribution “If you are a small business then you need to pinpoint what makes your business unique.  In a world of many businesses this is very important and unless you know this you cannot target your sales campaigns successfully.”

So, what does make your business stand out from the crowd? You need to really think about who your ideal customer is and what tells your customer that your business is special and the one they should really use.  Be specific and don’t attempt to be known for everything, let it be known what your business stands for.  You need to avoid the trap of trying to please everyone.  When you attempt to be known for everything you don’t become known for anything!

A strong USP means having a good understanding of your target market, your industry, and your competition.

Review your mission statement, market analysis, business plan and overall business goals that your business has.  This will help you find your USP for your business.

It is likely that some of your customers have difficulty deciding which option in your industry is the one that will deserve their time, money and trust.  Therefore, it is so important to have your unique selling proposition obvious.  Different and memorable enough so that they can see what the advantages of your business are.  To be remembered in a crowded marketplace full of businesses similar it helps if your business is the one that has a characteristic to be remembered by and appealing to people.

You should be able to sit down and explain a few things that your business is good at.  Next, make a list of your competitors and see which needs they meet too.  If you think your business can do better that’s a strong basis for market entry.

Consider trends in your industry and those issues that will be more important in a few years’ time.  See if you can extend your advantage in to those areas.

Talk to a few of your customers and potential customers asking for their feedback on your brand.  This should help your business a lot looking at this feedback to help with your marketing and your target audience.

Your USP should be the development of your company and your marketing strategy.  No matter how big or small your business is this is so important to your brand.  Whether you are redesigning your logo, working on updating your website, leaflet distribution campaign etc, your brand needs to represent you and your business and it needs to clearly communicate the benefit you are offering.

Do not change your USP too often.  Keep it fresh and keep updating it but watch out for shifts in trends or competitors too.  Consequently, monitor trends and new competitors frequently.

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