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Your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition, is what makes you…well….you!

Each and every one of us is unique.

We all have our own special talents, abilities and skills.

And what we have can benefit others.

What’s this got to do with a USP…and more to the point, why is that important?

Well, any company that promotes a product will firstly write down what is so special, or so unique about their product or service. What it is exactly that sets their product apart from their competitors’.

Think about it for a moment. What car do you drive? Why? Probably because some marketing message somewhere persuaded you that it was the car for you.

Oh No” I hear you say. “I’m not persuaded by advertising. No?.definitely not me.”

Are you sure?

Absolutely sure?

OK, why do certain people choose Volvo’s?

Because they are safe. They have a special side impact feature that mean, if you were unlucky enough to get hit from the side, you would have a good chance of staying alive (quite a strong benefit too, I would say). They are reliable and go on forever (I know because my mum drives one!). They have loads of space so you can fit your 2.4 children in, as well as the dog, picnic hamper, football boots, wellies etc etc etc.

And why do you know all of this? Because some marketing communication piece somewhere told you that.

And they told you that because Volvo’s marketing team know precisely what their USP is, which I suspect is along the lines of safety and reliability.

How about a Porsche?

Ahh..speed, they look good, they go round corners easily, and you can show off to all your friends in one! ;o)

Why do you know that? Get the idea?!

A USP is vitally important for any company that sells something. The company needs to know what sets it apart from its competitors – that is, their Unique Selling Proposition – and we, the customer, need to know why we’re buying it.

If you’re looking for a safe, family car, you may well consider Volvo, not the Porsche. But if you’ve been doing your marketing properly and your business is finally paying you the money you deserve to buy the car of your dreams to show off to your friends…then the Porsche showroom is probably on your hit list.

So, let’s come back to you. You need to know why you’re special too. Why?

Because your customers or clients will choose you because they know (or think they know) you, they like you and they trust you.

So you absolutely need to know what is unique about you, and why people should choose your business services or products above your competitors’. What is it that makes you, as a small business owner, so different from everyone else out there?

So, here’s a little exercise for you…write your USP.

Firstly, write down all your personal attributes, for example: down to earth, approachable, funny, caring, knowledgeable etc.

Then write down your values: What’s important to you? Is it your honesty, integrity, punctuality and so on?

How do you want to be seen? Are you actually like that?

What skills do you have?

What about your natural talents and abilities? (Although your amazing ability to scare the rest of the household whilst you sing in the shower, may not be so relevant!).

What about your real interests? The things that you get absolutely passionate about?

You should end up with a list or description of the real you. You are absolutely allowed to be “˜you’, and the very special you at that, so don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. And for that matter, live the life that YOU want, not what someone else thinks you should want.

It’s an interesting exercise to give your list to someone else to look at. Make it someone you trust to take it seriously. You’ll be quite amazed what they can add on that you didn’t realise about yourself.

And if you make a product – how is that product made? Does it have a special story behind it? Do you hand-make everything? Do you make jam with fruit that’s picked from your garden? Does it do something that similar products don’t?

What you should end up with is a list of all the unique things that make you – “˜you’, and/or your product special. In other words, you’ll start to find your USP: your very own Unique Selling Proposition.

You then need to narrow this list down to the top two or three things that sum up you and your approach to your business and what it offers, and it’s those two or three things that set you apart from everyone else, and that define your USP.

Your USP will give you the give you the underlying tone to all your messages – whether spoken or written marketing pieces. It will give them strength.

Your USP will give you credibility and will enable you to sell your product or service with integrity.

And somehow, through knowing your USP, you will gain an inner strength, find a happiness in being you and the product or service you offer, and an inner peace that you didn’t know possible.

Hope that helps!
Have a great week,
Kim.