Unique Selling Point

How To Find Your Unique Selling Point

You will often here from marketers (especially in retail) that a product needs 3 unique selling points (USP). And that they should be blasted over and over again and everywhere in your marketing campaigns.

Like many things in marketing (and life for that matter), once one guru has spoken, everyone else tends to follow. I can find no evidence of where this came from, other than that the best speeches in history tend to contain sentences delivered in phrases of 3 words (Veni, vidi, vici etc.).

And as is true of most marketers, once you can think of something slightly different to say, or use an idea from one context and place it in another to make it distinctive, well, let’s go for it and try to make it sound authoritative. This, after all, is what will make you stand out from the crowd.

It’s a little like the pricing of goods or services. Once we discovered that 29.99 sold more than the same goods priced at 30.00, everyone followed suit. Every now and again, someone tries to break the ‘rules’ and sometimes it succeeds. John Lewis in the UK were the first to try this successfully I believe. It worked especially well at Christmas (perhaps because when you are buying a present you don’t want to be seen to be cheapskate, so 30 is better than 29.99).

In the internet marketing sector of informational products, the magic number is 7. And that goes from $7 right up to $4997 and even higher. If you are into that market and use any number other than 7 at the end of your price, you are unlikely to be taken seriously. We are talking about the biggest names here including the likes of Tony Robins and Frank Kern.

So, what is my point?

At the last company I founded, Accountz.com, we added a new feature that is so powerful, it only needs a single USP. We called it The Eazy Button. It works like this: if you are unsure of how to do something with the software, you just press the magic Eazy Button. It not only takes you through each step, it also creates exactly what you want automatically when you finish the steps.

Now, we could add all the other great points that have evolved over the years, but that would just dilute this one great single USP. So instead we decided to target a single segment and publicise it as hard and fast as we could. When you market like this you get a much higher response, even if it is to a smaller audience.

That audiences’ expectations are met big time. That means they also become ambassadors for you.

And now you can move on to your next segment, again with just another single USP. And once that is achieved, you move on again.

This incremental marketing plan (or IMP) is just one way you can tackle the whole world, but in stages. You will always meet expectations, you will grow your audience, and you are far more likely to achieve success.

Think USP not USPs and conquer the world.

The title of this piece is ‘How To Find Your Unique Selling Point’. Every person is different. So you need to think about what makes you stand out from the crowd. What do you do better, cheaper, faster (there’s that series of 3 again!). Pick one of them and make it your USP.

If you now throw in the fact that NOBODY can be you however hard they try, you should get to a very unique position. Just concentrate on that combination: how YOU and WHAT you do for your clients is unique.

When it comes to the service industry, it is almost always about people. Investors always look at the people they are about to invest in. It hardly matters how good the idea or product is, if the people behind it are not right, they wont invest.

It is the exact same when it comes to you and your potential customers.

Think about their expectations first. That is what you have to fulfill. If you do it right, they will hire you. If you show them the value you can bring to the table, the cost becomes considerably less important.

In summary then. If YOU are your USP, think hard about your target audience. Think hard about their expectations. Push your unique selling point, live up to them and succeed.

Quentin Pain

Quentin Pain started his first business, a courier company aged 23. He sold it 4 years later and used the profits to start a recording studio. A couple of albums later, he started two software companies, the last one being Accountz, which he grew from zero to 36,000 customers and which is still going strong today. His current company is ProofMEDIA, a specialist digital consulting business focusing on online growth. He's also a published author (including a Dummies title), and has won many awards including the IAB Small Business Mentor of the Year in 2013. Quentin is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.