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What Makes you Unique?

3rd December 2020

All too often one of the first things people focus on when they’re starting their business is designing their logo and nailing a catchy tagline. Now, I’m not saying these things aren’t important, because they are. But before you invest time and money in that direction, you first need to put your energy into getting clear on what makes your business different.

You see, unless you’re in the rare position of being the only business in your industry, you’ll need to show how you’re different from your competition through your unique selling proposition (USP). Until you get clear on what makes you different and how to magnify that, you’re just another voice in the crowd clamouring to be heard.

A strong and instantly recognisable USP can really elevate a business that’s operating in a busy sector. It’s therefore essential that you use your USP in your marketing strategy, services and customer communications.

What constitutes an effective USP?

A winning USP directly addresses a specific benefit or need that your ideal customer has, and also emphasises the individual qualities that separate your business from your competitors. When your USP is strong it has the ability to attract, and most importantly, retain customers.

Identifying a USP is definitely easier for some businesses than others. But there’s always a way to make a name for yourself, even if you make or sell a common product or service. 

Some examples of successful USPs include:

  • Apple’s commitment to intuitive, sleekly designed technology
  • Ryan Air’s focus on low cost flying
  • Google’s deep understanding of the relationship between users and web content
  • M&S’s pride in quality and its British heritage

How do you create your USP? 

Creating your USP can be a fun process and something you’ll ideally want to do with your team. If you don’t have a team then enlist the help of someone you trust to be your brainstorming buddy.  

When you’re creating your USP there are a few things to bear in mind… 

Get inside the head of your ideal customer

For your USP to really have impact, you need to be crystal clear who your ideal customer is – a rough demographic is not enough. Then you need to get inside their head and ask...

  • What do they really want?
  • How can your product/service solve their problem?
  • What factors motivate their buying decisions?
  • Why do they choose your business over your competitors?

Explain how you solve their problems

To create a strong USP, take your findings about your ideal customer and then market your products/services in a way that shows you can meet their needs and solve their problems. 

Take Grant-Jones for instance, we don’t just sell bookkeeping and tax return services. We know that many of our customers want more hands-on support from their accountant. That’s why we take the time to really get to know our customers and their businesses and provide them with a complete 360 accounting solution. The level of care and support we offer allows us to proudly claim that we’re “not your average accountants” as part of our USP.     

So, when you’re thinking about how you solve your customer’s problems ask yourself, “If they choose my business how will their lives be better? What makes my business so different that customers should choose my products/services?”

Your answers to these questions are the fundamental principles that your USP is based on.

Be irresistible 

You may also want to consider including a promise or guarantee in your USP that addresses your customers specific needs.

A great example of this is FedEx – they guarantee they can deliver your package (from anywhere) to its destination overnight. 

Guarantees and promises are a great way to demonstrate to your customers why they should choose you over your competitors. BUT, it’s crucial that you can deliver what you promise the first time and every time! 

Remember: “It’s more important to be different than it is to be better.” So, have fun creating your USP, celebrate your uniqueness and make your business memorable for all the right reasons. 

To learn more and get a copy of our new ‘Top Tips & Ideas for Business Growth’ eBook, click here.


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