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Why you need a unique selling point (USP)

Having a business without a Unique Selling Point or USP is like running for office without a defining slogan.  The result can be similarly devastating:  you’ll lose. Your business needs a USP.  It’s your business’ unique promise to customers.  It cuts through miles of marketing red tape and categorically tells your customers that “this is who we are and this is what we can do for you that any other company cannot”. 

Lower Conversion Rate

Having no USP almost certainly means a lower conversion rate for your ads.  Your Unique Selling Point is the central marketing message upon which the customers you are targeting will focus; it will be the pivotal factor in converting potential customers into buying customers. 

To illustrate, imagine that you are a typical customer who has become tired of pizza delivery delays.  Wouldn’t an ad for a pizza place that says “delivered within 30 minutes or your money back” compel you to try out the company that made this claim?2.      

Less Memorable

People tend to think of businesses and brands the way they think of other people.  Some are hard to remember and yet others (the noisiest, the most trustworthy, the most artistic, etc) are very easy to remember because of their defining characteristic.  In the same way, businesses that are able to invoke emotional responses from customers through a defining characteristic are usually remembered and get referred to others. 

Loreal’s “because you are worth it” manages to cut through the price issue by addressing its customers’ need for quality and their desire to pamper themselves and to feel good.

Less Focused

Not having a USP also decreases the focus for your business and leads you to try covering all the bases – to try satisfying all of the implicit and explicit promises you make to your customers.  This stretches out your resources for less the market share. 

Consider Head & Shoulders’ USP “you get rid of dandruff”.  By focusing on the dandruff issue, Head & Shoulders is able to concentrate all of its resources in delivering this single promise.  It is also able to corner a specific niche or portion of the shampoo-buying market.  Indeed, being generic hurts your business.  Stand out from the crowd through your unique selling point.  Start by reading about how you can formulate a USP for your business.  Resources abound online; marketing newsletters are especially helpful in this regard.  If you are finding it exceedingly hard to create your own USP, seek professional marketing help.

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