A Unique Selling Proposition Is Key to Your Business's Path to Success

Are you the owner of a relatively new or unestablished business wondering how the leaders in your market attained their success? The key to succeeding is finding a unique quality that you will bring to the marketplace, a unique selling proposition (USP). As any CEO of a global business leader would tell you, a USP is the asset that will help you eventually corner your business market. An enduring result on the road to success requires a compass, and a USP is just that. A guide that will define your marketing efforts and enhancements for a product or service. 

Looking Backward -- Most Successful Corporations Began Small with a USP.

Apple's USP is bringing user-friendly technology to its customer, which contrasts with the developer centered interface the PC offers. The founders identified a computer niche that was missing in the competition that the customer needed and defined its entire marketing brand around the concept. Every ad campaign, promotion and new product it launches revolves around the idea of user-friendly technology, and the company has cornered the market.

Which Businesses Are Your Main Competitors and What USP Are They Offering? 

You will need to analyze your niche market to determine a niche that needs to be filled. The USP is the launch pad for growth that may eventually escort your company to brand leadership. Like a land prospector in the American Old West, you can claim that initial parcel of land, or USP, and tack on a ranch and other qualities until it transforms into the homestead that you visualize in your mind, all based on the initial property. 

Without a Strong USP, Your Message Will Never Penetrate Your Customer.

Without a strong USP, a business will effectively try to become a brand leader -- good at everything -- all at once, which is not a realistic or sustainable business model. A business needs a USP to bootstrap from its current position, to the next phase of growth. Think of the USP as the invisible thread that your business follows from a relatively unknown position in the marketplace to a universally recognized authority, all using the USP to define itself and build its online reputation

From a psychological perspective, a customer needs a USP to focus on and grab its attention. Business today is transforming into a social landscape, and like a personality of a friend or spouse, a business needs a USP to introduce itself to a new client.

Free shipping, for example, says to the customer, "I want you to feel relaxed as you shop and think only of the price of the product and not the surprise cost that will hit you at the end of the transaction." The customer profile is then defined as someone who does not mind paying a mid-tiered to premium price for a product in exchange for the convenience of free shipping. Zappos has achieved success using this business model.

A few takeaways regarding a USP:

  • Spend some time analyzing your business's competition with an online analytics program such as Google Analytics
  • Define a USP that you can sustain. For example, if you cannot afford to offer free shipping, try a free consultation, which falls within your budget.
  • Audition the idea with friends, family, colleagues and even competitors using LinkedIn or a online questionnaires. 
  • Do not be afraid to fail. If you begin with one idea, it may transform into another as you get to know your customer market.