USP stands for unique selling proposition and this is what makes your business stand out from the crowd and tells your customers what is special about you and your business. You need to know and understand what your USP is in order to be successful in building and growing your brand online. The question is – what are you really selling?
Charles Revson (founder of Revlon) always used to say he sold hope, not makeup. Some airlines sell friendly service, while others sell on-time service. Woolworths sells quality, while Shoprite sells bargains.
Identify your target audience
The first step in developing your USP is identifying your target audience. You will need to start by identifying the group of people who will be most likely to help you achieve your business objectives and be interested in your products and services. Why do they purchase items from the market you are operating in? What needs does that market meet for them? Speak to customers, colleagues and friends and make a list of all the reasons why someone might choose to buy your type of product or service.
Determine what your competitive advantage is or could be
After making your list, select one or two of these ‘reasons’ that you are really good at. Next you will need to make a list of your possible competitors and what needs they are meeting. Evaluate how well they meet those needs and if you are doing / could do better. At the same time, take into consideration what needs are not being met by competitors and how trends and changes in technology, etc. could affect your business in the future.
Clarifying your USPs
At this point you should have 3 or 4 possible USPs. Choose a strong statement that will convey each USP. These USPs will guide the development of your brand online. Whether you are creating a website, a logo or embarking on an online advertising campaign; always ask yourself if your image and activity clearly communicates the benefit you are offering.