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Marketing: Branding


Unique Selling Proposition

by Sharon Housley

Often businesses define themselves with what is called a unique selling proposition. Many businesses market their unique selling proposition to illustrate the advantages of their product or services. When trying to establish a unique selling proposition, it is crucial to find ways to differentiate and distinguish your business from your competitors, place emphasis on the positive differences between others in the marketplace.

If you can not differentiate your company based on what you sell, try to capitalize on how you sell or support your products or services. A unique selling proposition defines why customers should buy from one business rather than a competitor.

The unique selling proposition (USP) can be evident in all aspects of a business. Most often USPs are conveyed through a slogan, a company motto, or a brand. Think of the USPs that large brands have used over the years, and what they are really saying.

Slogan: "Have it your way" - Burger King

What they are really saying: We care about you, what you want matters to us. We are willing to do things different just for you, our customers are special to us.

Slogan: "Keeps going and going and going" - Energizer Batteries

What they are really saying: Our batteries are superior to our competition, no one else has batteries that last as long as ours.

Slogan: "We bring good things to life" - GE (General Electric)

What they are really saying: We are a powerful company. We do more than just one thing, you can rely on us because we have history.

Slogan: "Can you hear me now?" - Verizon

What they are really saying: Unlike our competitors, our cellular coverage is very reliable. You will not experience dropped calls or spotty coverage if you use our services.

Slogan: "You've got questions, we've got answers" - Radio Shack

What they are really saying: We excel at customer service. We staff knowledgeable professionals to help you make a purchase decisions.

Slogan: "When it Absolutely Has to be There" - Federal Express

What they are really saying: Our packages will be delivered, a competitors may not be.

Each business is highlighting it's strengths and conveying a message that will instill confidence and comfort in their customers.

While a USP is one of the best way to successfully market a business, don't just focus on the difference that appeals to you. Focus on identifying and expressing what is unique about the product or service that is of most importance to potential customers. The USP should place emphasis on the single item that is most important to prospective customers and distinguishes your company above all others. Is it location? Is it quality of materials? Is it superior level of service?

Another factor to consider when determining a focus for USP is how easy is it for your competitors to replicate. Many people make the mistake of using "price" as their USP. Unless you are able to consistently sell an exceedingly large volume, price is one of the easiest things for competitors to compete with. Ideally your USP should focus on something that others in your industry cannot easily reproduce.

Leverage your business by defining and using a USP in all aspects of your business.

See Also:

Be Unique and Build a Brand
The essence of a brand is the mental imprint we plant on the minds of our market. A brand creates feelings, emotions and an affinity to our products, services and companies.

Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your Unique Selling Proposition is what sets your business apart from all the other businesses similar to yours. It's a specific memorable statement that describes the unique value of your business and creates excitement in your potential new customers.

Your Unique Selling Position
Very few understand what Unique Selling Position (USP) really is, what its significance is on your ability to sell, and most important, how to create one. Itís tricky and not something you learn overnight, but it is critical to the success of your business.

Brand Big--Deliver a Great Experience
Your brand or any brand for that matter is the sum of all you do. Itís something you earn over time by how you behave and treat your market or customers. Your brand is the mental imprint that you plant in your marketís head.

Your Brand Makes People Feel Something
Branding is more than product recognition or a simple logo. It is the overall intellectual and emotional impression people have when they think of your company and its product.

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About the Author:

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage a wireless text messaging software company.

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