Your brand’s Unique Selling Point (USP) is important. Very important. In fact, it can make or break your business.
Most people think of their Unique Selling Point as the services they provide. Or the products they make. Some companies point to their logo as their USP. Or they read their tagline out loud in response to the question, “what’s your Unique Selling Point?”
The truth is, your brand’s USP isn’t likely any of these things. And that’s why your company blends in with all the others. Honestly, if you haven’t yet identified your brand’s Unique Selling Point, it’s probably the main reason why you’re not growing. And if you are growing, the lack of a USP is likely the reason why you’re not growing faster.
Why is a U-S-P Right for M-E?
Say you’re M-E Enterprises. Your Unique Selling Point isn’t just what sets M-E apart from the competition. It’s not just what’s unique and special about M-E. And it’s much more than just the reason why a prospective customer would choose M-E over anyone else. For sure, the USP for M-E can be used for many different business applications.
Imagine being in an elevator. You work for M-E. The person next to you says, “why should I pick M-E?” The M-E “elevator speech” comes to mind. It’s short and sweet. And It’s delivered to the person in the elevator quickly and easily. Now it’s clear to the person, “why M-E?.” And… presto… instant new customer. Just like that. Now, think about recruitment. The USP is not only a great reason for customers to choose M-E, but it also may be a great reason why an employee would work for M-E. What about public relations? Since the USP for M-E is unique, different and special, and it only relates to M-E and no other company, there may be a great story there. A story that a blogger or journalist may be interested in covering. A story that adds lots of distributed content about M-E, and gives M-E lots of free, positive press.
World Famous USPs
“Just Do It” wasn’t just an ad campaign. Nike uses it as a USP. When you think of Nike, your mind automatically goes to those three short words that inspire. Inspiration, then, is a USP for Nike and it’s expressed in the “Just Do It” tagline, which has become a brand line for an entire generation. And the generation after that. And so on.
“Bless You” from Kleenex is also much more than a campaign or a tagline. It is a Unique Selling Point. Kleenex was one of the first to offer tissues that helped you when you sneeze. That’s why everyone asks for a Kleenex despite what brand of tissue is available or offered to them. When you think of Kleenex, you automatically think of the USP of the brand, and the very reason for the brand’s existence… relief… bless you.
Probably the best example of a USP is the brand recognition enjoyed by Coke. In many parts of the country, people ask for a Coke at a restaurant and are asked, “what kind of Coke do you want,” referring to all kinds of pop or soda, even those branded by Pepsi, for example. Coke’s USP is similar to Kleenex in that Coke invented an entire category. What sets them apart is the enjoyment associated with drinking the soft drink they created. It is this enjoyment that speaks of Coke’s USP and why they have asked us to “Have a Coke and a Smile,” while they say, “Coke Is It,” and “Share a Coke with a Friend.”
Just Like Magic
So, how do you discover your USP? That’s easy. Just put on the magic branding hat at the end of this blog. And then, all of a sudden… boom! Pow! Bam! Your Unique Selling Point jumps up and shouts, “here I am!”
Kidding aside, you know there’s no magic branding hat. But there is something equally as powerful at helping you identify your Unique Selling Point. It’s called… are you ready… here it comes… daydreaming. Wait, seriously… what the… what? Yes, it’s true. Daydreaming can help you discover your Unique Selling Point.
Really, don’t underestimate it. And don’t overthink it. The main reason why customers should choose only you… your Unique Selling Point… your USP… may be just a short vision away.
Dream It Up
Take a moment to get inside your thoughts about your business. Go in deep. Just sit back in a comfy chair. Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Now, think of something peaceful. Maybe you’re on a beach. The waves are washing colorful seashells to shore. The weather’s perfect. It’s sunny and warm. Everything’s perfect. You don’t have a care in the world.
You’re calm. Your thoughts are clear. And when you think about why your company is special, vivid pictures enter your mind. You’re thinking about how customers always say that even though your company is quite small, you’ve got great customer service. You remember hearing more than once how your personal attention to the needs of your customers goes above and beyond their expectations.
Now, bring your favorite customer to the forefront of your vision. There’s Annette. You see her. She’s right in front of you… there in the doorway of your little shop on Maple Street. And she’s got a big smile on her face. What’s that she’s saying… “nobody proves they care like you do. You’re a cut above customer service. And you look great! Have you lost weight?”
You realize that “a cut above customer service” isn’t just a line Annette’s feeding you… it’s your new tagline! And there it is, your Unique Selling Point. Your USP. The one tool you can use to strategically position yourself ahead of your competition. Now you’re thinking of all the ways you can incorporate your Unique Selling Point into your business. And just like that, you’re daydream changes and you’re thinking of your little business growing into a medium-sized company.
Vision for Growth
You’re still calm, yet a little more enthusiastic about your business. Now you’re a medium-sized company and you’re not only great at customer service, but your efficiency has improved and you ’re faster at solving the customer’s problem than any other company in your area. You’ve traveled the high road in business. And it’s an even nicer road than your little place on Maple Street. There are beautiful green, leafy, trees thriving on your new street. You can hear kids laughing and playing at the school nearby. A friendly Poodle greets you as you just before you enter your new office, “good morning, Gidget,” you say to the friendly pooch as you open the door.
Your assistant greets you with a warm handshake and congratulates you on your nicer, larger office space. You look across the room and see that one of your best customers is waiting for you in the conference room. There he is… Sean.
You head down the hallway toward Sean. The hallway is freshly painted a soothing gray-blue color. The fresh paint smells great. The cushy multi-colored modern carpet you special ordered feels wonderful under your feet. With enthusiasm and a little zest in your step, you enter the conference room where Sean is waiting with a four-pack of your favorite muffins.
He greets you with a smile and says, “I still can’t believe how you solved my problem so quickly. Your customer service is amazing. So, to thank you, I’ve picked up “Kelley’s Magical Muffins.” Enjoy!”
The vision is made even more wonderful as you picture your company growing into the largest of its kind… yet the most personal. This helps you visualize growing into a big office building. You see a Koi pond near the entrance. Complete with fish you know by name. They love it when you give them a crumb or two from Kelley’s Magical Muffins. Next to the Koi pond, there’s some sort of bronze statue created by Ryan, your former maintenance specialist from your little office on Maple Street. He’s now a renowned artist.
Draped in your favorite designer clothing (a luxury you can afford now) you park your new SUV (with leather interior and a sound system Elton John would envy) in the front space marked “Reserved.” This is something you never thought you’d achieve. But here you are.
You exit your SUV and slowly head toward the massive double glass doors of your new office building. You open the left side with two hands, pulling two big doors open to reveal… look who it is… it’s Ryan. He’s holding a tabletop version of the bronze statue for your desk. And so the daydream continues…
It may sound like a bit of a stretch to say that daydreaming can lead you to your USP. That is, of course, until you allow yourself to daydream about what it is that makes your company special. What makes it unique? What gives prospective customers a reason to choose only you? That’s the dream, isn’t it? A competitive advantage. One that’s undeniable. A reason why you should be the choice in your marketplace over everyone else who does what you do. That’s how a daydream can turn your customers into believers.
Help to Daydream
As easy as it may seem to simply daydream to discover your Unique Selling Point, it does take a great deal of concentration, time and effort. So if you feel you’d benefit from hiring a company that can take you through the process, there’s good news… they’re out there. One company, DigiVid360, based in Scottsdale, AZ, discovered their USP over a lunch meeting. The lunch was merely intended to reunite old friends and colleagues, yet quickly lead the partners toward the realization of “Full Circle Marketing,” incorporating branding into digital marketing.
“Daydream to discover your Unique Selling Point, for it is what can strategically position your company ahead of your competition, providing the difference maker you need to grow your business.”