According to an article published in Fortune magazine, 9 out of 10 SMEs fail, primarily because there is a
lack of need for their product in the market. However, as the Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, famously said, “A lot of times, people
don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
So how do you show customers what they need?
You need a unique selling proposition (USP)
A USP is an important part of establishing your position within the marketplace. You can’t, and shouldn’t, try to appeal to everyone, so
your USP should only resonate with your clearly-defined target audience. It should make your proposition obvious to your customers and tell them why you’re amazing, and how you’re different from the
competition. In being ‘unique’, by its very nature your USP cannot be copied, and overall, it has to be memorable.
However, many B2B SMEs
struggle to create genuine competitive advantages. So many companies make sweeping statements that claim to be a USP, for example, “We’re the best!”, “Offering first-class service”, “Your trusted
partner”. But so what? These generalised positioning statements only represent what should be the basic
prerequisite for all businesses to exist. They tell your customers nothing about who you are and what you stand for, instead, it makes you a ‘me-too’ organisation that’s destined to hide in the
shadows having never realised your true potential.
To get ahead, you need to create powerful USPs that deliver a competitive advantage.
How to create a USP
When you embark on defining your company’s USP, think about the following:
- Who is your target audience? How are they defined? What do they care about?
- What is your organisation really good at? Can you prove it?
- What’s happening in your industry? Are there any "customer needs" that aren’t being properly or fully met?
Create a statement that is short, unique, desirable, specific, has the 'wow' factor, and substantiates any claims. Then test it with your audience, refine it, and
test it again, until you have a powerful USP that really resonates and drives action.
Don’t forget about social and emotional selling points
It’s common knowledge that sales are mostly based on emotion or ‘gut feeling’. For example, would you buy an Apple Macbook because it’s
“The world's most advanced high-performing notebook”? Or would you buy it because Apple products are a status symbol, favoured by celebrities and business executives, which would make you look good
(an emotional selling point)? Perhaps you might buy it because Apple is “the only company that has been awarded with a Clean Energy Index of 100%, according to Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean Report” (a
social selling point)
While your USP forms the logical reason for doing business with you, the emotional and social selling points are the underlying triggers
that help your customer to buy, so can’t be ignored. Think about how your poducts / service or brand makes your customers feel important, valued, trendy, safe, accepted, and demonstrate them to be socially and environmentally aware of the world they live in.
It’s a fine balancing act, but if you get the mix between social, emotional and unique selling points right, you’ll have a strong
competitive advantage and you can’t fail.
Sign up for guaranteed success
As fully qualified members of The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), our consultants are highly experienced in helping you to develop
genuine USPs and a Marketing Communications Strategy
that form the basis of your powerful competitive advantage. They are specific to your business, resonate with your target audience, and create a strong
It all starts with a one-day assessment, where we take an overview of the key critical areas of your business. We will look at your
strategy for growth and determine the USPs that will create that competitive edge to help you overcome your current challenges and help you realise success.
Our Strategy Assessment (Business Growth Readiness) costs only £950, and we guarantee