What’s so special about you?

OK, the question is rude, but it demonstrates my point exactly.  This blog aims to help you identify what your Unique Selling Proposition/Point  (USP) is and show you why you need one when you come to have a website built.

Identify your Unique Selling Proposition/Point

Think about what your business does. Unless you’re a sole licensed manufacturer of a high-demand product, it’s likely you have competitors offering the same or similar services as you.

Your potential customers want to know what distinguishes you from your competition. Why should they choose to give their money to you and not to the shop in the next road?

Great Customer Service is NOT a USP in itself

free-wheels-with-every-carIf you think great customer service is a USP, that’s a bit like offering 4 free wheels with every new car being sold -unless you’re a company like ASOS, that is.  Their whole business proposition is geared around their completely free returns policy.  No quibble. Nada. Zip.  Their USP has gained them a reputation and satisfied repeat customers.  If you’re going to offer Customer Service as your USP, you’re going to have to back it up 100% with your actions and offer something pretty ground-breaking.


Discover YOUR USP

So what else could be your USP, if you’re selling the same products as the shop 3 doors down?  It should be something that you’re doing already. Why do customers come into your shop, rather than your competitors?  If you don’t know, isn’t it time you asked them?  Talk to your top repeat customers and ask them why they use you.

It could be something as simple as the fact that you offer gift-wrapping for free, or that you offer timed home delivery.  Sometimes the reasons are quite surprising and unless you ask your customers, you’ll never know.

Remember that if one customer sees that as a reason to shop with you, so will others.  Use your natural strengths to create your niche.

You should end up with a clearly defined statement that separates you from the competition in the town.

The only shop in <<your town>> to give you <<your USP>>. I’ve made up some wild examples to give you an idea

  • The only shop in townsville to have a range of 400 speciality cheeses for you to try.
  • The only shoe repair shop in townsville to provide a shoulder massage whilst you wait.
  • The only fish restaurant in town where you get to meet your meal before it’s cooked.
  • The only coffee shop in town to use real bone china
  • The only newspaper shop in the area that still delivers
  • The convenience store with everything you need, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Whatever the USP, it’s got to be something worthwhile, a reason why your target market will choose to buy from you above someone else.

 What if I can’t identify a USP?

If you’re unable to say why people shop with you, it’s likely to be that you are offering the cheapest prices.  That’s fine, if you are happy to be the cheapest in town and fight off the competition on price.  If you have the power of volume purchase and your other overheads are low, then this can be a good model, but it leaves you at the mercy of a new competitor coming along and beating you in the race to the bottom.

Now I’ve got a USP, what do I do with it?

This blog post approaches the USP from the point of building a website for your business.  Say, for example, that you a painter and decorator in your local area. If you search on Google (other search engines are available ;op ) for “painter and decorator in Colchester”, you will no doubt retrieve a list of hundreds of decorators in the area.

If you specialise your website, you can float to the top for searches of your target market.  For example, if your particular niche is grade one listed buildings, you would be able to come up with content specifically relating to your specialism.  When a customer needing your service searches for “decorator for grade 1 listed building restoration”, you can bet that your website, will be placed better in the search results that your generalist competitors.

Whilst your website won’t get tons of traffic for the more general term, the smaller number of customers searching for your exact service will be able to find you quickly amongst the competition.

Why waste your time quoting for generalist work where you’re likely to be compared on price alone, when your unique specialism can offer you top dollar?

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