You may be the closest person to your own business, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best person to decide your USP.
I wish I could say I’m the best person, but that’s not true either!
If you want to know what will sell your product or service the best… simply ask your customers why they bought from you. You never know, the answer might surprise you! But it could also give you the edge in marketing to others.
Think about it, if ten people bought from you for a specific reason, chances are, others will too.
Do your research
If you conduct customer satisfaction surveys when you complete a job, add in the question, “Why did you choose us as your supplier?” Allow them the opportunity to elaborate. Ask them how many suppliers they considered, what was the deciding factor, what would they tell others about your service? All of this will give you invaluable information that you can translate into an effective marketing message.
You will usually find a common theme emerging, but it’s not always what you would expect.
In my own business, I thought my USP as a business coach would be the affordability and achievability of my service to small businesses – my primary target market. Customer surveys, however, revealed it was the fact that I offer guaranteed results that appealed to them most. Every single one of my satisfaction surveys was returned with reports of increased profits and growth which allowed me to claim the following: “We are so confident that this programme will help your small business, that we guarantee your profits will increase by at least three times its cost over the next three years.”
You’ll now see “guaranteed to increase your profits” prominently highlighted in all my marketing. Just take a look at the home page of my website.
Analyse all emerging themes
Through your research, you may find more than one theme emerging. If this is the case, think about why different customers might like different things about your product or service. How are the customers different? Does one thing stand out to a particular age group? Are certain customers buying a particular product or service because they have a specific need in their industry sector? All of this information will help you fine tune your marketing messages to a variety of potential customers.
It’s important to note, however, that this needs to be an ongoing process. You might find themes change over time, so it’s worth making sure your USP is still in-line with customer comments.
USE your USP!
Once you know and understand your USP – use it! Make it your billboard ad, your website banner, your email footer.
Everywhere customers might find information about you, keep your USP prominent and visible.
I even suggest to clients to include their USP in their answer-phone message. Listen to mine – you’ll see what I mean (01384 355 444).
Use your research
The findings of your research can be a useful selling tool in more ways, too. Use the statistics to your advantage. Do you remember this tagline? ‘Nine out of ten mums use Daz because it gets your clothes whiter than white’. Or, what about, ‘Nine out of ten cats prefer Whiskers’? Although I’m not quite sure how that customer survey must have gone…
If you uncover some impressive findings, share them.
The key point is, let your customers be your guide. They really are better placed than you to pinpoint your USP.