Success in business is achieved by people who think and act differently. The challenge of every business whether online or offline has always been how to increase the number of its customer base by getting its marketing message in front of the target prospects. Another challenge is how to persuade those prospects to buy their product or service more and more often. A high frequency of business with your clients can only be possible if a long- term relationship is developed. This is where the difference lies.
Differentiating your business from your competitors helps you beat competition and dominate your market niche. Peter Drucker in the book Differentiate or Die, said that the foundation of effective market leadership is thinking through the organisation’s difference, defining it and establishing it clearly and visibly.
This is achieved by emphasizing on the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of your business. The USP of any business is simply that specific and unique benefit which your customers derive from your product or service. For a powerful USP, it must distinguish your business from your competitors.
This will make your customers see what you offer them clearly, how differently you do it and the satisfaction they derive from your product or service. It is the big idea that makes your business stand out from the crowd, which goes beyond the product or service you offer. It is more than the façade of your business, your colourful logo, label, name, etc. These are not the strong point of your business rather they help you drive home the message and deliver all the time.
Your USP is the lasting relationship in the minds of your customers that draws them back to do business with you always. This stands you out from the lot and brands your business.
Some of the great brandswe know today came to where they are by emphasizing on their USP and they are known to deliver too, like Nike will always say- “to do your best”, Amazon.com – “books, fast and cheap”, Volvo – “safety”, Coke – “to refresh”, Microsoft – “to help realise your potential”, Rolex – Watches that winners wear, Mercedes – “safety and engineering” and many others which I believe you know.
The USP of your business makes you focus on what the customer wants and not your product, here you are emphasizing and doing those things that will make your customers feel right each time they do business with you. This takes the focus out of your company but to people who will use your product or service, with this you are concerned about helping your customers achieve and solve their problem by giving them what they want and not what you feel or think they want. I feel it makes businesses focus on their core business.
This is a major area where most businesses in Nigeria are missing it, they are always anxious to bring out products or services which they feel is right for the consumers and not what people want. They are always looking for new customers without satisfying the ones they already have, we all know that in business, it takes more to satisfy a prospect than a loyal customer. Until businesses here start to understand that they are in business for the customers and not as a favour to customers, great businesses that will last the test of time will not be built.
Having thrown light on what USP should be and do for your business, let me ask you these few questions, what is the Unique Selling Proposition of your business? Have you discovered it? What is in your business for your customers each time they buy your product or service? How far do you deliver on your promises? How well you answer those questions will go along way in determining the success you will see in this competitive world of business.
I will not leave you without us going through some guidelines that will help you create a powerful USP for your business.
In creating a powerful USP for your business especially online, USP should be considered in parts as the Ultimate advantage of your business, sensational offer and Powerful promise.
Ultimate Advantage of your business: This is the main benefit people will derive from your product or service which they could not get from your competitors. Differentiate your business with one unique benefit.
On how to find this unique benefit, ask yourself the question-what will people get from this product or service am offering them? Make a comprehensive list of all that comes to your mind looking at your product or service. To further assist you on this, analyse the features of your product or service and turn each of those features into benefit. Now you have a list of benefits. From this list, determine one major unique benefit that only you offer. This becomes the ultimate advantage of your product or service over your competitors. Emphasise this unique benefit in everything you do.
For example, in my online business I have been able to develop a unique benefit which stands my business out. I offer “indepth-one-on-one training with real time mentorship” that is my ultimate advantage. I must also say here that you should continuously improve on your ultimate advantage as your business progresses in response to competition.
Your success in online business will be determined by the offers you make to your prospects. I also know that this is the same with every other business. No prospect will refuse an irresistible offer. Your offers must not only be seasonal, it should be part of your business. If you must win on the internet you should be able to give out free stuffs and make good offers to your customers, give ‘freebies’. Naturally everyone likes free things, so plan to give out some things free that will be of great benefit to your prospects, like ebooks, softwares, special report, ad space etc, this will entice them to check out your business.
Am not saying you give out everything free, of course if you do, you’ll be out of business. The way to do this is to attract them with freebies and irresistible offers that will look like a bargain, offer discounts and bonuses too. The free stuffs are meant to hook them on the front end then you can make it up on the back-end with repeat business. Here also, the e-marketing strategy of reciprocity will come to play, where the prospects will be looking for a way to reciprocate the free gift and sensational offer you gave them. The whole essence is to give customers sensational offer they cant resist and make them have surprising, pleasant experience each time they do business with you. This differentiates your business.
Integrity and truth is very essential in business especially online. How do you get to build trust with your first time prospects? This can be done by offering them a clear, unmistakable, no-question-asked guarantee with a powerful promise. What this does is that it helps you build credibility with your customers, it also makes people who were on the ‘fence’ about your product decide to patronise you. Your powerful promise helps bring more customers to your business.
Emphasise your uniqueness with the type of promise you make to your clients. Do not promise what you cannot give. You should be sure you deliver on the promise like stated and on time too. There should be no compromise at all, go out of your way to fulfill your promises because that will make you successful.
In summary, you will beat competition and dominate your niche if you discover and emphasize your ultimate advantage, if you give your customers Sensational offers they can’t resist and then back it up with Powerful promise.
To your business success!