Being the Internet geek that I am <g>, I spend lots of time online looking at
websites and collateral materials of various kinds of businesses. Almost
unfailingly what I notice is that if I compare all the marketing materials of
businesses in a particular industry, they all appear relatively the same. My
eyes then start to glaze over in boredom because I haven’t found anything
particularly compelling about any business that is different enough to stand out
and grab my attention.
How good are you at being different and articulating your USP (Unique Selling
Proposition)? Why would a potential client want to do business with you instead
of your competition?
A Unique Selling Proposition is a slogan, thought, idea, and way of doing
business that makes you unique, different and distinct from other businesses in
your niche or in your industry. If you do a great job of distinguishing
yourself from your competition, your USP can hurl you to the front of the pack.
However, if you adopt a USP that you can’t fulfill, your business will die a
For example, what company comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "It’s so
easy a caveman can do it." GEICO is quickly becoming a household name in the
car insurance industry. Notice that GEICO doesn’t even promise the lowest
prices, just that someone might save about 15% with them, and that it’s very
easy to begin using them for your insurance needs.
During a conversation recently, I asked a friend with a web design business
about what makes his business unique. He told me that his competition in his
region was focused on one thing — developing websites for the sole purpose of
having an online presence. As a savvy website developer, my friends knows that
if your website isn’t attracting and converting traffic and thus increasing your
business profits, it’s simply a pretty online brochure. Consequently, what makes
his company different is that he actively pursues strategic alliances with
compatible, non-competing businesses so that all of these compatible businesses
can drive traffic to each other’s sites and band together to make some special
promotional offers to their combined client base.
I then asked him what business he thought he was in, and of course, he replied
that he was in the website design business. Based on what he told me earlier
about how he’s connecting businesses and helping them create promotional
strategies, I told him he was really in the business of marketing and
relationships. He is daring to be different and go above and beyond what other
similar companies are doing by strategically connecting businesses who aren’t
otherwise connected and providing creative ideas about how a collaborative
effort will benefit them all.
Wow, what an incredible strategy! My friend wins, as he gets the contracts to
do the websites for the compatible businesses he contacts. His clients win
because they have a measurable online presence, and the strategic partners win
because they are looped into a collaborative marketing effort and are exposed to
an entirely new customer base.
When I inquired what had prompted him to create these kinds of relationships for
his clients, and he said that his clients want two things: to have more
customers walking through their door and to make more sales. Because he stood in
the shoes of his clients and listened to their needs, he devised a strategy to
significantly differentiate himself from his competition and help them meet
How can you create an effective USP for your online business? Here are some
questions to think about in the creation process:
If you’re picking out a dessert on the menu, how boring and ordinary is it to
be forced to choose between the relatively plain chocolate cake, white cake,
lemon pie, or chocolate brownie? If among those desserts, however, was a white
chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake, you’d probably go for the cheesecake
because it stands out from the other offerings, wouldn’t you? And, who can
resist the delicious pairing of raspberry and chocolate, anyhow??
Dare to be the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. It’s a strategy that’ll
get you noticed!
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.