Not having a differentiator or Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is all too common for many businesses. Or at least these companies are not communicating their differentiator, which is effectively as big an issue.

A USP is the one thing that differentiates you or your business from your competitors, and can make the difference between having an outstanding business or a faltering one.

If your potential customers perceive you to be the same as your competitors, why would they choose you?

In fact, if you’re viewed as the same, you can imagine which selection criteria becomes most important…price. It’s no good for any business to be in a price war!

So, it astonishes me when companies don’t promote their differentiator – particularly as outstanding businesses have been founded on a USP alone.

Let’s look at Domino’s Pizza for example – their USP is “Red hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – guaranteed.”

The founder, Tom Monaghan, created one of the most successful fast-food businesses in the world from the strength of this USP.

He started from truly understanding his target market and what they wanted. Notice he doesn’t say “the best tasting pizza”. Domino’s pizzas are good, but not the best you can get. Instead, he focuses on what his target/niche market really want. His customers (primarily students living within a 20-minute radius of each pizza outlet, who often have the munchies) often buy on impulse so they want food delivered quickly and food that is hot!

Sure, they want the pizza to taste good, but they are prepared to ‘suffer’ a little on quality for hot pizza delivered quickly!

So, by guaranteeing that customer’s will get their hot pizza within 30 minutes or get their money back, there’s only one choice for a hungry student – Domino’s. Now that’s a massively effective USP.

Another key learning here – a good differentiator is not what you do, it’s about what you can do for your customers. A differentiator is only worth having if it provides something your prospects and customers really want.

Creating your differentiator…

Now that we know how important a strong differentiator is, how do we create one that works for you? The good news is that your USP can often be found in your business – you just need to communicate it in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Here are some common categories to help you find your differentiator:

  • New and truly unique
  • Highest quality (many try to use this as a differentiator – so you really must be outstanding here)
  • Expert status – often important for service-based industries
  • Truly amazing customer service
  • The largest size or selection
  • Speed of delivery
  • Your biggest, most important benefit

Once you’ve found your differentiator, you need to be able to articulate it in a short, clear and concise statement, which you can then share in all your marketing materials. It’s great also for your networking so you can quickly explain to your contacts why they should partner with you or refer you.

As you can see – getting this right is well worth it. So I highly recommend you invest the time to generate and refine your USP. What’s clear is that your competitors are unlikely to have one so this will make a substantial difference to the growth and profitability of your business.

What we all want is to have customers understand the true value of what we offer, without price being a main factor in their decision… That’s the power of a strong USP.

If you’re frustrated you’re missing your growth targets or anxious that you’re over-reliant on a small number of customers, now could be a great time to contact Kevin Robinson from Chrysalis Partners to discuss your challenges and options for business growth support. Call today on 01926 711911 or visit www.chrysalismidlands.co.uk for more information.