Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to differentiate yourself from competitors - why it is important to have a USP

If customers buy your product or service depends on how you position it on the market and how many alternatives there are. Your customers should actually be able to perceive your product or service. That means, you have to do something outstanding, for example be better than the competition or offer additional services to your customers.

Even if your competition is big, you can carve out one or more features of your product or service in a way that you have a USP (unique selling proposition) over your competition. This means you can set your business apart from other businesses.

For an apartment complex in a U.S. city it can be hard to find a USP. 'Sedgefield Apartment Homes' in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, was successful in doing so. They decided to address Latin American customers ('Se Habla Español' - 'We speak Spanish') and also offer an additional service to families with kids and teenagers ('Free After School Program & Teen Center'). However, with 'Free Rent' you can hardly attract anyone as most apartments offer 'free rent'. Also, this statement is not entirely correct, as only the first month's rent is free.

Unique selling propositions (USPs) can be the following:
  • An innovative concept, such as the combination of a product with a service
  • Innovative product features that were not existent before
  • Extraordinary quality
  • A long lifetime
  • Extremely low price
  • Extraordinary price-performance ratio
  • An accelerated process (for example with services)
  • Extensive service that goes beyond what competitors offer
  • Special size
  • The usage of environmentally sustainable material or the usage of environmentally sustainable processes

No comments:

Post a Comment