A lot of marketing experts make a big deal about being unique. They call it a USP, or your Unique Selling Proposition – the one thing that you do and your competitors don’t.

So is it really as important as they say?  In a word – YES!!!

It is very important it is to be different. It is a major factor for people to decide between you and your competition. They have to discern the differences between you and other suppliers, before they can choose who to buy from.

What if…  you could prove, beyond doubt, that a potential customer would benefit more by choosing you?  For example, imagine a coffee shop serves great coffee and great food. You’d think quality products would guarantee them success.  But, what if there are seven other coffee shops, all within a 10-minute walk, and all with the same high quality products.

How would you choose which one to go to?  The fact is, all of these shops are basically the same. You have to create a unique difference.

So what about your business? Think of your two biggest competitors and ask yourself ‘Am I really any different?’ If you’re first answer was ‘yes, we have better service’ or ‘our quality is better’, you need to re-read the last sentence. Those very same competitors would probably say exactly the same thing if they were asked to compare themselves to you.

A unique characteristic is something that really makes an impact when you say it AND it is something your competitors don’t offer or do.  For example, what if one coffee shop offered a free massage with every order of a coffee and food?  And, they also offered you a personalized coffee mug.  Just imagine how successful that could be.  Would those things be unique and different when compared to the other coffee shops?

The point is, it has to be specific and different. Imagine the advertising slogan – ‘XYZ Coffee Shop, where ever customer gets a massage and personalized mug’. It may sound a little over the top, but it’s definitely unique.

If you don’t have a point of difference, people may not buy from you, unless you discount.  If you are trying to rely on lowest prices it will be a recipe for going broke.

And how about your guarantee?  Your USP gets stronger when you also have a powerful guarantee. This is where you take all the risk out of the purchase. Your guarantee addresses the one major frustration your customers have when dealing with your industry, product or services. It makes them feel safe and gives them a reason to always come back.

Uniqueness and guarantees are important so you stand out from your competition.  Clearly defining both and using them in your marketing will tell potential customers, I’m different and this is why!’  Identifying your USP and Guarantee will change your business forever.

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