Why should someone pick your business over the competition? We can call it Unique Selling Proposition (USP), Competitive Advantage, or Area of Superiority when selling a product or service there has to be a reason why your business is more appealing than the competition. Hoping your product or service will attract customers without having any unique benefits is a sure recipe for failure. You have to remember that most people are reluctant to change; therefore most customers don’t like change, so you’d better have a good reason why someone should switch and buy from you.
Why is your product unique, or what do you do better than anyone else?
Let’s look at TOMS shoes as an example. TOMS slogan is “With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for one”. This is also TOMS unique selling proposition; every time you purchase shoes, they will give a new pair to a child in need. By not competing on price, quality or comfort they steered clear of competition and gave a customer a unique reason to buy — a reason that no other shoe manufacturer can match. Over time, the original slogan might have changed, but the message remains consistent. Every time you make a purchase a person in need will benefit.
What is your value proposition?
The customer has to see the value, and the value has to be greater than the cost. Otherwise, your product/service will not be perceived as having value. For example, most people are happy to pay between $700-$1,000 for an iPhone because they believe they are getting something more valuable in return and considering most people use their phone for 2 to 4 hours a day, it’s easy to see the value. If you are going to use something for hours every day, you’re willing to pay a premium for quality, style, usability, etc.
When analyzing why businesses fail, two reasons are always at the top of the list: “no market need” and “we got outcompeted”. This is not a surprise, because many businesses fail to realize how important a unique selling proposition (USP) is to 1) understanding your market and 2) being able to compete. That being said, if you don’t offer any unique benefits, you have to revisit your product or service and identify them. Alternatively, you may need to change your product or service offering. Understanding what is unique about your business and then communicating it to your customers is of the utmost importance. Just “hoping” your customers will come is an excellent strategy for failure.