Forget the daily scramble for a minute, and think about what made you passionate about your business in the first place.
Take a fresh look at your product or service and list the things that make it better than competing products or services. These are your features, the built-in factors that make it faster, stronger, more effective, easier to use.
Next, make a list of how those features translate into a better experience for your customer. Getting the job done faster leaves you more time to enjoy the things you love. The “attractive and guarded crankset” on your cruiser bicycle protects your clothing and your legs. These are the benefits of owning your product or using your service.
These exercises should reveal your what really makes your product stand apart from the competition – its unique selling proposition, or USP. Your USP doesn’t necessarily have to be some proprietary technology or unique construction It can be something none of your competition is highlighting. Two weeks to a weed-free lawn. A no-questions-asked guarantee for a full three years.
When AT&T summed up its core service, it didn’t suggest that it’s infrastructure would make your phone communications more crisp and clear. It said, “Reach out and touch someone.” While Nike might, at various times suggest that their lighter, more comfortable, more ergonomic shoes make you run faster, they sum it up this way: “Just do it.”
Take your exploration a step further into the soul of your product or service, and determine how your offering makes your customer feel – emotionally, why they’d choose your product or service over another. This is your Unique Emotional Proposition (UEP). You might do this by acknowledging your ideal buyer’s self-image (rugged, family-oriented, careful, icnoclastic) and suggesting that your service reflects those values. Or you might suggest your product is sought by the kind of people they aspire to be.
Understand your features; translate them into tangible benefits; define both your USP and UEP – and you’ll position your product or service to dominate your competition.