1. Define your target audience
You need to figure out who your customers are. Who will buy your product or service? A lot of first-time business owners want everyone to be a customer. This is a common mistake. If you try to appeal to everyone, you won’t! Your business will get lost in the noise. Instead, really get to know your audience. Research everything about them to create a complete profile of your target audience. If you have an existing business, analyse your customers to understand what real benefit you deliver to them. Be aware that this isn’t necessarily what you might think. This article explores the idea Best of all, ask some of them! Just because you think something is great doesn’t mean your marketplace will – and it is customers that count!
2. Know your competitors
3. Define the needs your business meets
Write down how your product/service can help others. Do you offer something that others can’t or don’t? Can you help save time? Are you more affordable? (Note: this doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper!) Take that list and cross off any benefit that your competitors can claim too. This exercise is meant to help you find areas where your business is different to others. Simply having the best product, or the best service in the market isn’t enough differentiation. Remember, every business thinks they have the best offer. Take some time to figure out how you meet the needs of your target audience in a way that others don’t.
4. Dispel myths
Can your business or product dispel any myths or stereotypes? Let’s say you’re planning to offer a technical service. What stereotype springs to mind when you think of this type of business? You might think of a person with challenging personality and a vocabulary that can blind customers with science? Well, if your business plans to buck that stereotype, you can use that to build a USP. If your business or product is “going against the norm” in any way, or breaks commonly held myths, you can use this as leverage.
5. Create a clear mission and message
A unique value proposition goes deeper than a marketing plan; it should connect with your business mission. What does your business stand for? It’s a big question, one that takes some time to figure out. Once you have a solid and clear answer, see if your mission overlaps or coincides with the list of things that sets your business apart. Now you’re starting to hone in on your value proposition. Once you’ve done your digging, make a list of possible value propositions that fit your business. Again, this isn’t going to be something you whip up in 20 minutes. Write a few down, stew on them for a bit, and refine them. You want a clear message. Using your list of unique attributes and your business mission, you can start to mould that information into a clear message. Rework it until you have one succinct sentence that will become your value proposition.
6. Bring it to life
Once you’ve defined your value proposition, you have to figure out a way to bring it to life. In other words, you need to figure out how to take that unique proposition and build a brand around it. This brand should then sit at the heart of a consistent and sustained marketing communication process. From website design to literature, presentations and packaging, your value proposition should seep into every aspect of your business. If you have any questions or would simply like to talk more, do get in touch