Now you have identified what makes your product unique – do you make the most of it?
Do you shout it from the rooftops, stamp it on everything and promote it whenever you can?
Does your customer know why you are unique and ultimately why they buy from you over your competitors?
When you know and understand your uniqueness, getting it across to your customers, magazine editors and buyers is the next important component of effective marketing and brand building.
Consider your tagline, business cards or Facebook bio.
Do they communicate your Unique selling point effectively? These are great tools for getting across who you are and how you are unique, in a simple and compelling way.
Often the simplist approach can give you the clearest direction and the most effective connection with your customers.
For example a cupcake business that sells beautiful cupcakes but iced simply. Compared to their competitors they may look “plain”.
Now consider their business with the tagline and added phrase:
In a world where frosting and decoration often outshine the cake – in these two sentences they have pitched themselves uniquely from the 100’s of cupcake businesses competing in a crowded market. It has taken their product – generally pitched toward children and opened it up to a completely new target market.
Great tasting, petite cakes, for grown ups.
In letting your customers know why it is they buy from you, it in turn makes them aware of what it is your competition are not doing for them.
And when meeting with a buyer it is important you can articulate why it is you are different and what target customer you can cover off for them – that they are not already doing with their current range.
It makes you look professional, passionate and informed.
This week I introduce my new weekly posts called THE BUYING PRINCIPLE- A buyers’ perspective on running a successful, creative business. I hope to give you a slightly different angle on how running and improving your business for better profit doesn’t have to be complicated, costly or use up all your time- after all you have gorgeous things to create!
So… you started making something you loved. Then friends and family loved it too and asked could you make for them and then you thought….. hey…I could earn a little extra cash for this and ……….so you started a business selling at a market stall.
The customers loved it, the feeling was electrifying and the feedback endless. To keep the customer happy you took on board all their helpful suggestions and before long you looked at your table overwhelmed, and found a “business running you”. This was not what you had in mind. Sound familiar?
To gain control again and point this “living thing” called a business back in the right direction the perfect place to start is
FINDING AND KNOWING YOUR USP (unique selling point)
and ultimately does your YOUR CUSTOMER know it?
The first things I would say to the many potential brands that would pitch to me their worthy products:
1. How does it fit into my product mix I currently stock in the department?
2. Why would I choose your product over the many others I stock and potential new ones?
3. How will your product be successful – bottom line how will it make me more sales?
You would be surprised how few people had stepped into my department let alone done their homework on the above questions. I was! All that hard work getting to the appointment stage to blow it on something so fundamental.
Pretty much you would have lost me before I had got to see any of your products.
Knowing the answers to the above questions means you know and understand why it is your customers are buying your products and you have a healthy respect for my business.
So….back to your USP. If you are not sure or things have changed since you first started then get back to basics.
1. Go to a market, a store or a department to see the products that are similar to yours. Make a note of the brands, the price points, why you would buy them and then go back to your product and see where it fits in.
2. Don’t just think of it as a product, it could also encompass your skills, experience or knowledge. In a recent workshop we identified that it wasn’t a product that this business was selling – the unique selling proposition was rather a service, an experience, a feeling. The product was secondary.
3. Ask friends and family what they think makes your product unique. Often those who have seen you grow are the ones that can give you a different perspective. You will be quite surprised.
4. And lastly actually imagine pitching to a buyer, a centre manger or financial institution. What would you say?
Knowing your USP is only the half of it. If you know why it is that your customers buy from you over your competitors – then make sure you make a BIG deal about it.
Next week THE BUYING PRINCIPLE is about building your message around your USP and importantly building your brand. A clear, concise message is imperative in highlighting why current customers buy from you and why customers who don’t – should.