Creating A ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ For A Business

Now I don’t know about you, but I very often get confused by the terms used within the business community, in particular the ever-increasing marketing concepts thrown at you by the “experts”. However, I will not be talking about a new marketing ideology today. Instead we will focus on an old concept known as ‘USP’.

First developed in the 1940s in order to explain the theory behind a successful advertisement campaign, it quickly became an ideology on how to make your business stand out. In other words, it’s what makes you different from your direct competitors.

Let’s take a step back for a minute. You have booked a week off holiday for the summer and plan to take your family to the South of France. So far, so good, but which Airlines are you going to use? They all offer pretty much the same service, they put you on a plane and get you where you want to be. So really, what makes you book with British Airways rather than EasyJet?

Well if you are anything like me, you’ve chosen BA because you believe that you’ll be better taken care of. If you had chosen EasyJet, it may very well be on the fact that it is much cheaper. And there you are, your decision has been made on the perception of the company. Put simply, their Unique Selling Proposition.

Easyjet – Low fares
British Airways – Higher quality service, more helpful staff

(Truth is I fly regularly with both Airlines. Easyjet is not always the cheapest and British Airways does not always provide better service quality.)

So how does this apply to our business? Here I will simply quote Reeves’s view of the necessary steps to achieve greater recognition.

Each advertisement must make a proposition to the customer ‘Buy this product for this benefit’ or ‘hire my services for this benefit’
The proposition must be one that the competition cannot or does not offer and it must be unique
The proposition must be strong enough to attract new customers as well as potential customers.
Personally I find that Step 2 of this process is not always achievable. After all, there are many business sectors that don’t have the luxury of offering something that the competitors cannot offer themselves. So in those instances, it is how you go about positioning your brand in people’s mind.

I will use an example on this. Last year, I decided to put my house on the market. I called a few people in order to find a good estate agent. Finally settling on Edkins & Holmes. The reason? Simple, I was warned on numerous occasions on how unreliable some agents were, how unfriendly others were, ect… Edkins, on the other hand, had managed to win my trust on the recommendation of reliability.

A simple yet effective positioning which added value to me, result in them getting my business.

Written by Sébastien Frère

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Steven Spencer
Artwork, both traditional and graphic has taken me on some interesting and creative ventures through the years. I began, as most of my generation did, producing artwork in the time-tested traditions of drawing and painting which led me to complete an Honours degree in Fine Art at the University of Wolverhampton. Since then I have worked in the mail order and News Media businesses, Designing and art working pages for Empire Stores and La Redoute’s Verbadet catalogues. Changing the way the catalogue industry both perceived and presented bicycles along the way. Then progressing to the Telegraph & Argus, Bradford’s daily newspaper, in 1999 where I was Editorial Artist for 16 years.

2016 heralded a new chapter when I was introduced to the inspirational father and son team at Malik House. Nasser and Sheraz Malik are constantly coming up with new ideas and it’s been an amazing eight weeks so far! The possibilities at Yorkshire Enterprise Network are limitless and I’m thrilled to be able to put my knowledge and experience to good use in furthering the aspirations of Malik House.

Steven Spencer

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