How to work out your USP

What is a USP and why is it important? These are two important questions all companies should ask themselves, and at different stages in their development. USP stands for ‘unique selling point’ and describes what makes your product or services better than your competitors. 

It’s important to know this as it tells customers the value you bring that others don’t. So, let’s dive straight into how we can ask a series of questions to pinpoint your USP.

Who are your customers?

First and foremost, your USP is for the benefit of your customers, so ask yourself, who are they? You can do this simply by having a solid customer management system that captures that information on the point of sale or enquiry and tracks it during the customer lifetime. You can also survey your customer base each year. 

Both of these will tell you exactly who your customers are and what they really value (it isn’t always what you expect). 

Enlist your customers’ help

Don’t be shy when it comes to maintaining communication with your customers either. Ask your customers what you are good at. Be warned though, they might tell you what your bad at too, but look at it as a way to improve. All the while you are doing this, you are also creating a USP in terms of superior customer relations. 

Another way to enlist help is to undertake testing with your customers. Try new ways of working with them, especially if you offer services, and survey the results.

Ask your staff

Your staff are likely to be the ones with a good idea of what your USP is or ways to improve it. Your customer-facing staff especially, will be able to tell you how what your customer wants and what you offer marry up. Choose a team to brainstorm ideas with on how to be different.

Do a SWOT analysis

This is something you can do with your team. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, obstacles and threats. Go through all four sections carefully to get a good idea of the health of your business. Look at price, customer service, location, management expertise, reputation, convenience and skills base. 

It’s a good idea to focus on both the USPs and the areas of improvement – you may find that the things you can improve upon are also things your competitors could do better. With a regular SWOT analysis, you will be ahead of the game and the areas where you are lacking can be improved and will set you apart from the competition. You can find more on a SWOT analysis in a previous blog here.

Check out your competitors

Speaking of competitors, find out what they are doing. If you are doing it differently and better, straight away you have your USPs. After a little research, you could also make a list of things other businesses can improve on and turn those into your USPs.

Finding ways to express your differences so your customers can see and understand them is crucial to your company’s success. My next blog will take you through what strategies successful companies have done to tell the story of their uniqueness.

For now, if you want to know more about making an impact, give us a call.

Fiona Grant-Jones

As a Management Accountant, I have a proactive focus on the future. I enjoy working with business owners to improve performance through management accounting and forecasting techniques. My knowledge of Tax and Tax planning has supported me in offering a more complete service to our clients. My interests span from the ones that my mother approves of, such as needlecraft and papercraft to the ones she is not so keen on such as scuba diving and skiing!

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