If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. Good advice from Jack Welsh. New market leader? Just thinking what it would take? Scary? Almost regardless of whom you are or what you do, you have bigger and often better competitors. The market leader. And if you have no competitive advantage, no unique selling proposition, you really can’t compete.
Sailing with no wind? Difficult? Like marketing with no business differentiation. Almost impossible.
We have found many businesses that cannot articulate how their business is truly unique. What analogy to this situation stands out in our mind? Trying to win against your competition without good business differentiation is like trying to sail with no wind.
Check out our thoughts on team leverage.
Before we continue, let me ask you a question.
What works best for value proposition design in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.
With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.
There’s always a web site that has more followers. More readers. More customers. More pizazz. Better name recognition.
Usually, one or two of them are clear market leaders.
It’s tempting to think they got there because they started well before you. Or because they were lucky. Or had a few really smart people.
And sure, being at the right place at the right time just might’ve played a role in their leadership and growth.
But continued success isn’t about luck.
To become the new market leader you must have the best unique selling propositions, and you must know how to put them to work in marketing campaigns.
So how do you derive good business differentiation? To create creative unique selling propositions for your business, consider the following:
Market leader … where is your uniqueness?
People won’t ever buy from you if they don’t even understand why they should pay attention to you. And they notice you only if you have a strong and unique selling proposition.
The usual definition of unique selling proposition is incomplete. It describes it as a promise of something competition cannot or does not offer. It must be strong enough to move the masses, i.e., attract new customers
Unique selling proposition, if you define it like that, is a decent—but incomplete—internal tool that can guide your decisions to the right general direction. But nothing more.
My market leader … secret # 2
A more useful definition of unique selling propositions is a believable collection of the most persuasive reasons people should notice you and take the action you’re seeking.
This way, it guides your decisions much more clearly and can be used as the basis for marketing messages.
If you don’t have a strong selling proposition, people don’t have good reasons to do either of those.
For example, if your online bookstore has average selection, decent prices, delivery, a guarantee, good customer service, and a website, why would anyone buy from you? There’s surely a competitor who beats you in at least some of those aspects.
You don’t have to be the best in every way. Sure, it’s great if you are. But realistically, it’s difficult enough to be the best in one way.
However, if you’re the best in at least one way, you’re the best option for the people who value that proposition.
Starbuck’s doesn’t have the lowest prices. Amazon isn’t the most prestigious. Zappos’ isn’t the easiest way to shop.
People buy from them for other reasons.
So, if your bookstore has the largest selection, for example, but the other things are “just average,” the people who value a large selection have a reason to buy from you.
You must have some product or service element that is unique. Something has to make you the best option for your target customers.
Otherwise, they have no good reason to buy from you.
Can you demonstrate the proof?
If you say, “My pizza is the best in the world,” will people flood your restaurant?
No. They won’t believe you.
Without proof, you can’t say much before it starts to sound like marketing talk. No one pays attention. Or remembers. They just don’t believe. No believing, no trust. It is all downhill after that.
For example, I recently saw a digital marketing competitor site where they claimed to be the secret weapon of digital marketing for the most successful companies in the world. Needless to say, we doubt anyone can take that seriously when nothing supports the claim.
Secret # 3
Being the best isn’t enough. People need to believe you’re the best option for them.
As long as you don’t prove your claims, people are unlikely to really believe them. And your unique selling proposition becomes of no use.
Use studies, testimonials, and common sense, among other methods, to prove your claims.
Impressive numbers can be the right choice, but they don’t always work.
Instead, a few expert testimonials make the idea credible. They can even take away the need for you to make any claims—the testimonials can make the claims for you.
Similarly, you can use testimonials to build your product’s overall perceived value and take away the last doubt people might feel about your promises.
You must act
Many businesses don’t help people see what sets the company apart from its competitors. This always amazes us.
They are better than others, and they could prove it. They just don’t do it.
Instead, they try to persuade people with general promises, corporate babble, and feature lists. If your website doesn’t clearly tell visitors what makes you worth their attention, they won’t spend the time to figure it out on their own.
Secret # 4
It’s your job to hit people in the head with what makes you different and worth attention.
When people understand why they should buy your product instead of any other, they’ll do it.
Your unique selling proposition
When you start creating (or refining) your unique selling proposition, the first step is to find the core of it.
Secret # 5
The core of your unique selling proposition is made up of the ideas that make you clearly the best choice for target customers. As perceived by these customers. Not you. So test your assumptions.
Those few sentences can give you an unfair advantage. To keep the advantage, keep refreshing your uniqueness for your target customers.
Using them well can make you the new market leader. It is the best thing that can. The current leaders got there because they knew how to do it. Beat them at their game.
Remember this: Information is cheap. Attention is expensive. Time is priceless. Customer time and convenience is a great place to look for business differentiation.
Please share an experience or two with your business value proposition.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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