June 4, 2013

unique bottle topDetermining your website’s unique selling proposition, sometimes called a USP, is one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure your Internet marketing success. If there is nothing to differential your business or your product from the sea of similar businesses and products out there, you will be reduced to competing on price and response time. The margins on that are extremely low, and you can be undercut. The unique selling proposition helps you to compete using a different criteria, one on which your competitors are unable or unwilling to compete.

Choose a game you can win

Take a look at ads for service businesses, and notice how many of them say the identical thing. They’re reliable. They respond quickly. They’ve been in business long enough to know what they’re doing. A service professional would need to be exemplary to surpass the other service professionals in just one of those categories. On the other hand, consider the service professionals whose van proclaims that they are friendlier than any others. As proof, if you wave at them on the road and they don’t wave back, the company promises to pay you for reporting this lack of friendliness. Their friendliness is their unique selling proposition, and will guide everything about how the company does business. It’s a game they can win, because no one else – or very few other companies – is competing for the title of friendliest service professional.

Seek out synergy

An excellent place to find a unique selling proposition for a website is by investigating synergy, or the property that two things combined can be far more powerful than those two things alone. Of course, they need to be the right two things. Rather than selling pet supplies to all pet owners, or even all dog owners, you can be the website that caters to dog owners who are frequent business travellers. Not only will you sell dog supplies, you will sell trip planning to locations that allow you to bring your dog, provide a rating service for dog sitters and dog boarding facilities, and blog about dog toys that you can buy while travelling and how to alleviate your dog’s distress while you are gone. By combining two different things that work together, you create a website that is more powerful than a website that did only one thing.

Narrow is better than broad

Finding the right USP may require moving from a broad market, such as all dog owners, to a more tightly focused market. However, if your market is narrow enough, you can provide products and services that will all appeal to that market, rather than needing a broad array of products and services, each of which will appeal to some portion of your market. You may discover a market that has never been served before, resulting in legions of fans eager to give you their business. Make sure that you do not narrow your focus so tightly that there is no one left in your market.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy



(Image: Morguefile)

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