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Stand Out in the Marketplace Like the North Star

See how you can dominate the marketplace easily


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Nick Chai

a year ago | 5 min read

Harsh facts: 90% of businesses fail because they cannot compete!

And yet, so many new businesses try to compete with the same old ways. They cut prices and offer free stuff in hopes of getting sales. That works.

But to really make it to the top 10%, you’ll need more than just freebies and discounts.

Times have changed. Competition in today’s market is more than just having quality products or services. It’s also about having something unique and special which sets your business apart from the rest.

If you want to succeed, you have to know how to capture and hold attention at will. Because attention is the new currency, especially for online businesses.

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A unique selling proposition is something that sits in between what the market wants and what only you can provide as a business. In simple terms, it’s an offer that people can’t find anywhere else.

It’s different than a great product or service. A great product or service is something everyone needs. Everybody gets that. What separates a great unique selling proposition from a good one is the “need” part. It is the extra something that you provide that makes your offer special and exclusive.

The thing that ‘pops’ in your business

Forget about finding what’s unique. Whatever you’re selling, there could be thousands of people already selling it. Most businesses aren’t unique anymore.

But there’s something in your business that is uniquely yours — your offer.

How you present your offer will determine how unique is your business. For example, Dominos. They have the guts to offer you something no pizza companies would even dare to offer. They’ll deliver your pizza hot to your door in 30 minutes or it’s free. That’s unique.

In other words, your USP is related to your offer. The harder it is to find your offer in other places, the more unique it becomes. That’s why competitor research is crucial when it comes to crafting a solid USP.

How to really stand out

USP ideas can be generated in many ways. You can pay someone to do it for you. Or you could do it yourself. Either way, you shouldn’t skip this step. It’s the determining factor of marketing success for your business.

Let’s talk about the two key components of a USP: the benefit and the need.

These two components are based on how well you know your target customers. And that information will guide your offer creation. Remember, it’s all about the customers.

The overriding benefit attracts and keeps attention. People pay attention to what will benefit them in some shape or form. In copywriting, we call this the “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me) frequency. When you tune into this frequency in all of your marketing, you’re like a magnet.

People will just look at you as if you have the cure to cancer. The “WIIFM” frequency is the universal buying language. Consumers buy so they can enjoy what the product or service brings to their lives. That’s all they care about. The benefits.

Next, it’s the need for your offer. The need or demand for your offer comes right after your customers see the benefit you bring to the table. There’s a catch, however. Your offer must be able to fulfill that need. And it has to be unique.

The product or service can be average (not crappy, there’s a difference here). Because the focus here is the solution that ONLY you can provide. That’s what you need to communicate to your prospects to convert them into customers.

The demand for your offer comes up when there’s scarcity and urgency involved. Here’s some inspiration to generate some USP ideas:

  • Spy on your competitors and figure out what you can do differently
  • Go through forums, blogs, and groups where your target customers hang out
  • Be a customer of your competitors to do deeper research
  • Study competitors’ websites, social media profiles, and marketing strategies
  • Subscribe to relevant email newsletters that sell similar product or service
  • Visit your competitors’ physical locations if available
  • Sign up to market and competitor research tools to accelerate your progress

Presenting your uniqueness to the market

A lot of businesses I worked with have had weak and vague USPs. That explained why sales were stagnant. People simply can’t see the value in their solution. Their USPs were too generalized.

I’m going to give you templates you can use to write compelling USPs for your business. But before that, you’ll have to double down on your target customer profile first. This is important. Without a dedicated customer profile, you won’t know what to say to attract your customers.

Digging into their motivations, their fears, their likes and dislikes can be helpful in strategizing your marketing to get the highest possible return. You shouldn’t be throwing pasta onto the wall and see which one sticks. That’s a waste of your marketing budget. You should be going to war prepared. You know what I mean.

So I’ll be assuming you did your homework and proceed with the templates.

The “bold promises” method

The ballsy-ness of this method makes it super effective. It’ll skyrocket your sales if you do it correctly. Always back up your promises with lots of testimonials and reviews.

Template: (bold promise) + (unique benefit)

Examples:

  • You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free (Dominos)
  • The world’s strongest coffee! Coffee that naturally brews double the strength of the average cup (Death Wish Coffee)
  • America’s most popular meal kit. Now offering the most recipe variety and meals starting at $7.49 (Hello Fresh)

The “we help” method

This method is made for businesses that provide services. It’s easy to understand and simple to execute. No complicated copywriting is needed.

Template: “We help (your target customers) + (unique benefits)”

Examples:

  • We help nerds, misfits and mutants lose weight, get strong and get healthy permanently! (Nerd Fitness)
  • We help e-commerce business owners make commercial videos that sell
  • We help freelancers and service providers get clients consistently with $0 advertising

The “catchy and punchy” method

People tend to remember catchy slogans much longer. The secret to this method is to show it to your target customers as many times as possible. They’ll remember you long enough to buy from you.

Template: (unique feature) + (what’s in it for your customers)

Examples:

  • The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand (M&Ms)
  • When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight (FedEx Corporation)
  • Don’t just fly, fly better (Emirates)

The “detailed and specific” method

Details aren’t boring. Not for the right pair of eyes. This method is specifically for niched and professional businesses such as law firms, medical services, engineering, etc.

Template: (unique features or benefits) + (specific results)

Examples:

  • The teeth of your dreams within 3 years (Max!)
  • We know the law better than we know ourselves. We can help you win the “court battle”
  • Want a fancier building? You plan. We build.

The “who is it for” method

Callouts are magnetic, especially for product-based businesses. You can never go wrong with this method. Provided you know who you’re marketing to.

Template: “For (your target customers) who (specific results)”

Examples:

  • For Instagram influencers who want to sound clearer and better in their video content
  • For freelancers who are looking for a cozy place to work
  • For Uber drivers who want to keep their hands on the wheel while taking customer calls

Conclusion

You have to stand out in your market. That’s the only to have a fighting chance in sustaining and thriving. Figuring out your USP will take time, but it’s the determining factor of having a successful business in the long run. So double down on your USP. And take your business to the next level.

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Created by

Nick Chai

Freelance Conversion Copywriter

Your sales message is the fundamental key to marketing success. I'm writing to share everything I know about neuromarketing so you can apply what works to get more leads and sales. Follow me for more content on persuasion and marketing.


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