Stand Out from Your Competition

How a Unique Selling Proposition Can Attract More Business

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Stand Out From the Crowd. Nicolas Loran | Getty Images

Rhonda Byrne took the world by storm when she released her video The Secret, which promised to share the long-kept secrets to joy, health, wealth and relationships. Oprah devoted two shows to the book and the secrets of success, resulting in the sales of millions of videos and books.

However, there is no secret in The Secret. Anyone who read books by Napoleon Hill, Wallace D. Wattles, Joe Vitale or Jack Canfield already knew the principles shared in The Secret.

So why did the video and book do so well when the information wasn't a secret or even new? Byrne had a unique selling proposition or USP. She repackaged and marketed the concepts contained in the law of attraction so that it appeared she was revealing a conspiracy by history's leaders to keep the secrets hidden from the world. Who doesn't want to discover hidden secrets that will make their lives better?

Every day you have dozens of brands to choose from when you're making purchases. There is something unique about the brand you select that makes you choose it over something else. That is the power of a business using a USP.

When it comes to profiting in your home business, you need to develop a uniqueness that sets you apart from your competition. You don't need to be the fastest, cheapest or best. You just need to stand out in a way that attracts your market.

What is a USP and How to Create One

A USP is a short statement that identifies all the great things about your business.

It should contain:

1. Customer benefits Customers don't care about how great you or your product or service is. They only care about how your business will help them. Many businesses focus too much on features (what makes them great) and not enough time on the benefits (results given to consumers). If you're stuck on features vs benefits, make a list of great the things about your business (features) and translate them into solutions for your customer.

 If you sell weight loss items, the features might be ease of use or safety, but the benefits are that customers will look sexy, feel great and improve their health. 

2. Uniqueness What makes you different from all the others that provide the same or similar product or service? Uniqueness can come in many forms. It can be related to quality or speed of service. For example, the difference between full-serve and self-service. It can be your price, which doesn't necessarily mean cheaper. Instead, you might have a different pricing structure. You can get ideas on how you're different or how you can make your business different by checking out your competition. What are they doing that you can do differently? 

When creating your USP, keep your customers in the forefront of your mind. Who are they and what do they need? Many people need a car, but the person who buys a Prius is different from the person who buys a Suburban. A car salesman's USP needs to take that into consideration.

Further, you need to focus on the benefits your product or service provides for your customer. Being faster and better doesn't mean anything to consumers, whereas same-day service (faster) and a guarantee (better or your money back) do.

For example, you can order pizza anywhere, but Domino's is "Delivered fresh, hot and tasty in 30 minutes or less -- or it's free." Fast food restaurants are a dime a dozen, but at Burger King you can "Have it your way." Odds are people can get your product or service somewhere else, but they can only get your USP with you.

Sometimes finding your uniqueness is a challenge. This is especially true for people in direct sales businesses. Neighborhoods are littered with reps selling the same items from the same company for the same price. Even so, you can create a USP as a direct sales consultant by offering something the other consultants don't whether it's a higher level of service, a rewards program for regular customers or other perks.

This is true of any business in which you have competition.

The USP is a crucial piece of your market plan. It defines you in a way that is simple to convey and easy for your market to understand what you offer, and more importantly, how your offer can benefit it.