The Secret Weapon to Outpace Your Competition

Today’s guest post is from Kim Timothy, graphic designer and branding expert at Boutique By Design. Kim is the designer of the Earn What You Deserve as a Mumpreneur logo, so I can recommend her personally, too! Over to you, Kim…

You have a business. You’ve worked hard to build your dream and now success is becoming a blissful reality. Problem is, the world is full of insanely talented, passionate and creative people who have sought out the exact same reality. They are your competitors and, quite frankly, they suck. But before you become discouraged and give up hope, I present the ultimate secret weapon in the form of three very powerful little words…Unique Selling Point.

A unique selling point (USP for short) is something that sets your business apart from your competition. It defines a special, memorable and exclusive offering unique only to your business. It also provides a solid reason for customers to continually choose your business over your competitors. USPs are always expressed as a single clear and concise sentence that summarizes the essence of your business and serve as the theme of your marketing.

Lets Define Your Unique Selling Point

What makes you more unique, more valuable, and more visible within your target market? Defining these unique aspects into one clear and concise message will bring your business the success it deserves. So let’s define your USP…

Step 1: Define Your Best Benefits

What does your business do for its customers and what do they desire most from your product or service? Your USP needs to define and explain the benefits of your business and how your customer will find value in them. Hint, your customer will automatically expect the best possible service, quality and price so while they may be part of your USP, they should never be the soul promise.

What are your top five benefits to offer?

Step 2: Define Your Target Market

People want to buy your products and services. Your UPS must speak to these people. Here are some ways to define your target market:

  • Look at those who are buying your products and services. What is their: gender, age, dollar amount spent, and purchase? Create an excel spreadsheet, handwritten log or digital file that outlines your findings. Then review it every time you begin marketing.  What are the common findings?
  • Ask for testimonials from clients. What are the common compliments, comments, or complaints? These also help to paint a picture of customer expectations.
  • Use data collected by various online platforms. Facebook provides a free service called “insights” for every business page. Review the findings in these “insights” to see just who is reviewing and interacting with your business.
  • Google Analytics is another free service that will offer valuable findings about your target market.

Who is your target market?

Step 3: Unique is the Key

Your USP not only separates you from your competition it defines you as the most logical choice over your competition as well. The first step is to look at your direct competition and note what and how they are selling their products and services. Once you understand their directive you can then define your own in an entirely unique manner. You may choose to focus on your product, your offering or your guarantee. For example:

Product: “Our environmentally conscious, up-cycled clothing allow you to feel good while looking good.”

Offer: “Learn how to make up-cycled clothing in less than 30 minutes without any sewing experience”

Guarantee: “If you don’t love our up-cycled clothing e-book, we’ll refund your money.”

What is your competitor’s USP?

How is and what makes your business unique?

What focus is most advantage for your business – product, offering or guarantee?

Step 4: Find Clarity

Successful USPs are those that are clearly defined, understood and written. They are expressed as a single sentence that summarizes the essence of your business and serve as the theme for your marketing. Define yours by reviewing your research from the above steps and molding them into a clear and concise sentence.

Define your ideas and sculpt your clear concise sentence.

Step 5: Promises. Promises.

Your USP will have guarantees that entice and encourage your customers to be or remain loyal to your business. It will be critical that this promise is kept at all times. Your reputation and success relies on it.

Need a Little USP Inspiration?

Here are some very famous and incredible USPs that have brought colossal rewards to the businesses that defined them:

Global Brand Examples:

  • M&Ms ~ “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
  • Subway ~ “Subs with under 6 grams of fat.”
  • Hallmark ~ “When you care enough to send the very best.”
  • Fosters ~ “Australian For Beer”
  • Domino’s Pizza ~ “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.”
  • Fedex ~ “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”
  • Nike ~ “just do it”
  • Gillette ~ “The best a man can get”
  • Michael Jackson ~ “The King of Pop”
  • DeBeers ~ “Diamonds are forever…”
  • BMW ~ “The ultimate driving machine”
  • Barnum and Bailey Circus ~ “The Greatest Show on Earth”
  • British Airways ~ “The World’s Favorite Airline”

Small Business Examples I Love:

  • Olivier Blanchard ~ “Pray that I never become your competitors secret weapon.”
  • Oh My Handmade Goodness ~ “Where creative business and handmade goodness hang out”
  • Build A Little Biz ~ “Be awesome. Do what you love. Kick ass”
  • The Mogul Mom ~ “For moms running a business, raising a family and rocking both.”
  • The Joy of Marketing ~ “Marketing Caffeine for your Small Business”
  • Social Mouths ~ “I help people be successful online”

Heres Mine:

  • Boutique By Design ~ “Graphic Design for Print & Web. Its your product, flaunt it!”

In conclusion I encourage you to embrace your blissful reality and continue to build your dream because YOU are insanely talented, passionate and creative. Now that you understand what makes your business unique from your competitors and have translated that knowledge into a killer USP, you will begin to see the results. Just remember to remain consistent and always deliver on your promise. Your customers will thank you in the form of their loyalty and your business will thank you with unimaginable success. Oh! And when that moment occurs, I believe it would be acceptable to chant “nah, na-nah, nah, nah” to your competition.

Kim Timothy is a graphic designer (print and web) and branding expert at Boutique By Design. You can read her rather fabulous blog and sign up for her newsletter here – Boutique by Design

Photo credit: Image: Master isolated images /

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