Category Archives: marketing and branding

what is usp in business

You Down With USP? Know Your Business ‘Unique Selling Proposition’

What is a USP in business / marketing? Your business, products, and services, are unique. Yes, there might be a bunch of other companies doing something similar, but YOU make your business unique.

If you ask a customer if they want to buy what you’re selling, how do you get them to jump up and shout, “yeah, you know me!” 

The answer lies in your business’s “USP,” but what exactly does USP stand for, and what is it? Here’s an explanation with some lyrical assistance from 90’s rap group, Naughty By Nature.

What Does “USP” Stand for, and What Is It?

“(USP), how can I explain it, I’ll take it frame by frame it, to have ya’ll jumping, shouting, saying it…” 

This is where USP, or Unique Selling Proposition, comes in. USP is what you, the seller, gives as the reason why your product or service is better than the competition.

It’s the heart of your brand, and what makes you special. Otherwise, you’re just a commodity; like one of those generic cans of beans that people ignore at the supermarket.

So, what makes YOUR business different? What do you have that’s unique and special? Once you determine the answers to these questions, you have your USP.

If this is a new concept for you, take a look at some successful and well-loved brands.

What does Apple have that Microsoft doesn’t? Why does Google kill Yahoo? Why do people wait in line at Starbucks when there’s an empty coffee place across the street? Even though everyone hates taxes, why do they flock to buy TurboTax in April?  

Analyze their marketing and branding for what they are really saying to the customer. You have to look deeper than the product and into what they SAY they are selling. It’s about more than the goods or work done, and about how these businesses set themselves apart from the rest.

down usp unique selling proposal

Choose one of “The Four P’s”

“Exciting isn’t it, a special kinda’ business…”

The four P’s of marketing are: Price, Product, Promotion, Place. When crafting your USP, use one of these four areas to center your idea around.

Is your price unique enough to market? Does your product have qualities that shame the competition? Determining which “P” to use is up to you and where your brainstorming takes you. Make sure this USP shines through in every marketing effort, and even your business cards.

Creating & Defining Your USP

“How many brothers out there know just what I’m gettin’ at?”

Remember why you’re in business. Why did you create your product?  Why did you set out to provide the services you do?

Imagine the enthusiasm you had when you first described the idea for your business to a friend. That’s exciting, and that’s your USP.

The good news is that you must be doing something right if you have customers, so why did they choose you over a competitor?

It could be your customer service, because you make every customer feel valued. It could be the  unique location of your store, or where you sell your products. There are things that mark your business as unique and discovering them is the key to a great USP.

tobacco company branding

Most cigarette companies had USP’s to die for

“Now when you do it, do it well and make sure that it counts…”

Besides having an exceptional business and a USP, you also have to effectively market it. Take cigarettes for example. Unless you live under a rock in Siberia, you know how awful they are for you.

They will literally kill you, and it even says so on the packaging, yet people still buy them. New smokers are added to the ranks everyday, and most of them are quite passionate about a single brand.

How are these companies able to get past the plethora of negative advertising?  Tobacco companies have well-defined USP’s, and a little help from highly-addictive chemicals. They also know how and exactly who to effectively market their products to.

Hopefully your product or business isn’t hazardous to anyone’s health, so it should be easier for you to define and market your USP.

So, Is your business down with USP?

“Now don’t be shocked, cause if you’re down I want your hands up high…”

Imagine yourself as the customer. Why would you look at a whole shelf of competitors and choose your brand?

What makes you worth more than the “generic” equivalent?

By taking the time to truly step back and see each part of your business with an unbiased eye, you’ll be on the right track to a develop and market your unique selling proposition.

So, are YOU down with USP!? (Yeah, you know me!)

*Lyrics from “O.P.P.” – Naughty By Nature

Want to Build a Personal Brand? 12 Tips for Using Social Media

Social media is key to building a personal brand! Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram each have their own strengths, so don’t just push out the same content on each one. Social media is a vast, intimidating landscape, so make sure you have a strategy before you start trying to build your personal brand.

This 6 minute video provides some helpful tips for building a brand on Facebook, Instagram Stories, SnapChat. Hopefully get the gears turning in your mind, and will help you think of a strategy to start building your personal brand online.

The video itself was shot on an iPhone, proving that you already have the resources you need to get started!

Social Media: How to Build Your Personal Brand (Video)

Tips for Personal Branding on Social Media: Using Facebook, Instagram Stories, & Snapchat

When building a brand, make sure it’s around something you love, and really care about. When you are pushing out content on a daily basis, you should be passionate about it!

For this video, they use the example of a personal trainer using social media to build a brand, but there are dozens of fields and industry niches where the same tips are just as valuable.

  1. Have a good-looking website with sharp photos and a good bio (consider squarespace). WordPress is a great, flexible way to go if you have a little knowledge of blogging. You can find hosting for as little as $5 per month from sites like GoDaddy.
  2. Produce relevant content to establish yourself in your industry or field.
  3. Videos are a great way to do this. In this case video relevant reviews and content on youtube and Instagram Stories can attract an audience. on running shoes, recommended exercises, etc.
  4. Make sure that your video seo-friendly topics and phrases are easily searchable, like “the best way to do a pull-up”. These phrases are important for when you do a blog post about it later
  5. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have very different user-experience, so don’t push the same content to each one. Your audience might be turned off if you do!
  6. Think of Facebook as a way for people to discover you. This is a place for viral videos and engaging articles
  7. Don’t push the same content to Instagram, as the user experience is very different
  8. Use hashtags on Instagram. Consider adding relevant hashtags (include popular hashtags) as a seperate comment on Instagram to keep your photos looking clean (you can use up to 30!)
  9. For good-looking photos, consider photo-editing apps like Snapseed. You should consider adding text to your photos with WordSwag to create memes
  10. Create a fan page or business page on Facebook for your personal brand.
  11. Your brand should feel accessible. Snapchat and Instagram Stories are a candid way talk to your audience. Use them to show your day-to-day activities, workouts, etc. Snapchat and Instagram Stories are a great way for personal interaction with your audience.

Building a Personal brand? Don’t drown in the social media ocean!

social media fishThe social media landscape can be overwhelming, so make sure you have a strategy before you get started. Envision how you can use social media sites together to effectively promote your personal brand without duplicating content.

After you have an established website, consider getting started on just one social media site, so you don’t spread yourself too thin!

When you are ready, remember that “low-tech” marketing tools like business cards are still relevant in the 21st Century, and should include a link to your website or Facebook page.

We can help you save money with coupons for companies like Vistaprint. You don’t need to spend much, as they now offer 500 business cards for only $10!

Good luck!