May 30, 2014

Your Product May Be Delicious – But What Makes It Unique?

differentThe other day my husband and I were talking about his business and the new redesign of his firm’s site and we got talking about how much personality should they be showing in their web profiles.   Then I opened my mouth and said something like “You guys need to show personality, you’re basically a specialized commodity!”  Then there was an awkward pause…

What my husband does is actually very specialized and highly regulated so it’s certainly not something that anyone off the street can start doing.  However, what I meant by my comment was that his firm, like all of ours, has competitors and in order to be successful you have to make sure your customers understand what makes you unique and different.  In my husband’s case, being that it’s a services business, a large part of what people are hiring is the ‘person’ who can execute the project and they want someone they feel is competent (something all other firms ascribe to be), intelligent (again, something all other firms are), and someone they get along with (that’s the clinker – because not everyone gets along with everyone else!).

For food entrepreneurs, who are selling a product and less the person behind the product (though it’s always important – check out the related articles for more information about how and why to share your personal story with customers), the focus needs to be on what makes your product different and unique from all the other competitive products out there.

The Unique Selling Point is the top reason why your target market, based on what you know about them, will purchase from you over a competitor.  This one sentence should highlight what makes your products different based on the needs and desires that are important to your target audience.

One of the most frequently used examples of a great Unique Selling Point is FedEx’s which essentially states “When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight.”  Given that FedEx’s target customers are businesses, their Unique Selling Point is a promise to their consumers that the important documents will arrive on time.  To that target market the guaranteed on-time delivery is paramount – even more important than cost – and it’s something that competitors,like the United States Postal Services, can’t promise.

So, as you look at what you know about your competitors and your target market and your own product, what is your Unique Selling Point?  Your Unique Selling Point should, perhaps after several rewrites, be a concise statement no longer than a sentence as you want it to be something you can easily convey in advertising and in conversations with consumers, and – one day – perhaps even investors.

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