A Unique Selling Proposition and Convincing Guarantee

What makes you hire a car from a particular firm? Remember Avis’s we try harder and FedEx’s when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight? Each of these is a compellingly unique selling proposition that differentiates their brand and persuades consumers to use them above their competition, because of the convincing guarantee that they imply.

This is the process I follow as a business coach when helping my clients to develop their own unique selling propositions and guarantees in an imaginative, creative way.

  1. Think in terms of what your customers receive. Nobody is interested in buying quality and service because they have no intrinsic worth. But a car hire firm that tries harder and a shipper who guarantees deadlines – now that is something to talk about. So what makes you different from the firm that does the same thing as you across the street or down the road?
  2. How is the product or service that you sell unique in terms of customer benefits? How does it solve the problems, frustrations or challenges that your prospects face? A fridge is a fridge but one that auto-defrosts is more than just a fridge, it’s a lifestyle too. All golf coaches are the same, right? No they’re not. The unique selling proposition that guarantees to improve your swing (they all do that, by the way) is the one who gets the business.
  3. Identify a “pain point’ in your industry. Like sitting for hours in a doctor’s waiting room or having take-outs delivered hours late. Domino’s Pizza got it right when they promised pizza delivered in thirty minutes or it’s free. How’s that for a convincing guarantee? Think laterally, but be prepared to be held to your promise.
  4. Be specific and make sure you can back up your proposition when asked for proof. Advertisements are sometimes focused internally to inspire staff, but unique propositions are not. They describe what you are already doing, so what makes you special? How come you are still in business? It’s just not good enough when only you know why.
  5. Distill this all down into a single sentence or better still a short phrase. You must think in terms of output and every word must sell. This is where a business coach can be a useful ally. I have wrestled with paradigms like this before, and I offer independent input.

The job is not over though until you have integrated your unique selling proposition into all your business stationery and advertising materials and done a market launch as well. Convincing guarantees are two-edged swords when out there in the public eye. You’ve just created another role for yourself – you must monitor, monitor and monitor to make sure your firm is sticking to its promise.

Gardening Business – Developing Your Elevator Pitch and Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

There are two (2) concepts that you need to understand and embrace if you want to succeed in business. These concepts are your Elevator Pitch and your Unique Selling Proposition.

The Elevator Pitch is:

  1. a short and sweet summary of what you do and it is not really about trying to sell to someone. So instead of telling someone “I mow Lawns”, you might say “We turn our customers gardens into Landscape Showpieces”.
  2. a pitch for other people’s attention
  3. what you tell people if you were in an elevator and you only have 30 seconds (or 100 to 150 words) to impress them or to engage them
  4. a pitch for someone’s attention telling them what you do and hopefully they will be interested to ask you for more information. It is an introduction to what you do and in the process you create some intrigue and hopefully generate some enquiry from the listener

Your Unique Selling Proposition is:

  1. the reason (or the compelling Point Of Difference) your customers choose you over your competition
  2. the foundation of your advertising program – it is what you communicate to your market-place. It may be your slogan or tagline.
  3. the foundation of your professional image – Your image and brand are a result of devising your USP, and your image and brand is carried through to all your livery – clothing – uniforms, letterheads, business cards, magnetic stickers, motor vehicle signage, web sites, emails, flyers, brochures
  4. the first impression new customers and prospects have of you
  5. most probably more important to have than your Elevator Pitch

If you avoid or skip defining your own USP, you’ll struggle to grow your business.

Your Unique Selling Proposition is what you tell the market place through your Flyers, Leaflets, Website, Business cards, Brochures, Radio advertisements and so on. It helps to remind prospects and existing customers why you are different to your competitors. It is a summary of all the benefits (as opposed to all the features) you provide to your customers.

This Point of Difference (your USP) that you articulate may be something as insignificant as the location of your business, the way you carry out your service, or the speed of service delivery. So when you develop these concepts or slogans don’t say something like “We provide excellent service”, because anyone can say that. In other words there is NO point of difference here!!!

Famous examples of good Unique Selling Propositions include: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.”

Domino’s Pizza:

FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”

DeBeers’: “Diamonds are forever”

You can see why the Domino’s & FedEx slogans are so effective because they are very specific with their mentions of benefits & guarantees. These slogans or taglines are complete statements which can be verified by the customer and they don’t resort to marketing hype words like “ultimate”, “best”, “greatest”.

The “Advertising Age” voted the DeBeers’ “Diamonds are forever” the best advertising slogan in the 20th century. Also, DeBeers would have benefited nicely from the glamorous James Bond film and book with the same name.

In summary, with both the Elevator Pitch and your Unique Selling Proposition, you are communicating to prospects and customers how you take Prospects with a Problem or Pain to another place where there is Pleasure.

Entrepreneurs: How To Make Your Blog Unique

Thousands of businesses and millions of individuals have their own blog. These numbers increase every day. With so many blogs, how can you create a unique blog? Many are of the opinion that it simply isn’t possible. Some actually say there are no new ideas or even unique approaches to a topic. The one thing these two groups have in common is they are completely wrong. There will always be different perspectives and original ideas. The key is ensuring your blog reflects this.

Why Stand Out

If you, as an entrepreneur, use the same keywords and same designs as all your competitors, how can you expect to stand out from all the other entrepreneurs out there? Blogging is a great way to market your business, but only if you create a unique blog. This ensures your blog is the one searchers see first, the one they remember. It also ensures readers want to keep coming back to read your latest posts.

Create Niche Blogs

General topics are great, and since there are a plethora of general topics that exist, it is an easy way to come up with new topics for your blog. However, general has been done to death. Even with the most unique voice, your blog needs to focus around a niche topic. For instance, a blog on blogging tips may not do so well, but a blog focused on optimizing blog posts will do better. Start by thinking of at least five smaller topic areas for your blog, which relate to your business. Remember, you can always create more than one blog if necessary. Perform a search for those topics to see your competition. The one with the least competition is likely the winner. A niche blog provides more relevant, highly focused content making it more valuable and popular for readers.

Show Off Your Personality

Yes, your blog should be professional. No, it shouldn’t be boring. Your blog is the place to show off your personality. You’re an entrepreneur. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show in the words you write. Every person has their own unique style. Simply write your blogs as if you were giving a talk or just simply, talking to a client. Be relaxed and confident. Let your expertise and unique perspectives shine through.

Create A Killer Design

A reader notices two things about your blog to begin with – the name and the design. Create a catchy, yet descriptive name for your blog. Your business name is perfectly acceptable. Next, focus on creating a design and color scheme, which isn’t used by everyone else. If you use free templates, tweak them so they are unique. Not only should your blogging content stand out, but, the blog itself should be unique. Remember to keep your blog name and design congruent with your brand, while portraying the image of your business you want the world to see.

For more tips on marketing your entrepreneurial dream and how to create a unique blog, visit Elite Entrepreneur. Find out what you need, to take your business from an idea to a booming success.

3 Simple Steps For Coming Up With 100 Unique Business Ideas

In my last article I talked about how an idea is not going to make a business. I said what’s important is who is behind it, but you still need a business idea to start a business and the better product or idea you have the easier the process will be. Here are 3 steps you can take to easily come up with 100 business ideas in less than a year.

Step One:

Keep a file on your mobile phone named “business ideas.” If your phone does not have this capacity or you do not own a cell phone carry a small piece of paper and a pen around will you instead. What you must to is every single time any sort of business idea or product idea comes to your mind you instantly write it down in your phone with a simple sentence or two. Don’t worry about how wired of an idea it is or how stupid it may sound to you now just jot down the idea. The key to this step is that the best ideas usually arise when you are going through your daily lives. Ideas will strike you at the most interesting times when you are encountering daily problems and engaging in daily conversation. The one thing you cannot do is thinking the idea is undoable or unprofitable you must write it down anyway. As long as starting a new business is a focus for you ideas will keep coming to you during your daily life.

Step Two:

Next to your desk you must keep a notepad and it is best if the note pad can stay in view at all times (it might be best to put it on a wall you always see or next to your computer.) The reason for this is to keep you focused on your goal of coming up with new business possibilities. Label the top of these notepad business ideas. Once a week write the list you have created on your phone and list these down on your business idea note pad. It is very beneficial to keep this note pad in view and on your mind to remind you of your goal of coming up with quality business ideas.

Step Three:

This step takes the most commitment. Dedicate one hour of every week (you should usually do this after you transfer ideas from your phone to your note pad.) During this hour you must look at the ideas on your note pad and analyze them. See what the good aspects of them are and the bad ones. See if any of them can fit together in anyway or if the spark any new ideas and write any new ideas down. That should take no longer than 10 minutes.

After that, any idea on your note pad that seems reasonable in anyway should be put into a spiral notebook. Title this notebook “Business Ideas” and number the pages 1-100 or 1 to whatever number your trying to reach. For each business idea that isn’t completely ridiculous you need to write three short paragraphs. The first paragraph should be titled “Product” the second, “Market” and the third “Value.”

  • For the product paragraph simply give a brief explanation of the business model or product.
  •  In the market paragraph describe whom you will be selling this product to. You must be more specific than 18-24 year old males. It should be something similar to 18-24 year old male college students who go to the University of Oregon and golf recreationally. The more specific the better.
  • In the value paragraph you need to explain the value your customer will obtain by buying this product. If this is hard to come up with it probably isn’t a very good business idea because it has no real value for your customers.

Filling out the spiral notebook will take different amounts of time depending on how many entries you have that week, but each entry should not take more than 8-12 minutes to make. If it does you are spending too much time on it.

You should have some extra time after this (if not that’s OK and you have already added a lot of products to your notebook.) Spend the rest of the time analyzing the ideas on your notepad, revisit some old ones and come up with new ideas to add to the spiral notebook. You can also read some of your old product ideas to see if you can come up with some variations for new product ideas. Basically spend any extra time focused on thinking about new product ideas.

Once you have filled your notebook with business ideas you can look over all of them and pick the most promising and write full business plans for them. Not all of them will look very attractive, but you are bound to have a few that catch your eye as having some good potential or maybe even a few that you really have you motivated to get started.

The “100 Business Idea Journal” is a great way of coming up with some quality business ideas to get started with, but for it to work you must be serious about coming up with some quality product ideas. After a while you should start getting a few solid business ideas outlined every week and be getting closer to starting a business that you find really has some potential.

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