How to Create and Effective USP

A USP, or unique selling proposition, is a promise that delivers. Let’s break it down. U is for Unique or, like or being unlike anything else.

S is for Selling. That’s why you’re in business right, to sell? Selling is exchanging one value, like money, for something of greater value – what you do or provide for customers.

P is for Proposition. A proposition is a plan. So your company’s USP is expressing that it promises to do or provide something unlike anything or anyone else for the customer.

Here are a few examples: “The ultimate driving machine” (BMW), “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight” (Fedex), “Diamonds are forever…” (DeBeers) and “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand” (M&Ms)

So, where do you start? Simple, at the beginning!

UNIQUE

What’s unique about your company, product or service? Think of “est” words such as oldest, largest, fastest, tastiest and, sure, best.

What does that uniqueness represent for the customer? Time value? Savings value? Convenience Value? Dependability value?

Just make sure your uniqueness is actually unique. You know, unique as in hard to get, access or acquire anywhere else other than from you.

SELLING

What’s the value exchange? Are they paying more but satisfied more? Are they paying less but feel they’re getting more? What is it you are selling?

Speed, dependability or a guaranteed satisfaction? How about design? Apple products are popular not just because they good products but because they’re well-designed products.

How about convenience? How about tradition? Ambience, atmosphere or environment? How about culture?

Most of these things are intangibles. They are mostly based on feelings not features.

PROPOSITION

So, what’s the plan? What’s the promise?

The plan is that they become your customers and you promise to keep delivering the quality and value they prefer above all others. You now have a relationship with a loyal customer instead of just a non-descript transaction!

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Get out the old pad and pencil and start writing. List everything that’s unique about you, your company, product or service. Then make a list of all of the tangible (features such as extended hours, free shipping…) and intangible (things such as culture, environment or satisfaction) your proposition offers.

Now what’s the plan or promise? Will customers be happier, sexier, younger, healthier and so on, with you than with the competition’s brand or product?

String them all together into as many draft USPs as you can. Pick out the best.

So, take some time to think about what it is that most of your customers want and craft a proposition that promises you will deliver on that want or need.

An old Domino’s USP promised, “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.” Simple buzz words: fresh, hot, delivered, 30 minutes. Better yet, if they fail it’s on them – it’s free!

Go ahead, you can do it! Remember, a unique selling proposition is much more than just a slogan.

Need help. Call us. Let’s talk about it. We’re Spectrum Marketing Group and we’ll work with you to develop and match your promise to your customer the way they want to hear it!

Branding. Leave Your Mark

Ever wonder how hunters are able to follow their quarry? By following their trail. How do they know what they’re following?

It’s simple. The quarry leaves a mark. Many marks actually. Their called prints.

Branding is about making marks. The common dictionary definition calls it a process.

That’s a very powerful word. Process, when it comes to branding your business, involves creating a unique name and image for your business and your product if you manufacture one.

A process involves consistency. Customers like consistency. Think of how you felt when some of the brands you became familiar with since childhood either disappeared or were altered.

You need to use your brand, your mark, consistently in order to own and keep your position in the marketplace. Do you have a mark? A brand? A logo?

Does its design and application reflect as well as it should on your business or product to both loyal and potential customers?

If you don’t have a brand, mark or logo; it’s probably a good thing to consider having one created. Good logos are flexible and can be applied to different media and situations from business cards, to building and truck signs and, to packaging and uniforms.

You really do need to have a professional develop your new logo or help you to revive your current one. Remember, your name is your brand and, your brand determines whether you have a differentiated presence and position in your marketplace.

Need help. Call us. Let’s talk about it. We’re Spectrum Marketing Group and we’ll work with you to develop a name, symbol or design to identify your business properly!

How to Build and Maintain a Website that Works

Oh what a tangled web you can weave! Someone once said that time is money. Then again, money can buy you time.

Building a website will cost you. It’ll cost you time!

How much is your time worth? Do you know how much you’re worth per hour?

If you don’t know, this might be a good time to find out. Why?

Would you hire someone to work for you that charges more than they’re worth? Of course you wouldn’t!

So, why would you want to design and maintain your website? Let’s go back to the time factor.

WORDS

How well do you write? And, even if you do write well, most web visitors are looking for short and to the point text.

How long will it take to write the content for just your ABOUT page? And, then there’s the tabs that help to describe what you do to both visitors/prospective customers and visitors/customers. How about the CONTACT, HELP, FAQ, SERVICES, PRODUCTS or ORDERING pages?

How much time will that take you?

PICTURES

Whether you have the ability to take great photos and video it takes, umm, oh yeah, time!  There are the general photos of your location with interiors and exteriors, key personnel, products and anything else that supports your text, paints a picture of what you do or offer and describes exactly what visitors to your website are looking for.

As for video. Short, sweet and to the point. Just like your web text. The funny thing is, people don’t really read like they used to.

They actually scan looking for what meets their search criteria. So video is invaluable!

Let’s not forget the other visuals such as your logo, charts and graphs and the time it will take to gather everything before you get going on building your new website.

MONEY

Actually, money is just money. What we’re talking about here is cost. The cost of time. Yours. Or, a professional web developer.

Don’t assume anything. Websites are not as expensive to design, develop and launch as they once were.

Have you ever considered how much time you have to devote to your website once it’s live? It has to constantly be improved or added to or else visitors will get bored with it.

DIY

Sure, you can use one of those freebee do-it-yourself websites and save money. But, you won’t be saving time. Time, your time is not free.

The time you spend on your website is time you’re spending away from your business, your customers and your employees.  There’s so much more you have to consider.

Remember, building a website is so much more than just a creating a digital version of a brochure. It’s identifies you before anyone even drops by or calls your place of business. It communicates what you do, why you do it and who you’re doing it for.

Need help. Call us. Let’s talk about it. We’re Spectrum Marketing Group. We’ll give you an hour of our time to review what you expect from a website and how to design, develop and launch it.

Building and Maintaining a Website

Here’s a little secret: Your website will never be done!  Yes, even when you think it’s finished, it still won’t be done.

You see a website is like a garden. In order for a garden to be a garden, it needs to be cared for or else it will fail because of neglect or, just revert to the weeds.

There is no garden without a gardener. A website is the same thing!

Once upon a time, you needed to be a technical wizard to build and maintain your own website. Not so. Not anymore.

Now, you can build, develop and maintain your website on your own; in your spare time. Someone once said that time is money. Then again, money can buy you time. But, building a website will cost you time!

How much is your time worth just per hour? This might be a good time to find out.

If you want to design and maintain your website, it’s going to take you time. And, yeah, once again, time is money.

How much time can you afford to search for and gather all of the text and images you need for your website? And, even if you do write well, how long will it take to write the content?

Sure, you can use one of those freebee do-it-yourself websites and save money. But, the time you spend playing with your new website is time you’re spending away from your business, your customers and your employees.

There’s so much more you have to consider. Need help. Call us. Let’s talk about it. We’re Spectrum Marketing Group. We’ll give you an hour of our time to review what you expect from a website and how to design, develop and launch it.

How to Build Your Brand

A brand is something some businesses take very seriously while others don’t. Your name, your face your mannerisms are your personal brand.

People recognize your face and your name. They know you by your mannerisms; the way you speak, act and just by your posture.

A business’s brand is no different. The visual is the logo, the trademark or the brand. It’s all the same thing.

These things identify the business in as unique a way as possible. Your name identifies you as does the name of your business.

THE VISUAL

Let’s look at your logo, trademark or brand. You do have one, don’t you? What does it look like? Is it the best representation of what your business stands for or what it does? Is it appealing? And, is it used in the same manner consistently?

Imagine your signature. It should be as unique as you are. Now imagine not signing your name the same way every time. You would eventually have some issues with your bank because they couldn’t be sure of your true identity.

Your logo. Your brand has to be consistent and leave no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what it identifies and who it represents.

Take a good close, critical and analytical look at your business identity. Does it represent a successful company? Does it communicate what you are and what you do clearly to customers and prospects?

Perhaps it’s time to have your logo evaluated by a professional.

AUDIO

How does your business name sound? Is it easy to pronounce? Is it easy to remember? Does it match what you offer?

If you advertise on radio or use video, how your business name is pronounced is important. There’s a shoe store in town that’s been around a long time. It is a very successful business and yet, most of its clientele have never pronounced its name correctly.

This is very unusual. But in most cases, it works against a business. Sometimes as businesses become more popular and successful, their clients shorten their names for convenience. McD’s, UPS (United Parcel Service), or IMB (International Business Machine and of course, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) when that happens, you have to go with the flow as Fed Ex (Federal Express) did.

Your logo will also have to evolve with the audio nature of your name at some point. But, how about your name, right here and right now?

Does it work for you or against you? Is it time to reconsider? What are the alternatives.

MANNERISIMS

How does your company act? Is it out in the public eye or hidden away? Is it a serious or a fun company? Does all of its marketing and advertising support the image of this company? A logo says who you are.

Your identity is who your customers and prospects believe you are or represent. That identity comes from all of the evidence you’ve released into the marketplace from your building signage, the look and signage on your vehicles and uniforms and so much more.

Go ahead, you can do it! Take a good hard look at your existing logo. Is that who you are Is that what you want to be?

What if you don’t have a logo? Well, today is a good day to start designing one. Your logo is a symbol of your name.

Remember, branding is so much more than just a logo. It’s an identity. Its communicating what you do, why you do it and who you’re doing it for.

Need help. Call us. Let’s talk about it. We’re Spectrum Marketing Group and we’ll work with you to develop and match your brand to a consistent branding program and helps customers identify you easily and continually identify with you!

USP – A Promise That Delivers!

What’s the one thing that you promise to your customers? What is it that they want the most? Do they match?

If you owned a lumberyard, could you say you have the best 2 x 4s by far? Why not? Tradesmen and do-it-yourselfers like to go through the 2 x 4s to find the straightest ones.

Knowing that, and knowing how much time they invest in looking for the straight lengths, you could assure them that your 2 x 4s are the best. You could offer them a USP; a Unique Selling Proposition.

How would it sound? Or, how should it sound to the tradesmen and do-it-yourselfer? If you promised, “Straight Wood at a Straight Price” would it be unique as compared to what your competitors are promising?

Would it be a selling proposition? In other words, would your promise stimulate sales? Would your tradesmen and do-it-yourselfer customers appreciate your Unique Selling Proposition?

We’re not in the lumber business. This is just a simple example.

But, if you’ve ever bought 2 x 4s, would a promise like this get you to consider the lumberyard that is making the promise?  That’s the whole point of this article.

So, take some time to think about what it is that most of your customers want and craft a proposition that promises you will deliver on that want or need. Remember, a unique selling proposition is much more than just a slogan.

Need help. Call us. Let’s talk about it. We’re Spectrum Marketing Group and we’ll work with you to develop and match your promise to your customer the way they want to hear it!