Unique Selling Points? – Bah!
February 04, 2010
"What is my USP?"
If you have the dubious pleasure of following me on twitter and the even more dubious pleasure of actually reading my tweets, then you will know that occasionally I get on my soapbox with regard to the ubiquitous subject of unique selling points.
Lord help me, I have sat in enough seminars listening to speakers talking about the need for businesses to find their unique selling points. (Coward I am, I’ve always kept my mouth shut, preferring to find solace ranting through the printed word instead)
I’m reminded of a business owner that approached me many years ago. He had developed an online training package that he was convinced was unique. After rummaging around the Internet for 30 minutes, we discovered that not only was he not unique, a competitor was doing it better. He had deluded himself. I am comforted by these words from Joel Raphaelson that I feel gets to the heart of the subject. I appreciate that although he’s talking about advertising, the context can be broadened. Now, if you are offering something unique, that’s fantastic but what I’m trying to get at is don’t tie yourself in knots if you’re not:
“In the past, just about every advertiser has assumed that in order to sell his products he has to convince consumers that his product is superior to his competitors. This may not be necessary. It may be sufficient to convince consumers that your product is positively good. If the consumer feels certain that your product is good and feels uncertain about your competitors, he will buy yours. If you and your competitors all make excellent products, don’t try to imply that your product is better. Just say what’s good about your product -and do a clearer, more honest, more informative job of saying it.”