Why are there toilet paper advertisements?
What about food commercials?
Or toothpaste commercials?
Or sales pages for soap?
Think about it: we are all buying and (hopefully) using this stuff, so why do the sellers of these products feel the need to market them to us?
On the surface, the answer is obvious. When it comes to the essential products like, food, shelter, water, and hygiene products. Marketers for the companies selling these products don’t need to convince us to eat, drink, or sanitize, but they do need to convince us that their product is the best contender for the job.
Think about that.
Toilet paper companies don’t need to convince people that using toilet paper is a good idea. Most of us have already figured that part out. They do, however, need to convince us that their toilet paper is the most soft, durable, economic, or whatever else is special about it so we should choose it instead of another brand.
Marketing isn’t about convincing people to buy your type of product, is about showing people why your product is better (or different) from the other options.
Toothpaste commercials aren’t out to convince you that you should brush your teeth twice a day. They exist to let you know that their brand is the most dentist-recommended, or will give you a whiter smile after 3 weeks, or will leave your breath smelling minty-fresh all day long.
Car commercials aren’t out to convince people that driving is a convenient way to travel from point A to point B, but rather, that their particular brand of car will make your traveling more enjoyable, luxurious, or that you’ll look damn sexy behind the wheel of their latest hunk of metal and machinery.
Same goes for food commercials. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for food letting people know that eating really is the cat’s pajamas? Obviously, restaurants and grocery stores tend to take a different angle when appealing to their audiences.
It’s all about the USP, baby.
USP = Unique Selling Proposition.
instead of trying to convince your potential buyers to buy jewelry, candles, clothing, information products, or whatever it is you make, you’d be better off letting them know why they should be buying from you. That’s where your USP comes it.
Now sure what your USP is? Let’s figure it out right here and right now. It’s too important and vital to your business’ success to go left ignored any longer.
What is is about your product, company, customers service, and/or shipping that is better or different than the rest of the people selling the same type of thing? Maybe there are several things that you can think of, so let’s list them out now.
Think of at least 5 things that make you different and set you apart.
For example, if your items are handmade, then that’s a start. Being handmade sets you apart from the mass manufactured goods sold at most big-box stores, narrowing your competition down significantly. However, you’ll want to go further than that. There are so many handmade sellers now, that simply being handmade isn’t enough to convince people why they should buy your products over the rest that are out there. So let’s brainstorm a few more ideas, so you can get your list of at least 5 unique things…
If your items can be personalized or custom-made, that’s another significant unique selling proposition.
How quickly you can ship your items after they are ordered could be another.
If you use unusual or selective materials in your products could be another.
How unique your designs are counts too. Or even the process you go about coming up with those designs. (Do they all come from dreams? Are they all inspired by music?)
Your customer service counts as another, especially if you offer a generous return policy or make sure you get back to customer questions ASAP.
How your business gives back can be another. For example, Andrea Ayers of Soaps to Live By has a tree planted for every bar of soap that she sells. Talk about a press-friendly USP!
Who your products are made for counts too. Necklaces for hard-core metal-heads are going to stand out against modern, fine jewelry for career executives.
Your packaging could be another USP. Maybe you only ship with eco-friendly packaging, or you include elaborate gift boxes, pre-wrapped for any special occasion. What if every product you sent came with a unique poem, written especially for that customer? There are lots of options here.
YOU could also be your USP. If your brand is more personality-based, meaning your are the face of your company, and your business focuses more on you than the actual products themselves, than what makes you different is what will attract your new fans, followers, and customers.
Now, after you’ve thought of your 5+ USPs, think about the ones that you want to focus on. You can have more than 1 USP, or you can have only 1 (if it’s unique and significant enough).
In order to get more sales, fans, and followers, you’ll want to remind your audience about those USPs as often as possible.
Stop convincing people why they should wear gloves, and explain to them why they should wear YOUR gloves.
Don’t just tell people jewelry is awesome, show them how YOUR jewelry can transform an outfit from “meh” to “WOW!”
Include your USPs in your blog posts, social media updates, product descriptions, and sales pages.
USPs make the competition irrelevant. When people are attracted to what your USP communicates, they’re going to take up you offer no matter what else is out there.
What USPs have you come up with for your business? Share them in the comments below!