Most businesses in almost every industry face a crisis. There is too much noise. Too much competition. And buyers are not using the traditional methods of making purchasing decisions. The ones that are surviving this scenario and becoming successful and gaining market share are the ones that have a clearly defined USP (unique selling proposition).
If you do not have an USP, you may as well just give up because sooner or later your business will struggle, shrivel up and ultimately die! Being average is not an option any more. You may be plodding through and doing OK at the moment. But OK can turn into disaster in no time at all.
So, how do you cut through the noise in the market place and attract the attention of your target market? How do you then retain that attention, build the trust and then empower your audience to become your customers?
Tell a beautiful story
You can start with creating a set of core values and a compelling brand story. These in turn will help you craft your unique selling proposition. Gone are the days when the USP had to be truly unique. Right now, your USP is all about how you tell your brand story. Why is that? Because every one seems to have claim their service or product is better, bigger, cheaper etc. The only way to really make your USP stand out is by telling the right kind of story.
Begin by asking yourself why your customers should buy from you. If you do not have the differentiating factor, is it not fair that they buy elsewhere? So, should you then just give up? Of course not. You would have to find that differentiating factor and then craft a beautiful story to communicate the difference to your audience.
Build a buyer persona
But before you craft a story, you need to understand who your buyers are. To help you get a clear understand you must dig deep and create buyer profiles or personas. This is inbound marketing 101. A buyer persona helps you understand the needs of your buyer. Stop thinking about what you or your business wants. It is critical to start thinking about what your buyer wants.
Building a buyer persona is not that difficult. Take a look at your existing customer base and try and identify the ideal customers. Then, if possible, either email them with a set of questions to help you understand them or schedule a phone call. The questions you ask should help you understand the world view of this kind of customer. Remember that you would usually have more than one type of buyer persona so look deep.
Look for the pain points
Once you understand your buyer personas, look for their pain points. Check to see how your service/product aligns with solving these pain points. Fine tune your offering as required. Compare this with how the others are addressing the pain points and how they are crafting their offerings and how they are communicating this to their audience. Coming up with a solution to the problems that your buyers have is just the beginning of your service or product. But creating value in that solution that goes beyond what the average competitor is offering is the key.
Make a promise
Clearly define your brand promise to your customers and think of ways to ensure you keep that promise. If the brand story you tell promises a certain element, then you must ensure that it is delivered 100% of the time. There should be no exceptions. No short cuts.
Most often brand crises occur because brands do not keep their promises. They tend to forget the promise in the race to make profits. They take risks which ultimately lead to disasters.
What does your business stand for?
Finally, think about this question. This goes beyond just providing a service or product and making money. This is about how your company or your service or product would make a difference in the lives of your customers and the world at large. It is about intangible benefits. It is about the legacy your brand would leave behind. This could very well be your core values or your mission statement. Or it could simply be a promise your brand makes to itself.
Business that stand for something thrive and benefit this world. Those that just stand for making profits usually do not enjoy the same fate. Where does your brand stand? Where do you stand?