It can be challenging to zero in on exactly what makes your business stand out from the competition-your unique selling point. When you identify the attributes that either make you unique or give you a competitive advantage these attributes become the main focus of your company marketing messages.

How can you determine what your USP or competitive advantage is? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What need is my product or service filling?
    Stop and really think about what need you are filling. This can be challenging if you have a service-based business in particular. When we use a lawn care company as an example one might suggest that the need being filled is simply cutting long lawns. While that might be the mechanical function performed by your service, why are you really hired? Are you providing services to save time for busy people? Are you providing a neater or more effective job than a homeowner could do? Are you supporting the image of a particular business by maintaining their landscape in a certain manner? What needs are you really meeting with your business? If you can answer this it helps you determine the “What’s in it for me?” question your potential customers have.
  2. What are you doing better than your competitors?
    Perhaps this one might be hard to answer on your own if you don’t have much competitive knowledge. Ask clients, neighbors, friends, and associates for input here if you really don’t know. Are you less expensive? More prompt? Have specific past experience or specialization? Are you the first? The best in some way?
  3. What can’t your competitors imitate?
    Do you have a significant experience in your past that helps you provide superior results now? Do you have access to proprietary equipment or systems that others don’t or can’t access? Is your location ideal to customers? What advantage do you have currently have over the competition that can’t easily be duplicated or imitated by your competitors?

If you’ve thought through these questions you should have a list of ideas about your unique selling points. If you aren’t sure, talk this through with employees, family, friends, and business alliances. Once you have determined your top Unique Selling Points (USPs), you have the basis for an effective marketing message.