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Monday, February 14, 2011

Unique Selling Proposition and Positioning

Now that we have identified our competitors and their strengths and weaknesses, it is necessary for us to determine how we are going to be different. The value proposition that we are going to "hang our hat on" and be different is called our unique selling proposition.

Differentiating Factors

There are several ways we can differentiate ourselves from the competition. They are as follows:

Price
Quality
Service
Location
Filling a special niche
Flexibility and adaptability
Consumer orientation
Reputation and Image
Personnel
 

Cultural identity
Warranty
Financing
Product range
Convenience
Accessibility
Reliability
Consistency
Perceived value
 

Positioning for USP

When we determine which characteristic or attribute to use to differentiate ourselves from the competition, we are positioning ourselves against them. These attributes can be called "benefits" to the consumer. How does the consumer benefit when he buys our product? We are advised by those who have studied markets to promote only one differentiating factor or benefit which will be our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and to stick to it. For example, Crest toothpaste consistently promotes its anticavity protection, and Mercedes promotes its great automotive engineering. The reason to keep to only one USP is because the consumer will only remember one.

The most commonly promoted number-one propositions are "best quality", "best service", "lowest price," "best value", "safest", "fastest", "most customized", "most convenient", and "most advanced technology".

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