The Unique Selling Proposition For Small Business

I spent three hours yesterday working on a foundational marketing issue for a client – the development of their unique selling proposition.

It was the first time I had worked on developing a unique selling proposition in years.

Having competed online now since 1999 – which by definition is a global market – differentiation and competition offline looks almost pedestrian.

Yet the skills required to successfully compete online are quite handy when it comes to developing positioning and messaging for any business whether their byproducts are executed online or offline.

There were several key points surfaced during my meeting yesterday.

1. Every business competes within a competitive monopoly.

2. Most “new” business is not new at all but new to that particular business. “Switchers” – as I like to call them – are how most small businesses gain new customers – not orchestrated customer acquisition campaigns.

That being said – in order to attract Switchers, small business owners must have a unique selling proposition and the accompanying messaging that speaks to those buyers unmet needs – those needs not being met by their present provider.

Buyers switch when they aren’t getting what they want and when the attractiveness of alternatives attract their attention.

This is where a well researched unique selling proposition embedded within consistent messaging can prove to become an invaluable investment for the small business.

Ideally – the sophisticated small business owner employs a unique selling proposition that plays to the weaknesses of their competition while simultaneously emphasizes their unique strengths.

Simply put – the small business owner’s best prospects for attracting “switchers” – buyers who are switching providers – is to first determine who of their competitors customers are not going to become their customers.

Once these static segments are identified, the unique selling proposition should be built on communicating what value the business offers to those customers who will switch provided  they become convinced their needs can be met by a new provider.

For the small business competing in a crowded niche, their best prospects for new business aren’t going to be created out of the blue but out of the “blues” – the blues they get from dealing with their present vendor.

Customer “blues” are the pallet from which a successful unique selling proposition is created  – a unique message that the small business can predictably and confidently use to acquire new business.

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