Your Business’ Hidden Assets, part 1

Filed Under Small Business Marketing 

All businesses have hidden assets. Hidden assets are the aspects of a business that would benefit the bottom line, but they haven’t been optimized. This series of articles will highlight some of the hidden assets that can be found in almost all businesses.

The first hidden asset to discover is your unique sales proposition (USP, also known as Unique Sales Point). USP is a marketing concept that was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern among successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. It states that such campaigns made unique propositions to the customer and that this convinced them to switch brands. Today the term is used to refer to any aspect of a business that differentiates it from similar businesses.

When you make the decision to dig deeper into your business to mine the golden nuggets that may have been laid aside, it’s important to start with the USP because it will become the foundation for all of your advertising. It plays an important part in your business’ appearance to your clients. All great businesses have a well-defined USP. Something that differentiates them from their competition. Something they do that no one else does. If your business is a carbon copy of other businesses you can only compete on price. And, competing on price can be disastrous for profits. On the other hand, if your product or service is unique, you have no competition and you can charge what your service is worth.

To help start you on developing your USP, ask yourself these questions…
What is it you do that’s unique?
What do you do that no one else does?
What is your “purple cow” – something you provide that sets you apart from every other business.

Here are some examples of famous USPs:
“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”  (FedEx)
“Hot fresh pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free!” (Domino’s Pizza)
“We’re second so we try harder!” (Avis)
“At sixty miles an hour, the loudest noise in the new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock.” (Rolls Royce)
“The milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” (M & M’s)

After you have developed a USP, the next step is to integrate it into all aspects of the business. Some obvious areas are print advertising (newspaper, yellow pages, brochures, flyers, business cards, letterhead), radio and TV advertising, banners, trade show exhibits, and advertising on company vehicles. Some areas that are not to be overlooked are how the telephone is answered, how customers are greeted when they enter the store, and your sales staff’s presentation of products and services. It’s critical that everyone working in the business is on the same page when it comes to having a unified and consistent presentation of the business.

Development of a USP and its integration into the business will take some time. It’s recommended that before reprinting all your paper goods, have employees begin to use the USP in their communication with clients. Check in with them regularly to be sure the USP is being used and to determine the level of its acceptance by both personnel and clients. It is quite possible that you may want to make modifications to the USP after using it for a while. It sometimes happens that the USP you start with is not the one you’ll decide to keep. That’s okay. This is a keystone decision. When you have honed the right USP for your business, you’ll know it.

I specialize in creating customized marketing solutions for small business. Contact me at georgann at catchphrasemarketing dot com, or call me at 888-494-8445 to discuss how you can get more clients and increase profitability without increasing marketing expenses. Yes, you really CAN have it all!

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