The following is a guest post from Hélène Cooper:
We all start in business with an idea, a product, a service we are so passionate about we think it is unique. Soon we find out there are many similar ones on the market and become unsure what makes ours different. Then starts the search for the marketing Holy Grail: that elusive Unique Selling Point. Much time and even money is spent on finding and perfecting the delivery of that USP in a 30-second commercial ready to roll out at every opportunity.
When listening to other people’s introductions or ‘elevator speeches’ how often do we think what they offer is really unique?
And standing in the shoes of the person listening to you, what would they think about yours?
So, how does my product/service become the Coke or the Pepsi of my field rather than just a cola. Of course spending vast sums on promotion can help, but this is not something most of us can afford to do, and in any case, it certainly is not enough; the answer is branding.
Having a clear brand and marketing it effectively is the route to success. The misconception is that branding is something visible from the outside. In reality branding comes from within. Let’s be honest Coke and Pepsi are not that different from a product point of view, yet people are usually attracted by one, rather than the other. It is that ‘something else’ they recognise.
How clear are you about the ‘something else’ of your product or service? Can you express it simply enough so people recognise it instantly and know when to refer you to their contacts?
Hélène is an accredited bi-lingual (French) business coach-mentor/trainer who specialises in helping clients develop fresh perspectives and find a successful way forward. Hélène’s expertise is in blending a relaxed and creative approach with the structured pragmatism she has developed at senior level in multi-national organisations. To contact her please email Helene@btinternet.com
PS. This blog was first published on 1 July 2010.