Why Should Customers Come To You

Why Should Customers Come To You
Why Should Customers Come To You How to Differentiate Your Business and Thrive Against Your Competitors

By Daniel Rechnitzer

If you have ever been for a job, you would know the importance of being able to differentiate yourself from other candidates. You would also understand how important it is to be able to answer the question "Why should I hire you?". The candidate with the best answer to this question (and the credentials to support the answer) usually gets the job.

The same applies to business and attracting customers. What most marketers and business owners have not properly grasped is that they need to be able to concisely answer the same question. Customers equate to the employer and the business equates to the employee wanting a job.

Customers are out there asking "Why should I buy from you?". The business with the most compelling answer to this question, and the business that is shouting this answer from the rafters stands the best chance of getting the "job".

Strangely, the vast majority of businesses do not have a clear answer to this question, or at least they do not have a good answer. Many chant clichés and common benefits offered by all their competitors, hoping to lure new customers.

How many times have you heard a business say "Best Value for Money", "The Best Service", "Quality and The Right Price" etc etc. Unfortunately these phrases are received by potential clients as puffery and typical advertising babble, and are often viewed with skepticism and doubt. Any statements that are vague or general, or chanted by everyone else, have very little impact. In contrast, statements that are specific, tell a story the client can identify with, and talk of unique benefits have far greater credibility and believability.

What works is what we call a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This is essentially a short summary statement that powerfully answers in a very specific manner: "why should I buy from you?"

A USP communicates a main advantage, a point of difference about your business, and therefore a reason why a customer should come to you. The concept of a USP was introduced in the 50's and was later popularized in the 80's and 90's by one of today's greatest marketers, Jay Abraham.

Here are some recent examples of real life USP's:

  • Woolworths/Safeway: The Fresh Food People!
  • Virgin Credit Card: Up To 55 Interest Free Days On Purchases
  • Hungry Jacks: The Burgers Are Better At Hungry Jacks
  • Wikipedia.Com The FREE Encyclopedia
  • Skype.Com The Whole World Can Talk For Free

  • As you can see by these statements, they differentiate the business, and give prospects a reason to purchase from them as opposed to their competitors. These are NOT slogans. Slogans very rarely differentiate, and usually require significant budgets to impact your market as slogans require massive repetition.

    Let's look at some classic USPs:

  • FedEx: When It Absolutely Has To Be There Overnight
  • Dominos Pizza: Pizza Delivered To Your Door In 30 Minutes- Or It's FREE!
  • AVIS: We're Number Two. We Try Harder

  • You recognise the above brands for good reason! These USPs have been a massive contributor to the success of these companies. Without them, customers had no idea why they should use their services.

    Lets examine two of these more closely. FedEx had to differentiate themselves from the US postal service and other delivery options. Their point of difference was that you can actually rely on them to get a parcel to its destination the next day. And that's why you choose them.

    Dominos Pizza had many competitors offering practically identical pizzas. In order to attract more customers they needed to stand out. They needed to differentiate themselves. They recognised a need in the marketplace that was not being addressed. This need was pizzas being delivered on time while they where still hot, and before people passed out from hunger. Hence "Pizza Delivered To Your Door In 30 Minutes- Or It's FREE!"

    You may notice from the above examples that there are overarching differences that identify the brand in general as opposed to specific product offerings. If you are promoting specific products or services you can differentiate just based on their attributes. For example when Apple launched its brand new IPOD, (a product of Apple) they used product differentiation rather than brand differentiation. Their USP for the new IPOD is: "15,000 Songs, 25,000 Photos, 150 Hours of Video". This differentiates the new IPOD from previous models, and it differentiates the IPOD from competitive offerings. So, you can differentiate aspects of specific services and products, or differentiate your brand.

    You may start to see that a USP gives your marketing a context and substance. A USP is what gives your marketing impact, cut through, and ultimately it is what gets you results.

    So what makes YOU special?

    If you have not articulated your USP to your marketplace, it's probably a really good idea to start right now. If your point of difference is not obvious to you, you can either create a new one, or you can look within your business to find an existing one. The chances are there is one there already, just waiting to be shouted from the rafters. Here are some places you can look for your USP:

    Products - quality, workmanship, warranty, value adds, place of manufacture.

    Service - after hours, personalized, expert staff, professional

    Pricing - premium, budget, interest free terms

    Distribution - turn around time, number of locations, home delivered

    Premises - more parking, secure, natural light, close to public transport etc

    You can differentiate your business in many ways. The above list is far from exhaustive. How ever you decide to differentiate your business, just ensure it fills a need and that your competitors are not shouting the same thing.

    Once you have identified your point of difference the next challenge is to articulate it very succinctly. This can take some time, so be patient. Do bear in mind that you are likely to keep refining it, so don't get too focused on getting it perfect right away.

    Once you are happy with it, and once you have tested it to see that it hits the mark, then make sure you tell the world about it. Communicate your USP everywhere, business cards, website, brochures, everywhere! Don't hold it back!

    I hope this article has been of value to you.

    Good luck!

    Author: Daniel Rechnitzer, founder of ChildsPlay Marketing - Simple Ways To Succeed in Business. See www.ChildsPlayMarketing.com