How to Differentiate Your Product

Think of your primary product. Now answer these two questions: Is there something about it that is better than the other products of its kind? Do you emphasize that advantage in your marketing?

If you answered yes to both questions, be happy: You have an edge over your competitors.

If you can’t compete on price – and most new businesses can’t – then you have to compete with the product itself. And that means positioning it as somehow different from and better than other products of its kind. You do that by establishing a “unique selling proposition” (USP) – identifying a feature or benefit of the product and presenting it as if it were unavailable anywhere else.

To help you come up with a strong USP, here are three points to consider…

The Best USPs Have the Appearance of Uniqueness:

The feature or benefit you decide to promote with your USP does not necessarily have to be unique to your product, but it does have to seem like it is. If, for example, you’re a tailor and you wash and iron every item of clothing you mend, make the washing and ironing your USP. Other tailors may be performing those same services – but if they’re not mentioning it in their advertising, it will make you appear to be the only one.

The Best USPs Have a Trendy Appeal:

The appearance of uniqueness is not enough. If the feature or benefit you’re promoting is not desirable, it will do you no good to promote it. The best USPs are those that tap into trends. The big screen on Apple’s iPhone, for example – a feature emphasized in all its ads – played into a growing demand for bigger and more technically refined TV screens.

The Best USPs Are Conceptually Simple:

If your product’s USP is trendy, it is almost certainly simple too. Very few complicated things ever become trendy. Plus, keep in mind that you have to sell the USP – and nothing sells well that is difficult to explain. The Fedex slogan – “When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight” – is a great example of a conceptually simple (and highly successful) USP.

Uniqueness matters in the marketplace. So make sure you have a USP for every one of your products that makes it stand out in your customers’ minds.

[Ed. Note: Simple direct-marketing techniques like the one Michael just described can help you skyrocket your sales. Find out how you can get proven “shortcuts” to expert-level marketing from two men who know more about the subject than anyone on the planet.] [Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]
  • andy johnson

    This was a very useful marketing and advertising article. I see it helping my small business grow. I will employ all the strategies.