Your Unique Buying Advantage - And How To Use It To Skyrocket Your Store's Sales

If you read marketing books; almost any marketing book, it will talk about your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. This is the one thing that the customer sees that sets you apart from your competition. Usually this is a Huge Promise of some sort.

The most well known example is this; " Fresh hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it's free" . That promise propelled Domino Pizza to world pizza dominance. Notice it didn't say " World's Greatest Pizza" .

The secret is in knowing what customers really want. In delivered pizza it wasn't low price, lots of toppings, a catchy jingle, or even a good pizza. It was " Fresh hot pizza delivered fast" . There was even a guarantee at the end.

" Or it's Free" , is one of the best uses of a guarantee in an ad, an ad headline, or a Unique Selling Proposition.

Why do I prefer the term " Unique Buying Advantage" ? Because we should always concentrate on what the customer wants to buy, not what we think they ought to buy.

Now, this is not the same as a " Mission Statement" . A Mission Statement is about what you are trying to do in your business. Another topic for another newsletter.

Your Unique Buying Advantage is why the customer should buy from you rather than every other alternative. Your UBA should be so persuasive that your customer (from their point-of-view) would have to be brain dead to even consider buying from someone else.

Your UBA must:

1) Instantly tell people the benefit of buying from you.

2) Be Specific

3) Be Concise

4) Cause the customer to say " Wow. How do they do that?"

Customers should have to think about what you do. There should be no guessing.

Here are some bad examples of a UBA;

" Just do it!"

" We try harder"

" Where's the beef?"

" We really care"

These are bad because they aren't specific. Nobody reads these & says " Wow! I want that."

If your message shows a strong buying advantage, your price will be secondary.

Claude's law - " If you have no Unique Buying Advantage, the customer will be forced to buy based on price."

Your UBA can be made into a headline for your ads. It can even become your company name....

Cheryl & I recently had new floors put in our kitchen and dining room. The company that did it is called 3 DAY KITCHEN & BATH.

How's that for a name?! The benefit of buying from them is in their name.

What they do is in their name.

Why do people call this company? They want the work done fast.

3 days is fast for a new kitchen or bathroom.

Nobody calls these guys because they want the lowest price. I know I didn't. They built a library full of birch bookcases and a kitchen-dining room floor in two days.

Their work was excellent.

I gave them a tad over $12,000.

I could have had my brother-in-law do it over a month for less that half.

I bought speed.

Printers have a saying " Quality-Speed-Price; Pick any two" .

Some customers will pay a premium price for speed or quality. Some will care only for price. Which customer do you want? You can't be all things to all people. And don't say you have the lowest prices, best quality, and fastest service...nobody will believe it. Your UBA will take a little thought.

Who are you trying to attract?

What is the main benefit to them?

How are you different from the other retailers?

Here are a few good examples;

" Your vacuum cleaner serviced within 48 hours or it's free!" Appeals to the desire for fast service.

" We don't give tricky estimates. You never pay more than agreed" Ever get an estimate & then the cost is twice as much? We all have that fear. This is a promise that won't happen.

" We sell $800 vacuum cleaners for $350" This appeals to the quality buyer and the price buyer...just not the lowest price buyer.

" Picks up 100% of the pet hair or we buy it back!" A simple " satisfaction guaranteed" promise made stronger.

" Before you buy, call our free recorded consumer help-line. Learn the 7 things to look for in your next vacuum cleaner" Funnels the reader into your recorded message. They then feel like you gave them information, and they come in. It always works to generate a profit, and almost nobody does this.

" Be safe and toasty warm for only $1.67 a day" Gives a big promise and lots of benefits for a nominal daily cost.

Many UBAs involve guaranteed speedy service (always with a specified time) or a guarantee of some sort. Financing can also be a UBA. But if you have local competitors that also finance, it won't be as effective. What's better than a Unique Buying Advantage?

Lot's of Unique Buying Advantages

You can make your list of UBAs in your ad. You can actually provide several UBAs to create an " avalanche of benefits" that will make the reader's eyes widen, heart beat faster, and make them find any excuse to come in your store. And isn't that what we want?

Claude Whitacre is the author of the book The Unfair Advantage Small Business Advertising Manual. Claude speaks on small business advertising and retail marketing.


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