Until a few years ago, British retailers Marks & Spencer were known for selling good quality knickers and slightly conservative clothes! We also knew they sold rather expensive food, though not many people could afford to buy it unless they were shopping for a special occasion. The TV ad changed all that.
Suddenly, it wasn’t just expensive chocolate pudding, it was ‘Marks and Spencer’s twice-baked melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding, lovingly prepared from the finest fair trade cocoa beans etc etc,’ accompanied by saliva-inducing images. Once we’d all finished dribbling, a large number of us must have started planning how quickly we could get our hands on this heaven-sent nectar, regardless of the cost. Sales increased by 288% and the ads inspired a raft of copycat sales techniques.
What I’m trying to illustrate is the benefit of USPs. Marks and Spencer had always sold high quality food. What changed was the way they started telling people about it. The adverts appealed on multi-sensory levels. Simple attractive visuals, a softly spoken commentary and timely scheduling brought premium food to our attention whilst its environmental credentials appealed to our conscience.
Give some thought to your Unique Selling Points. What makes your product/service different from other suppliers in your market? Is it your delivery promise, your after-sales care or your 20 years of experience? Or is it the fact that every one of your tennis racquets is personally tested by a tennis pro before it leaves the factory?
Whatever sets your business apart from the crowd, make sure you tell people about it on your website. Make it honest and fun, then back it up with a guarantee and a customer testimonial. These are the trust-building techniques that will ensure your customers remember you and keep coming back. Free stuff works too…