Why should customers choose YOU? What’s your brand’s USP? The aesthetics, beauty and wellness markets are super competitive, and consumers and businesses are faced with an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to finding the right products and services for them. Trying to define a compelling USP that accurately portrays what you do is a difficult task, but once your USPs are set they will shape all of your future messaging and help your brand to stand out. Many brands often have marketing messages that are quite common and therefore not very effective as true brand differentiators – for example, being “an aesthetic clinic in X town” is widely used and not that informative. If that sounds familiar – its time to up your game!
In this article, we’re sharing our PR expertise and beauty industry knowledge to help you develop a compelling set of USPs that will effectively attract and engage your target customers.
What is a USP?
USP stands for “unique selling proposition” and it sets the foundation for the existence of your brand or business i.e. it’s the thing that sets you apart from the competition so that you can clearly position yourself in a marketplace. Many brands have more than one USP and the role of each USP is to engage a particular desire among the target customer base so that they choose you over your competitors.
It sound simple but defining your USP is actually quite difficult and should be one of the first things you do, before pushing ahead with any PR or marketing. Once defined, your USP will shape all future messaging for your brand!
The benefits of a great USP
An effective set of USPs can do wonders for your brand in the short and long-term, they can:
- Differentiate you from competitors i.e. help you STAND OUT!
- Attract and engage your target customers to drive more revenue and profit
- Keep your brand positioning strong and consistent
- Provide a solid messaging (and selling) foundation for all future marketing and PR communications
Finding your USP
Your USP – whether it’s for a brand, product or person – needs to cover all the things you may want to convey in your PR and marketing (advertising) activities. To find your USP(s) you need to consider your target customer, your marketplace and your product or service. A good place to start is to write down answers to the following questions:
- What do you want to be said about you/your brand?
- Who is your specific target audience? What are their concerns/wants/needs?
- What is your product or service? Why is it different from everyone else?
- What makes your customer approach different or unique? What is your brands’ personality and values?
How to define your USP in 4 steps
Now that you have some content to work with, its time to begin to shape your USPs. This process takes time and focus, but once you have defined your set of compelling USPs you will save yourself many hours in the future, when it comes to pitching and presenting your brand to customers, press and partners alike. A highly effective and consistently communicated USP will help capture attention and drive interest in your business – our brand strategists have created the following 4 steps to help you define a great set of USPs:
- Research: There’s no way to identify what makes you, your brand or product stand out if you don’t have a clear understanding of what else is available to your target customers in the market. Take your time to review local competitors and those that are doing well further afield. What products and services do they provide? How do they position themselves? What are their USPs? Once you’ve mapped out this competitor information you will start to see gaps and opportunities where you can position your own brand. A SWOT analysis is a simple and effective tool you may wish to use to capture your competitor intel.
- Understand your target customer: Be specific: a common mistake is to try to be a brand for everyone. Unfortunately, this rarely works as messages get lost in overly saturated markets like beauty and aesthetics. To get started, think about who you have created your product or service for, and answer as many questions about them as you can to create a detailed customer avatar. You may have more than one customer in mind but to keep things simple we recommend you create no more than three customer avatars. In addition to understanding your target customer’s concerns/wants/needs, you also need to know about their lifestyle. For example, where do they work or live? What do they read or watch? where do they shop? Are they loyal to a competitor? What other brands or products do they buy? The more you know about your target customers, the better you can shape your USPs to appeal to them.
- List your benefits: Now it’s time to focus on YOU and what you do well! Within the aesthetics, beauty, and wellness industries – your style of service or approach is often what sets you apart from the competition and keeps loyal customers coming back time and time again. Don’t be too modest here, start by listing all positive feedback you’ve had from existing customers or if you’re yet to launch think about what you want them to say. Whether you are selling an experience or a product, imagine the feeling you want your customers to feel after enjoying your service or product – that’s what you want to shout about in your USPs!
- Define your USPs: The final step is to combine your ideas into compelling sentences that clearly articulate what your brand stands for. Aim for 1 to 5 strong USPs that will appeal to one or more of your target customers.
Tip! We recommend weaving in action words as they are really effective at grabbing attention, for example, try words such as enhance, improve, save etc to help your USPs pop.
Common mistakes to avoid with your USP
The role of a USP is to differentiate your brand in a busy marketplace and to help customers choose you. Your USP is not a USP if it’s vague, generic, or unremarkable. When reviewing your USPs do it from your target customer’s perspective – after reading it will they want to get in touch to purchase or make a booking? Be honest if the answer is no its time to review and redefine your USPs.
Our Founder and award-winning communications consultant Julia Kendrick has designed a set of strategic marketing toolkits for savvy business owners who’d like more in-depth guidance in mastering PR and marketing for their brand. Our “How to” create your brand message marketing toolkit contains 4 easy-to-follow modules covering all key areas of your brand proposition to help you create messages that STAND OUT – it’s available for instant download so you can continue your learning with Kendrick PR today.
Talk to our brand PR experts
At Kendrick PR, our accomplished brand strategists understand how to get your new brand or product into the market or evolve a brand to get it ready for its next phase of growth – we have proven expertise in B2B launches for the aesthetic market, as well as a breadth of experience for B2C beauty and wellness brands. An effective PR strategy for a product launch or brand development is critical for future business success and we’d love to collaborate with you, please do get in touch to book a complimentary discovery call with us!