Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Proposition For You

It’s time for another round of Work It Wednesday. It’s the business side of Mercantile Muse where I share 18+ years of experience as the owner of Speakeasy, an advertising/PR/marketing firm that specializes in working with small businesses.
Marketing 101: Part 3/Your Unique Selling Proposition
Hi guys. Last week I talked about your Unique Product Benefit and how to define your UPB.  I stressed that this was an important step in the process of marketing and growing your business because it lays the foundation for establishing your Unique Selling Proposition. If you missed it, you can read it here.

What’s so important about your Unique Product Benefit and your Unique Selling Proposition? These two things will help you determine your ‘edge’. They will help you convince people to buy from you.  They will help you zero in on your uniqueness and what that means to your customers and potential customers.
Let’s consider some basics and we’ll use pizza as an example.
You make pizza. 
So what? There is a pizza shop on every corner.

Believe In Yourself Magnet - IN STOCK
What’s your unique product benefit? You make pizza with all natural ingredients that are sourced within a 50 mile radius, making it the freshest pizza you can get.
How do you translate that to your Unique Selling Proposition? First and foremost, don’t try to sell yourself based on your competition’s benefits (I.e. we’ll have a pizza to your door in 15 minutes or it’s free).  Worry about your own benefits.
Lemon Lime Greeting Card- Oh, you - printed on 100% recycled paper - 4.25x5.5 (folded card) with matching white envelope

Consider the top benefits that your product/service offers to your customers.
·        Locally sourced, fresh ingredients
·        Natural ingredients without chemicals you can’t pronounce
·        Full flavor that comes from using fresh ingredients
·        Just about everyone loves pizza
·        They don’t have to cook to feed their families a fresh meal
Then write down why the benefits you offer are important to your target market (customer and potential customers).
  • They care about where their food comes from.
  • They care about what their family’s health and what they’re putting into family’s bellies.
  • They’re busy, but still want to feed their family a meal that tastes good and is good for them.
Now, think about how your Unique Selling Proposition can shine a light on your Unique Product Benefit and communicate it in such a way that it makes it obvious why someone should by from you. Remember, you’re trying to boil  all those benefits down to one sentence the really reflects what your business is all about; what makes you unique; and why someone should buy from you instead of your competition.
The Unique Product Benefit of the pizza being made with natural, organic locally sourced ingredients may translate into a Unique Selling Proposition like this:
“Farm-fresh, wholesome flavor is our customers’ favorite topping.”
“Farm-fresh, wholesome goodness everyone loves, from our pizza oven to your table.”
Don’t try to sell yourself based on your competition’s benefits (i.e. we’ll have a pizza to your door in 15 minutes or it’s free).  Every business is different and that’s what you need to focus on. Sure, you can consider your competition, but simply to recognize what you aren’t.
Mothers Personalized Charm Necklace - 1 Monogram, Dates, Linked, Without Beads
In the end, your customers and potential customers are going to buy from you because of your benefits. Succcinctly stating this in your Unique Selling Proposition will make the reasons to buy from you apparent and hard to ignore.
One last thing, be truthful to yourself in the assessment of your Unique Product Benefit and in the creation of your Unique Selling Proposition. If you can't deliver what you promise, what's the point?
If you'd like to share your Unique Selling Proposition, and how you arrived at it, please feel free to do so in the comments. I'd love to see how you're all working this out for yourselves.
(If you would like to share this information in any way, other than a link back to this original post, please be sure you contact me for permission. Thank you. ©Pamela J. Bates)
Sunset Meadows
I was lucky enough to skeedattle away from my desk a few minutes early yesterday. Lucan and I were off to the field for a walk.  We both needed it and the sunset was nice enough to to acknowledge us with wink and a smile as we headed home.


  1. Very interesting post! I'm currently majoring in PR/Advertising so advice from someone with so much experience (like yourself!) is very useful.

    1. Jess, I didn't know that's what you were studing! Feel free to pick my brain if you need to for school. :)

  2. wonderful post! so positive and lots of points to ponder as well.

    1. so many points each step of the way. thank goodness for legal pads so I can ponder them all!

  3. Just catching up with the Muse here...great post today Pam. I always like to point out in my Etsy descriptions that each of my pieces are one offs, no two are the same, they are as unique as the people who buy them! I can't compete with the more mass produced charm based jewellery on Etsy - so I don't even try! That said, I am mindful of that price point and always try to come up with some designs that can be produced for that market. I will also go the extra mile in my detailing - for example, adding textures on the backs of my pieces. It is extra work, it won't be seen when the piece is worn, but the wearer will see these details when they take the pieces off. Now that is something you don't get in mass produced jewellery. And that, my friends, is how I like to roll!

    1. Exactly! You don't need to compete with anyone,you just have to identify what you offer that is unique. Even if you offer something a lot of others offer, how do you set it apart and make it stand out......service, packaging, etc? I LOVE that you create things with touches one wouldn't expect, like texture on the back that only the wearer knows is there. It's like their little secret. How wonderful.

      There's no moss on you, girl.

  4. Just finding your blog and I love it! The business tips are GREAT! Thank you!

  5. At Story Tellers Vintage: "Every item has a story to tell."
    But I'd like to develop this more...maybe by adding: "Start your unique story today"??
    What do you think, Pam? You're the expert :)

    1. hhhhmmmmm, Kate, I think if you focus on the fact that your business is vintage. Do you remember when you were a kid and you'd play the game where one person would tell a story, and the next kid would add on with the next sentence, and so on and so on? That's kind of the way I think of your business. The products you sell have a story to tell, have told a story through their past owners and are now ready to have the next person tell their story. 'What do you have to add to the story?' 'What's the next chapter?' Do you get where I'm going with this??? Maybe instead of 'start your unique story today' 'How will you continue the story' or something along that line......
      thinking outloud here!


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

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