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Creating the USP

Lesson 12 from: Brand Strategy and Design for Small Businesses

Haylee Powers

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Lesson Info

12. Creating the USP

Lesson Info

Creating the USP

creating the unique selling proposition in this lesson, I will teach you guys all about how to create that unique selling proposition. You will also use your brand Matrix and your persona as a guide. Through this process, I've simplified the four different strategies to differentiate your brand through a unique selling proposition. One is finding a need and fulfilling it an existing mutual desire. A good example would be the creator of Spanx sara blakely Sarah saw a need for an undergarment that would smooth out her body under her clothing. This product transformed the way women wear clothes today. Sarah's product came from fulfilling a need and solving a problem, fulfilling a need can be hard. You also have to beat everyone to it if you have a product or a service that is fulfilling a need and you are the first one there. You are definitely killing it to specialize in a category specializing in a category will allow you to take a solution that already exists and extend off of that sol...

ution until you have your own unique and motivating difference. For example, say you have a brand that sells vintage clothing. Your base would be clothing and vintage would be an extender, but it's vintage clothing really that unique. We see a ton of vintage clothing shops across the country. I think we can differentiate this a little bit more. We will call your product or your base clothing plus vintage as an extender. So how can we differentiate more? Let's say we find all of our vintage clothing in a Parisian consignment shop when creating these extenders, be sure to use your audience persona as the guide only use extenders they want and need. So we have clothing vintage and then let's say from paris is our third extender. Now this is a pretty unique brand, but let's add on another extender or category, we could use a third extender. Maybe this could be black clothing. So you would have clothing vintage from paris that's black. You may not be getting all of your clothing from paris, but you get the idea. Finding a niche can make you successful. Say you're a coffee cart that drives around town like an ice cream truck or even a concept like toms shoes, giving away a pair of shoes to a child in Need Toms shoes has been very successful. And what has differentiated them is the emotional story they tell in the compassion of the brand. All of these things are good for differentiating is up to you and you can be as creative as you want. Let's look at one of my favorite brands that differentiates by category, lush, lush advocates of ethical buying and the purity of handmade things. So their categories are cosmetics as the base pure and handmade vegan and socially responsible. All of these extenders have been carefully chosen to cater to the target market as we differentiate ourselves, We must make sure the difference truly matters. So if you are a clothing company that claims to be fashionable as a difference. That's something that doesn't really matter. Every clothing company is going to claim to be fashionable, that should not be an extender for your brand or a category. That's a given three. A non existing desire, a brand new solution. Remember Henry Ford's statement, If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses, Henry Ford created a new solution to an old desire in this case a new solution that happened to be a huge technological advance that many people needed to be educated on. This approach can be revolutionary and also a bit difficult because you will be introducing a new idea entirely to the masses for experience. You can differentiate with experience as well if there are three similar nail salons, same prices, same quality and same product, but one expresses their difference through experience in such a way that I believe it to be the best. I will go to that nail salon if your attribute is luxury, create a luxurious experience. If your attribute is organic, make everything feel organic. Use organic nail polish, offer an organic cocktail with organic herbal bidders when they arrive include plants in your decor, have a simple logo. Use all organic products and require your employees to wear light makeup while they work everything you do. Should point back to your USP, create a firsthand experience that allows your customer to feel the difference you claim without a clear concise message that differentiates your brand. People will lose focus and just offer cheaper, easier versions of your product. Your brand experience should always reflect your USP. When your customer comes into contact with your brand, they should get an experience that they don't get anywhere else. A great example is build a bear meant for kids to create their own bear in an interactive experience. From start to finish. You can buy a bear anywhere, but you can't stuff it pick out its heart and dress it in overpriced clothes. Just anywhere. Building a brand isn't a cookie cutter process. So there are many different ways to differentiate these four are just my favorite four and I feel like they are very concrete. Some brand professionals have recommended differentiating by price, but this is not very sustainable considering how easy it would be for a competitor to drop their price on a product similar to yours. There are others who say to limit availability, but this only seems to work if you're a brand like armies designing coveted Birkin bags. AmS creates an artificial scarcity which is defined as the scarcity of items that exist even though either the technology for production or the sharing capacity exists to create a theoretically limitless abundance or at least a greater quantity of the production than currently exists. Creating an artificial scarcity isn't an impossible strategy, but it would work better if you had already made a name for yourself as our miss has now that you know the four different strategies. I recommend for creating a unique selling proposition. We are ready to begin to create your USP. Let's go through each category together to create the USP for let's say a coffee shop. And you guys will be able to see the thought process that goes on while creating a USP. And sort of the tactics I use. Remember we have one finding a need and fulfilling it. An existing mutual desire, two specializing in a category And three, a non existing desire of brand new solution and then four experience. The best way to start brainstorming your USP is to write down everything you can think of, even if it's a bad idea, it doesn't seem like it will work. This helps get it down on paper and out of your head. I will do one USP for each strategy just so you can see how the process works. In reality, you would only pick one strategy when you create your unique selling proposition. Let's start with one, finding a need and fulfilling it. An existing mutual desire. Say you're making a coffee shop, let's start to brainstorm some of the needs people have as it relates to coffee, They need it. We know people need coffee or at least they want it. That is why there are so many coffee shops in each town, but just creating another coffee shop without a strong difference, will do nothing for your brand. After researching the coffee shops in your area, you may find out that most of them are the same lacking a compelling difference. You may see that your neighborhood would benefit from seeing a bit more culture and authenticity. So the need would be authenticity, culture and something different to begin to differentiate, you will start to research ways that you can meet and need in your neighborhood. This may be a long list that you start and go back as research to solve the need of authenticity culture and something compelling. Maybe you start to research coffee shops and concept in other areas. Perhaps you go with a coffee shop ran by the homeless youth, we have one of these here in Denver, it's pretty cool, maybe you are Vietnamese and you want to bring Vietnamese pastries and craft coffee to your town. Or maybe you love the idea of a traditional italian espresso bar. Just get a list of all the ways you can fulfill your customers needs. Even though we had a short list for this example, I think we should go with the italian espresso bar. So our need was to create something authentic and different and our solution is to create true italian espresso bar that highlights the culture ritual and social aspect of espresso in italy. Let's make a name for this coffee shop. I think we'll call it mateo. So matteo's USP is matteo is the traditional italian espresso bar experience, your USP will likely take more time than the one we just created. It's up to you to do the research to make sure it's a solid great USP. Let's move on to the second strategy to specialize in a category. So let's say you want to differentiate through categories. This is the best bet for any U. S. P. It's the easiest. And most of my clients have this sort of USP start by listing the categories that you like or categories that you think would do well based off of your research, I'll start by listing contemporary decor study space, late night millennial audience. South american Ethiopian coffee that is ethically sourced. Maybe they feature comedians on Fridays or art classes on the weekends. Maybe there's a library inside or a donut shop. Maybe it's a workspace that people pay a monthly fee for unlimited coffee and wifi you can be as creative as you want with these categories. Go ahead and just list stuff, even if you think it might be a bad idea, put it down because you'll see later if it is going to work or not. So say the categories that I've researched and that makes the most sense and will be the most compelling for my audience. Our late night ethically sourced coffee and contemporary, modern decor. Let's name this coffee company, jade coffee Co. So the USP for jade would be jade coffee company is a late night ethically sourced contemporary coffee shop Once again, I haven't taken the time to research this USP because I'm not making a coffee shop. If you get your USP down, make sure you take the time to research it and make sure you're the only one who can claim the difference. # three, a non existing desire a brand new solution. Remember the third category is a non existing desire, a brand new solution just like Henry Ford said had I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. So for this coffee shop we need to find a way to differentiate with a non existing desire. A brand new solution. This can be pretty difficult and usually brands that fit under this category are creating some sort of new advancement in technology. So let's just brainstorm for fun. Perhaps you want to create a napping pod slash coffee shop. Something like this actually exists already. It's called nap york. Maybe a coffee ceremony coffee shop just like we have tea ceremonies or maybe a boutique with caffeinated perfume or what about a coffee? A Tm with high quality and hot coffee. This actually kind of reminds me of the sprinkles a Tm. Which is a really great USP on its own. Just for fun. Let's stick with the caffeinated perfume boutique. I think we should call this boutique rush. So the U. S. P. Would be rushed is the caffeinated perfume boutique. As you can see I'm going through this quickly to cover my process. It will take you much longer and you just spend more time researching each product or industry Number four. So the last category is experience. Once again we will be using a coffee shop as the example start to list different experiences you want your customers and clients to have. This could be a reflection of your brand matrix and the gaps that are left to fill with experience. Maybe there aren't any luxurious coffee shops in the area and your competitors are all doing something else. You may want to write down luxurious and if you doubt this sort of luxurious coffee shop exists, take a trip to L. A. So let's write down some experiences luxurious, maybe an organic experience exclusive, calming, bold and exciting and let's say futuristic. I'm really liking this idea of a futuristic experience for the coffee shop. Let's call this coffee shop Astro. That sounds pretty fitting. Astro is the futuristic, high tech coffee shop. To make Astro come to life. You need to execute this USP foley. Maybe there's an ipad that you order at. Maybe there's a heating raygun to zap the coffee or maybe the environment is very minimal and futuristic. Perhaps your coffee is delivered by a little robot. Obviously Astros just for fun and a coffee shop may or may not exist just like this unless you go to Tokyo. I bet they have one just like this with the robots. So some of these may not be good business models and they may not be the right option. But this exercise is meant to help you see how to create compelling difference for your brand. So remember we had one finding a need and fulfilling it. An existing mutual desire, the U. S. P. We came up for for this was Matteo is the traditional italian espresso bar experience that we had to specializing in a category, jade coffee company is the late night ethically sourced contemporary coffee shop And # three, a non existing desire, a brand new solution. We created Rush the caffeinated perfume boutique. Number four Experience we created Astro is the futuristic high tech coffee shop. As you can see some of these USP strategies crossover for example, mateo may cross over into the experience category. That is okay. As long as you are creating a solid unique selling proposition, that is different. It is normal for things to crossover, especially into experience. Take some time now to look at your USP creation worksheet and fill it out, select which category you think best fits your brand and then brainstorm and form your one sentence USPP

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Checklist
Researching Your Target Audience
Creating the Audience Persona 1
Creating the Audience Persona 2
Brand Matrix Creation
Creating the USP
Testing the USP
Creating a Brand Story
Turning Brand Strategy into Design