What makes you stand out from the pack? What makes your customers ignore your competitors and come back to you again and again? It all starts with identifying your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP may be your most valuable marketing asset, especially because your products and services are complex. Your prospects need to understand what you stand for, how you are different—or even better—than your competitors, and what your unique perspective means for them.

Here are three important things to keep in mind when determining your USP:

One: You need to know what’s going on in the minds of your prospects.

In defining your USP, don’t fall into the trap of creating marketing for the people inside the walls of your company. If you do, you’re just talking to yourself. You have to understand who your buyers are and what they go through when they’re making a purchasing decision. This is especially important when your customers are looking for complex, expensive, tech-based solutions.

But don’t guess! If you don’t know what your prospects think, find out. Most likely the information you need already exists in your organization – your sales team, customer service reps, business development team. You just need to ferret it out and put it into a form you can use. And that form is…personas!

Personas add human dimension to prospects and give them characteristics – including names and specific roles and goals. Focusing on real people helps you gain better, more accurate insights of key influencers in the buying process. With this awareness, you can create a USP that speaks directly to them.  

Two: Don’t be afraid to get emotional!

You may have heard that there’s no crying in baseball. Well, there’s no crying in B2B marketing either, but emotions do play a big part in how decisions are made! Tech buyers are human and bring their own feelings and opinions to the table. B2B tech purchasers are looking for low-risk, high-reward options. By making the right choice, these buyers can enjoy positive outcomes like job security, successful problem solving, admiration from colleagues and confidence building. That’s why your USP should strike an emotional chord. Buyers need to believe that you will make good on your promises and that they’ll achieve real benefits by going with your company.

Three: Simplicity and brevity are your friends.

Today’s buyers prefer brevity when researching solutions. Everyone is very busy, probably doing the work of two people or more. Because their Internet search gives them so much information – both useful and otherwise – they want to be able to quickly assess if your messaging is worth a deeper look.

With that in mind, it’s best to present your information like an inverted funnel. Don’t drown your audience in all of the heavy-duty specs right away. Deliver a small amount of pointed, poignant content up front. You want to explain your complex tech solutions in a way that isn’t complicated. Get them interested. Then provide more information and details as they dig deeper.

Pulling it all together

With your USP there’s no time for complicated messages. You want to convey what you do – but think like your customers. You need to understand the personal emotions driving the decision. And your message must be succinct and memorable. Give it a try and see how a clear USP can help prospects “get” what you do and drive them to action.

Building Dominant B2B Brands eBook

Rich CarangoCarango_color is president of Schubert Communications. Starting at Schubert in 1994, Rich now heads the agency in creating effective IMC campaigns, PR campaigns, advertising, brochures, direct mail, logos, websites, multimedia and content. Rich holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in design from American University. When Rich is not in the office he enjoys spending time with his wife and children and is a huge history buff.

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