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How to Communicate Your Value and Turn $1 into $20

Coffee Beans, Coffee granules, Coffee

If I asked you "How much is a coffee bean worth?" You might say two to three cents per cup. But what if you ground it, and packaged those same beans as a product on a supermarket shelf, how much is it worth then? Maybe one or two dollars.

Death Wish Coffee

DeathWish Coffee has carved a niche in a saturated market by promising its customers the world’s strongest coffee or their money back ("Wake up with the world's strongest coffee") and with that promise, they are able to charge a premium of $20 USD for a 450g bag!

Now let's take that coffee bean and add a service - the act of actually brewing it for a customer in a cafe or a diner and now you can ask for $2- $3 for a cup of coffee.

But Starbucks’ adds more to its coffee than just a service. They've created an personalised experience and pride themselves on serving coffee that match their customers' needs where customers can sit and relax, socialise or even work and suddenly you can charge anything from $8 - $10 for that cup of coffee.

You see, Deathwish and Starbucks aren’t selling coffee beans, they're not even selling you a cup of coffee. They're selling you their customers value and that's the difference between a 2 cents and $8 products.

In a competitive market, everyone sounds the same. If you can’t tell them quickly and effectively what makes you different from your competitors, then there’s a good chance they won't choose you.

Selection of websites

While most companies still insist on competing solely on price and being the cheapest in their market this is not in the long-term a sustainable business strategy. You may get the quick customers at a lower price but they will always equate that price to your value and it will be hard to convince them to pay any higher. Lower-priced customers also swap services, are harder to please, and complain when something goes wrong.

Whereas businesses with a strong, value-driven USP have customers who are loyal, willing to pay more, become advocates and stick with you even when things go wrong!

The Unique Selling Proposition, or “USP,” is a marketing proposition that originated in the early 1940s by Rosser Reeves, an advertising pioneer and was supposed to give an ad campaign a little extra buzz.

Back then “Unique” referred to a feature of the product or service, “Selling” referred to value and “Proposition” was the promise of a specific benefit.

Reeves added a couple of caveats: The proposition had to be something the competition could not "say" and, it had to be important and engaging enough to engender positive behaviour toward the brand. Thus creating your own unique value

On the surface, defining your USP may seem simple enough. For some business owners, it's what triggered their business creation in the first place - you may have seen a gap in the market (a problem to solve), but for other businesses finding their unique selling point takes time and research.

Find your benefits turn them into value

Listen to customer feedback, what are your ideal customers demanding or looking for, find out their pain points and how they want their problems solved.

  • What does your perfect customer really want?

  • How can your product or service solve their problem(s)?

  • What factors motivate their buying decisions?

  • Why do your existing customers choose your business over your competitors?

Find elements that help best solve your customer’s problems. Do your customers value your fast project turnaround times? or are you in a great location and have local knowledge? or maybe you are a smaller more personalised family-run company? Does your team have specific expertise? What are your core values?

It's not what you think of yourself, your company or your products, but the ultimate value it creates for your customers.

Remember: Oftentimes your customers will tell you one thing ie: lower price, but consider if all things were equal with your competitors - why should they choose you?

For example: Customers at a coffee shop may say they want a good cup of coffee for a good price but what they might really want is

a) a place to do their work in peace,

b) a place to meet others socially that isn't too noisy and feels like home

c) a place that offers a variety of sustainable coffee to suit their very picky taste

Communicating your USP

Companies that successfully communicate their unique selling proposition and value generate more brand awareness, increased sales, and improved customer retention.

Now that you understand your offer and the value you bring to the table, you'll want to plan how you’re going to use your USP to draw your customers in.

Applied properly, your USP can be woven into the various areas of your business that your customers consider important to their buying decisions.

Think about how your unique selling proposition and your brand can go hand-in-hand. If the benefit you’ve come up with is too broad or can be replicated easily by your competitors then it might confuse your target audience.

A good way is to see your USP as a promise you are making to your customers, for example, Lemonade Insurance promises to be transparent and treat your money like your money.

Turning your USP into a promise allows your business message to become part of your buyer's journey.

Recently I asked my X-verse (the social platform formly known as Twitter) to recommend a scheduler that wasn't Calendly.

I got a lot of great responses but looking at their website landing pages nothing really stuck out to me. In fact, I found myself looking at their pricing which eventually was the only factor for my choice. (I went with the free forever promise)

Adding your unique selling/value proposition will make you stand out in a crowded online market. Communicate it clearly and highlight the value your customer really wants.

Do you know someone who would love to get better at communicating and writing?

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