In this age of digital and personal development, many have thrown around the term USP, or otherwise known as your Unique Selling Point. Some folks find it easy to identify these incredible strengths in others, but struggle to evaluate these attributes in themselves, their talents or their business offering.
As entrepreneurs, communicators or anyone with a dream, it is vital that you know what your unique strengths are, and utilise them in all of your business endeavours.
Let’s break it down into smaller parts and evaluate the significance of this term. When you are asked about your business, your skills, your capabilities or accomplishments, do you struggle to see what makes you unique? If you do, don’t worry, you are not alone in this dilemma. But if you do not challenge this weakness it will hold you back in every area where you seek to be successful. It is like carrying out a SWOT analysis on yourself, while determining where you are most likely to achieve your business goals.
So take a pen and paper, and jot down the words that come to mind as you answer these questions: There is no wrong answer, just be as honest as you can.
What differentiates you from what your competitors are doing or offering?
How do you add value in the industry or market you are currently in?
If you were not doing what you are doing, what would your consumers or customers miss out on?
When you wake up in the morning, are you motivated by the thought that you can make a difference in your work day, and if so, how?
Okay – how do you feel in the pit of your stomach right now? Are you chasing a goal that actually has no real value to your heart? Is there a possibility that you are stuck in your comfort zone and are no longer excited about what you are doing? If this is the case, then make the decision today to ‘unglue’ yourself from this place of underachieving.
“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn
Your skill set may be perfectly matched to the industry you are working in, so it just may be the case that you need to sharpen your focus in a more dynamic way. Either way, unless we challenge these thoughts, we can find ourselves drifting along with no real motivation and certainly having no lasting impression on those we desperately want to impact in business and life.
As I sat in my Strategic Services Marketing lecture, in order to complete my Bachelor of Business Hons Degree in Entrepreneurship, I was strangely challenged by an innocent word play.
Let me fill you in…
We were discussing the various ways one would develop your company’s ‘Flower of Service”, with a view to offering the best functionality for the service or product that customers are willing to pay for. We discussed the various ways you can add value to your customer’s experience while also running an effective and innovative marketing strategy. It is all about the core of your service plus your additional back-up services, which guarantee you the differentiation you desire. The ‘petals’ you develop as part of your marketing strategy are of immense importance, but so are other elements.
So, as the word ‘credible’ was suggested a few times, and we tossed around the idea of creating these added services as a business, I started to think about the word ’incredible’. The Incredible Hulk would never have become the superhero we grew up believing he was, if it were not for his superhero powers to impress and deliver. So in the latest new word of my amazing little nephew/godson, be “CLASS”, be a class person who delivers in an awesome way!
I would imagine every entrepreneur, whether an innovative product designer or a creative service manager, wants to be ‘incredible’. But I am also pretty sure they want to be ‘credible’ too, wouldn’t you?
So how does this translate? Well, I went off on a roll thinking about these two words and their definitions:
CREDIBLE:Able to be believed; convincing. Capable of persuading people that something will happen or be successful. Being capable of being believed; plausible. Keeping your word, being worthy of confidence and reliability. Being of sufficient military capability to deter an attack or carry out an operation successfully: Those of you involved in the marketing world may have heard of the term ‘credibility gap’: this describes the difference between high expectations aroused by unrealistic claims, and the actual performance of a product or service.
So for a moment let’s just switch to my other focus word and see how it is defined.
INCREDIBLE:Marvelous, amazing, astonishing, barely believable. It can be described as possessing a rich quality that provokes amazement and awe from your audience or customers. Others see it as maintaining a quality which is awe-inspiring and astonishing.
If you look at your own person-hood as a brand, do you see yourself as a trustworthy person who delivers credible value to those who do life with you, or are you more concerned about your ‘incredible ways’ than to bother with maintaining a strong ethical stand when it comes to fulfilling what you promise? These questions provoked me, and I considered the many organisations worldwide, who promise a product or service of infinite value to their consumers/users, while failing miserably in their real genuine power to deliver.
As I embark upon a new chapter in my writing career, I am so aware of the importance of being ‘credible’ and ethical, while hungering for the ‘wowness’ of the ‘incredible factor’ also. These are deep questions which should cause us to challenge our core beliefs. I believe it is possible to encompass both of these amazing qualities into our marketing mix, our ‘Flower of Service’, and more importantly our dealings with colleagues, family, and friends on a daily basis. Good petals are only valuable if they are equally as credible as they are incredibly wonderful!
In my current studies, I am seeing many stories of human resource departments having to fire people due to their poor moral standards, ethics or personality traits. It is sad that people who tick all of the boxes in remarkable ways, can fail in the personality department and lose their employable strengths over it. You may deliver incredibly well in your interviews, but turn out to be an awful person to work with every day. Be careful! be credible and incredible.