What is Your Different?
I often ask clients: Why should people choose you? Most have trouble answering. But when they can, the answer always expresses the thing that makes them different.
Call it what you want — Unique Selling Proposition, Differential Competitive Advantage, Unique Perceived Benefit. It's all about different. Your different can do two things: 1) Make your stuff stand out, like UPS did with their "Brown" campaign. 2) Make your stuff better, like Apple does with their sleek design. Ideally your different does both. As a result, people you want choose you.
Is your different really different? Here's a quick test: Read your own propaganda (I mean marketing material, sorry!) but use the name of a competing organization, product, or service. The better the fit, the less unique it is. That's bad. The worse the fit, the more unique it is. That's good.
Next question: Does your different matter? Don't guess. Ask your "customers." If they believe it makes you stand out or makes your stuff better, then you're on the right track. Otherwise, not so much.
Here's a quick way to explore your different, knowing that, by definition, different involves comparison. First, think "…er." Smarter, safer, healthier, faster, cheaper, greener, stronger, funnier, easier. Think "more" and "less." More trusted, more experience, more results, more choices. Less clutter, less waste, less complicated, less problems.
Find your different that matters. Celebrate it. Make it known. It is why people choose you.
Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D., M.P.H.
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