by Tony Vidler
Spoiler: YOU do NOT have to be unique to have a strong differentiator. People mistakenly believe that they have to find their “uniqueness” in order to be able to articulate their value to the market. But your uniqueness doesn’t really matter in reality.
You are one of 7 billion unique people on the planet, and the mere fact that you are one of those unique creatures means nothing to your potential customers.
Commercially, the reality is that most professional practices probably do not appear to be unique to most prospects either. One of the consequences of increased regulatory supervision and guidance is an increase in homogeneity I’d suggest – meaning it is more difficult than ever for a firm to appear unique potentially. There will appear to be someone else, or a bunch of someone else’s, doing pretty much what you do and and generally how you do it too as far as the market can tell. Even if you have figured out a brilliantly innovative and different way of delivering professional services it won’t stay unique for long. It will be imitated if it is really good.
The point is that achieving genuine uniqueness as a firm is increasingly difficult, and even if achieved it is probably not sustainable.
Yet, every single professional has a bundle of skill, expertise, personal style and business structure which adds up to something different. Everyone DOES have a unique business, and understands this instinctively even if they have never really tried to analyse the points of difference. Professionals still struggle to define and then express that difference in a meaningful way to their potential customers though.
The problem is that advisers tend to look at it the wrong way. It isn’t about finding your uniqueness; you need to find the unique experience or outcome that you create for your potential customers. It is about defining and then articulating the value in that which you deliver, because that is what is all that matters to the individual customer. YOU don’t matter so much.
The value for the customer is a combination of measurable’s and intangible’s…it is feelings as much definable’s. A great selling proposition, or value proposition, captures the feeling as much as the measurable outcome that your ideal customers are looking for.
What actually matters at the end of the day is not what is different about you, but what valuable difference you can create for them that nobody else has captured their imagination with.
That is a Unique Selling Proposition.