The following is a questionnaire can be used to help determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Unique Selling Proposition Questionnaire
Your Industry: (First, let’s take a look at your industry/market as a whole…)
How would you describe your industry?
Describe how your industry has changed in the last 5 years…
Describe the changes you expect to see in the next 12 months in your industry…
Describe the changes you expect to see in the next 5 years in your industry…
Describe the perceived standards of customer service in your industry…
Describe the perceived standards of technology in your industry…
Describe the perceived standards of product quality in your industry…
Describe the perceived standards in sales & marketing in your industry…
How does your business compare to these industry standards?
What are businesses in your industry required to guarantee?
Your Market Place…
Describe the average customer in your industry (not necessarily the same as your customers).
What is most important to an average customer in your market place (scale 1-10 with 10 highest)?
Quality Speed of service
Price Customer Service
Safety Back up Service
Is the current market place growing or diminishing? Please explain.
Is your typical customer different from the generic industry customer you have described? How?
Customer Motives and Frustrations…
Customers “hire” an industry’s products and services to get specific “jobs” done. These jobs can be:
- Functional: “Help me get a job done” e.g. buy a lawnmower to mow my lawn, see a doctor to get over an illness.
- Social: “Help me to get others to feel a certain way about me” e.g. buy a Mercedes to let people know my status, install a high end kitchen to impress my friends.
- Emotional: “Help me feel a certain way about myself” e.g. go to a day spa to get a massage, enroll in Weightwatchers to lose weight.
What are the “jobs” that customers hire your industry’s product/service to get done?
What are the 3 major benefits of buying your industry’s product or service?
What frustrations do customers experience when trying to find your industry’s product or service?
What frustrations do customers experience when making a decision whether or not to buy your industry’s product or service?
What frustrations do customers experience when they go to buy your industry’s product or service?
What frustrations do customers experience when receiving, picking up or installing your industry’s product or service?
What frustrations do customers experience when using your industry’s product or service?
What frustrations do customers experience after they’ve bought your industry’s product or service?
If you were a customer, why would you dislike buying from companies like yours?
Describe the sort of customers who dislike buying from companies like yours… and tell us why?
Describe the sort of customers who love buying from companies like yours… and tell us why?
If you could easily overcome any 2 of your customers’ frustrations, what would they be and how would you overcome them?
List your 3 biggest competitors…
What do they do well?
What do they do poorly?
What would the average person say about each of these competitors?
What is ‘unique’ about them?
What ‘guarantees’ do they have in place?
How are these guarantees promoted?
How ‘genuine’ are these guarantees?
What can’t each of your competitors guarantee?
What can they do that you can’t?
Where are they located geographically in comparison to you?
Your Customer’s Thoughts…
What are 3 things your best customers say about you?
What are 3 things your worst customers say about you?
What would an average customer have said about you 12 months ago?
How would their opinion differ now?
Your Specific Niche…
Describe your current “A” customers…the customers who are wildly happy with you and who are most likely to go out and talk about you with others.
Describe your ideal future customer….
Rank the priorities, on a scale of 1-10 (10 is highest), of your ideal future customer in the same way as you ranked the priorities of your generic industry customer? Pay particular attention to the differences, if any…
Quality ____ Speed of service ____
Price ____ Customer Service ____
Reliability ____ Consistency ____
Safety ____ Back up Service ____
Convenience ____ Image ____
Guarantee ____ Other
What are 4 reasons your customers come to you rather than to your competitors? (This question is particularly important, so give it some real thought.)
In what 4 ways do you believe you are genuinely different from your competitors?
Below are some attributes valued by customers in any industry. Place your competitors on lines where they excel in providing these attributes. For example, Volvo is known for safety, Porsche for speed etc…
- Quality _________________
- Speed of service _________________
- Price _________________
- Customer Service _________________
- Reliability _________________
- Consistency _________________
- Safety _________________
- Back up Service _________________
- Convenience _________________
- Image _________________
- Guarantee _________________
- Other _________________
Based on the above, which niche do you believe you fill?
What can you do that no one else can?
In the 1900’s Claude Hopkins, the advertising guru, made the beer company Schlitz the market leader with one ad… all he did was describe the process the company went through when making the beer. Please describe in detail how your product is made and delivered…
Write down exactly what you discuss with a customer writing this info down word for word.
What are the 5 things about your product or service that you take for granted, that your customers don’t know about?
If you have one, what is your current marketing positioning statement / tag line? (i.e. “Things go better with Coke”, “Just do it”)
How is this different from your past attempts?
How do customers react to your current positioning statement?
What have you learned from the changes that you have made to your positioning statement to date?
What is your current written guarantee?
How is this different from your guarantees of the past?
How do customers react to your current guarantee?
What have you learned from the changes that you have made to your guarantee to date?
Your Ideal Scenario…
List 3 things that you cannot confidently guarantee today, that you would love to be able to guarantee…
What is the one thing that if you could guarantee it, would make you the market leader? (For example, a gas station that guarantees to sell you a winning lottery ticket every time)…
In an ideal world, what would you like your customers to see as the main point of difference between you and your competitors?
If there was one phrase your customers and prospects could use to describe you as you are today, it would be…
‘Oh, you’re the guys who…’
If there was one phrase your customers and prospects could use to describe you in your ideal world it would be…
‘Oh, you’re the guys who…
Think of 3 industries as far removed from yours as you can, then from each one, ‘steal’ an idea that could give your business a real point of difference (for example KFC – Finger licking good.)
What You CAN Guarantee…
What 5 things will relieve your customer’s frustrations that you can guarantee and deliver 100% of the time right now?
What 3 additional things will you be able to fully guarantee within the next 3 months?
YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION -
Now that you’ve carefully analyzed your industry, competitors, customers and your business, craft a unique selling proposition by asking yourself 7 questions:
- Who? Who are you (company’s name)?
- What? What business are you in?
- For Whom? What people do you serve?
- What are their Wants and Needs? What are the special wants and needs of the people you serve? What “job” are your customers really buying your product/service for?
- Against Whom? With whom are you competing?
- What’s Different? What makes you different than these competitors?
- So? What’s the benefit? What unique benefit does a client derive from your product or service?
Put this all together into a short positioning statement. Example:
“Yellowbird Marketing Solutions helps businesses create and deliver their unique message to their unique marketplace of qualified buying customers. We do this by helping them to create their message and then develop the tools, from online to offline including web sites, blogs, email marketing, search engine marketing (ppc ads, social media site design, print including fliers, brochures and print advertising, in which to deliver it.”
Next Up: Finding Your Target Audience