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Differentiation strategy 101: How to make your business stick out like a sore thumb (Part II)

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A differentiation strategy serves one purpose: To make an offering so unique that people have no choice but to take notice. The offering itself doesn’t have to be unique. It could simply be a matter of presenting or positioning a product or service to customers in a different way.
 
In Part I, ‘Differentiation strategies for wealth creation’, a business can differentiate itself by spreading messages to consumers in 'refreshing' ways. Consumers are not blind to this. They will immediately spot the difference and their interest will grow, as long as whatever you have to offer aligns with their needs. 
 
The manner in which you tell people about your business is important, but the real differentiating factor lies with the message. If your message or 'Unique Selling Proposition' (also known as USP) comes across as dull or ‘been there done that’ your sales and bottom line will suffer.
 
You know that good ol’ saying by Einstein, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. Consumers are getting bored out there. We are literally bombarded with product after product, service after service and message after message, all saying very similar things. It is inevitable that one is going to reach a tipping point, where our sub-conscious filters go into overdrive and sideline most sales pitches irrespective of whether they have something good to offer or not.
 
A business can avoid the cold shoulder of the consumer by drawing in their attention, by throwing something new into the market place. So first things first, make your message unique. It must stand out and be compelling enough to persuade others to act. It literally is the force that drives business success. The person reading your message has to clearly know what’s in it for them, and be moved to act.
  • What is the main benefit of your business offering?
  • How will your offering make peoples’ lives easier and more convenient?
  • How will your offering address peoples’ problems, or alleviate their ‘pain’?
  • How is your message unique?
As a business owner, your main job is take that single main benefit, put it into a clear and concise message and feed it to people who are open to receiving your message.
 
The message of my website for example, WayToWealthTM, is ‘Wealth creation for a new way of living’. May sound a bit ‘Duh’, but the only reason I used this particular message is because people told me to.
 
I worked for a number of years in the financial industry, and the biggest gripe or concern I found among employees was the feeling of being trapped. Many individuals expressed a need to change their lifestyles. This presented the perfect benefit, the idea of empowering one to aspire to a new way of living.
 
All I needed was a business vehicle to make it happen. What I found in the corporate world was that many people had no idea of how to make the change, which was a bit surprising. You'd expect someone working in the financial industry to have at least a wealth creation plan or some way out of the rat race. Nevertheless, the situation presented the perfect business tool, information.
 
And because I had experience in the wealth creation field, I decided to build a business which provided information on creating one’s ideal lifestyle through passive income, hence 'Wealth creation for a new way of living'.
 
►Below are ten examples of winning unique selling propositions:
 
1. Federal Express: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”
2. Dominos Pizza: “Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free”
3. Nyquil: "The night-time, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine"
4. Head and Shoulders: “You get rid of dandruff”
5. Michael Jackson: “The king of pop”
6. BMW: “The ultimate driving machine”
7. Gillette: “The best a man can get”
8. British Airways: “The world’s famous airline”
9. DeBeers: “Diamonds are forever”
10. Avis: “We’re second, so we try harder”
 
►Here are five steps to help you develop a unique selling proposition for your differentiation strategy:
 
Step 1: Identify the single biggest benefit that your business offers.
 
Step 2: What need or gap in the market are you addressing? How will you make your customers’ lives easier? What solution are you providing?
 
Step 3: Be unique. How will your message separate you from your competitors? How will you create desire and urgency? What are you promising?
 
Step 4: Condense your message into one clear, concise, and powerful statement. Use it everywhere when promoting your business.
 
Step 5: Make sure you deliver on your unique selling proposition.

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