My Marketing Thing

Branding your specialness

Branding your USP cartoon

Remember how in the previous post of What makes you so special, eh? we talked about your ‘unique selling proposition (USP)’.

While the term USP doesn’t sound all that riveting, identifying what is it for your business is the key to “happiness and success” (in marketing hype terms, that is) or “what is going to work for you” (in my terms).


An example

Let’s say that, after assessing your competition, it is clear you are the only locksmith in your area offering a ten year guarantee.  And let’s assume that having a ten year guarantee is of great interest to your potential customers – though if there is doubt, market test it (have a gander at: Market testing your promotional concept).

Okay, so that little guarantee nugget could be considered your USP.

How do you introduce that USP into your branding?

  • Tagline
    If your business name is Hills Locksmiths, then your tagline (appearing under your business name/logo graphic) could be “Guaranteed security for ten years”
  • General ‘look and feel’ 
    Another approach is to position that official seal (with ’10 year guarantee’ in the middle of the seal) and popping it on your website banner, on the cover of your brochure, at the side of your business card layout, etc.


USPs can change

The marketplace demands change, what is available changes. Your tagline and general ‘look and feel’ are easier to change with the times than your business name or logo.

If you are feeling really rock-solid about this USP for now and the long term, you could approach it like this:

  • Business name
    If you don’t yet have a business name then you could look at naming your business Guaranteed Locksmiths.
  • Logo graphic
    An alternative approach could be having a logo depicting a key with an official seal stamp over it.


Don’t be caught false advertising

Avoid saying “We are the only ones who….” because:

  • There might be someone else who does offer this, you just haven’t found them yet.
  • There might be someone else who does offer this, but they are crap at promoting it.
  • As soon as a competitor sees you are “the only ones who…”, they might think “Hey, what a great idea!” and start doing it too (you can’t control copycats like this).

The fact that you are offering it is special enough. For now.


Wrap up

Whatever you do, ensure that your USP is communicated simply and clearly. Also remember to put your USP into your elevator description.

Don’t know what an elevator description is?

I have been lax, my friend! Let me share that piece of excitement with you in the next post…


This post was written by Megan Hills.  Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who thinks ‘lax’ means ‘neglectful’, not the other definition… Find out more about Megan

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One Comment

  1. I think you forgot one of the oldest ways to advertise your business.   Promotional products have been around since the 1800's and started with match books with business names imprinted on the boxes.
    Here is what Harvard has to say about promotional products.
    According to a survey printed in Harvard Business Review: Only 25% of people remember seeing an ad on TV or in the newspaper the day after seeing it. On the other hand, 39% of people surveyed were able to recall the donor of a free gift six months after receiving it, 74% were still using the gift, and 70% had purchased goods or services from the giving firm.

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