LinkedIn: How to STAND OUT with a Unique Selling Proposition

"When you're one-of-a-kind, you have no competition." - Intrigue Expert Sam Horn

Quick. What's your competitive edge? How are you different, better, one-of-a-kind? Why should clients and decision-makers choose YOU over the "other guys?"

One way to stand out is to create a USP - Unique Selling Proposition - that gets people's eyebrows up (a sure sign of intrigue).

How do you come up with your USP? Ask yourself:

  1. How can our company zig where our competitors zag?

  2. How can we do the opposite, not the obvious?

  3. What do we offer that's first of its kind or one of a kind?

  4. Condense that POD (Point of Distinction) into a clever name or tagline.

People will flock to your door, website or product if you distill what's special about you into something intriguing they instantly get and want. Plus, you’ll attract media attention because TV, radio, print and social media reporters are always looking for the next new thing.

For example, a restaurant was losing money because no one was coming to their happy hour. Why? Well, there were dozens of restaurants in their area offering happy hours.

Being like everyone else is a prescription for blending-in ... which is a problem because blending-in is for Cuisinarts, not companies. We want to break-out, not blend-in.

The restaurant manager kept looking for a competitive advantage, something customers wanted, but couldn’t find elsewhere (another way to identify your USP).

One evening, he saw a customer tie his dog up outside and then come in to join friends for a cold one.

Light bulb moment. Why not offer a special happy hour for dog-owners so they could bring their four-legged friend who had been cooped up all day? The restaurant could put out water bowls, hand out dog biscuits and offer a special discount for dog-owners who brought their canine pal. It was a win for everyone.

What to call this “petworking” opportunity?

Use a POP! technique called “Alphabetizing” in which you talk your key word through the alphabet to coin a brand new word that gets people’s attention. “Appy Hour, Bappy Hour, Cappy Hour, Dappy Hour” and eventually you get to “Yappy Hour!”

You may be thinking, “Big deal, so it’s a clever name.” You bet it’s a big deal. The Washington Post wrote an article about the throngs of people showing up for the Alexandria, VA Holiday Inn’s wildly popular (and profitable) “Yappy Hour.”

That article was picked up by newspapers across the country. Now, millions of people know about their “Yappy Hour.” This nation-wide publicity generated a dramatic increase in name recognition and revenue . . . all for a few minutes of strategic brainstorming that helped them come up with a USP that made them one-of-a-kind vs. one-of-many.

If your business isn’t making as much money as it could or should, chances are you’re offering the same products/services as everyone else. That means potential clients have no reason to pick you over the "other guys" because you look all alike.

As a communication consultant who’s studied the art and science of intrigue for 20 years, I’ve developed a step-by-step process for identifying a USP that gives you a competitive edge and gets your organization, idea, product or service noticed . . . for all the right reasons.

Want more ideas and examples of how to POP! your business and brand with a one-of-a-kind USP? Check out my book POP! which Ken Blanchard recommended as "A lively, fun, and inspiring guide to getting heard, getting remembered, and getting results."

Read the original article on LinkedIn.