Archives for June 2012

The Importance of a Unique Selling Proposition

When it comes to getting your message across clearly and succinctly, having a truly unique selling proposition (USP) is critical to your success. Printers absolutely need a USP that lets them stand out from the crowd, differentiate from the competition, and position their company as the go-to resource for the services they offer. Here are some suggestions for articulating your USP:

1. Identify what makes your company unique – Just as the name suggests, a “unique” selling proposition must explain what distinguishes your company or offer. It’s easy if you have a product that’s new to the marketplace, but for most printing companies that isn’t the case. Hence, the first thing to do is define the particular advantages your company has over the competition.

2. Be specific – Generic-sounding claims about customer service or simply being the best are not effective. Start by creating a list of each specific benefit that your company provides. As you review it, one or more unique aspects should emerge and provide the basis for writing a strong, descriptive, specific USP.

3. Keep it short – USPs are not introductory paragraphs. They are generally a phrase or sentence. Don’t ramble. The more concise you are, the better your results will be.

Effective USPs identify the most important benefits of using your services, solve an industry pain point, and (of course) are unique. Once you’ve determined yours, the final step is to integrate the USP(s) into all your marketing collateral and customer communication tools, such as email signatures, social media sites, invoices, etc.

As always, I’m happy to discuss any of the above. Feel free to contact me any time.

Patrick Whelan

The Summer Slowdown Opportunity

Summertime often divides us into two categories: Those who slow down as the weather warms up and those who move full speed ahead. Which category do you fall into?

With many people choosing to slow down, this represents a fantastic opportunity to get noticed (less marketing chatter to compete with), evaluate and plan your marketing priorities and position your company for strong fall sales. Evaluate your successes and failures. What needs to stay the same and what needs to change.

Streamline your priorities. The more detailed and complex your marketing plans are, the more prone to procrastination they become.

Delegate. Accountability is critical to marketing execution. Assign tasks to people who have the skills and time.

Brainstorm. The summer slowdown gives you more time to think out of the box, solicit more input, etc.

Execution. This is where most print companies fail, thereby making it easier for competitors that do execute. Refer back to #3. Make it an absolute priority. Be patient and be consistent.

Having an effective marketing strategy isn’t hard or expensive. It just takes a little planning and a commitment to execution. Summer is a great time to plant the seeds for the fall selling season.