What is UP with your USP? Are you standing out?

I could not take my eyes off of it! The sparkle was truly exceptional and it made me think. It had been awhile since I gotten my wife a “just because” gift of any magnitude. Luckily I was in the right place! I was chosen by Hearts On Fire diamonds to open their convention in Las Vegas last week. We did an exceptional interactive experience for all 550 – my Breaking Barriers – Board Break Experience. It is one of the few interactive team-building programs for a group that large and they loved it! Here is a picture of everyone.

Super star drummer Mark Schulman (see picture), currently with PINK on tour and Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete ever were also speaking, so it was quite special. HOF was the first company to take a commodity like diamonds and give it a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). They pioneered a special way to cut diamonds that makes them sparkle more than a typical diamond. I am a believer! I was excited to see an HOF store filled with neat items and the sale was good enough even people in the jeweler business were excited. I got my wife an amazing diamond pendant on a necklace. Boy does it sparkle! It looks like it has it’s own spotlight! Yes, she was thrilled!

Preparing for two other customized training programs for their retailers from around the world that sell their unique diamonds got me wondering.

What is my USP?

Am I communicating it effectively to help differentiate me from my competition?

How about you? When was the last time you reevaluated your USP? What is your point of differentiation that gives you an advantage? Is it relevant and are your customers and employees passionate about it?

There are many traditional markets facing massive disruptions. Uber in transportation is impacting not just the traditional taxi business but also rental cars and purchasing cars in general. Airbnb is impacting the hotel space, timeshare and vacation home market. Amazon seems to be impacting everyone exponentially, even grocery with the recent addition of Whole Foods. Meal delivery services like HelloFresh, Blue Apron and many others are changing the how families eat their meals and of course impacting the grocery business too. The cloud is also turning many business models upside down.

What do you do? How do you compete in the face of increasing competition and market disruption? Jerry Garcia, co-founder of the Grateful Dead said:

“You don’t have to be considered the best of the best, you just want to be considered the ONLY ONE who does what you do.”

How good is that? When was the last time you reevaluated your USP? Are you the only one that does what you do? You can compete but you have to be deliberate about your strategy.

I have worked hard to live that advice and cultivate my differences – more research, better customized message, quoting people I interviewed in relevant ways, creating interactive targeted handouts, higher energy level and audience interaction, getting the audience really involved in the process, getting off the stage in effective ways and having them make a committed DECISION at the end with a compelling why.

What are you doing before, during or after you do business with someone to stand out and be different? If you are not adding value in a unique way that resonates with your customers, than you run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

Why does anyone really care about you?

What are the stories your customers are telling about you on social media?

One good gauge is are you getting consistent business from repeat customers and direct referrals?

Do you have a system to even know if it was a referral, reward who referred them and measure it?

Hopefully I got you thinking. It got me thinking and the timing was perfect. I am in the process of updating my demo video, which is my primary marketing tool. My number one goal is to more clearly get across what makes me different. If you want a speech, don’t hire me!

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