You will have heard people speak of a ‘USP’. This is short for ‘Unique Selling Proposition’, or ‘Unique Selling Point’, or sometimes ‘Unique Selling Position’.
A USP is essentially a statement that sets out why your business and the products and services you offer are different from your competitors.
It is the reason (or reasons, if you have more than one USP) customers will choose your business over others that supply the same or similar products and services to yours.
We can all remember slogans, or taglines or memory hooks, as they are also sometimes called. I can still remember slogans from when I was as child growing up in the UK.
The magic worked. How do I know? It is clear to me now that I only seemed to process slogans that were for products I was interested in at the time. Opal Fruits (now Starburst): ‘made to make your mouth water.’ Fudge: ‘A finger of fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat.’ Mars: ‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.’
A good business is usually based upon a sound business plan.
A sound business plan will have a brand plan and from the brand plan there will be a brand marketing plan. A brand marketing plan will set out the methods business owners use to take their brand to market.
Marketing activities will then ensue and these will be supported by brand collateral, commonly a combination of well-written copy with elegant design across printed advertising materials, a website, video, social media, signage (including digital) and the like.
Of course, the brand should do much of the marketing work itself. After all, it is the brand with which individuals will resonate, identify, associate themselves and to which they will eventually become loyal.
But what about our use of the most ancient of social media – WOM? How can the full potential of WOM be realised in the digital age for your business, as part of your business marketing mix?
What is Tone of Voice?
Tone of voice is about how your business resonates both with prospects and customers in all forms of communication. This will include the spoken word, at presentations, when making a pitch, in videos or when dealing with customers in person, or on the ‘phone, for example.
This is the same for written words that describe your business in brochures, flyers, your business website, your social media channels, letters to customers and much more. And, it’s not always what is said, though content is important, it’s often the impact that’s made by the way you say it.
You might be tempted to wonder whether all of this is a load of old flannel! But, before you run away with the idea that you don’t need a tone of voice that ‘sings’ for your business, it’s worth making the point that your business will already have a tone of voice. Without focus, however, that tone is likely to be flat!
Messages from any business that hasn't adopted a tone of voice to fit their brand are likely to be inconsistent one prospect to another. Most important, such a business could be losing opportunities because of poor resonance!
Were you ready on the day GDPR came into force? No? Don’t panic!
We all know that consent is an important feature of the GDPR. How could we not? People have been banging on about it for long enough!
However, obtaining consent in all circumstances may not have been necessary after all and therefore wasn’t immediately required by the 25th May. And, undoubtedly, the process of becoming fully GDPR compliant will continue into the coming weeks and possibly months.
The process wasn’t helped – or at least, it was potentially slowed down – by all of us having to respond to the seeming myriad e-mails coming into our inboxes asking for consent – sometimes when the asked for consent wasn’t necessary! This still continues.
The result? A blend of respect for the way data is obtained and handled on the behalf of us all with an increase to workload that has felt, and continues to feel tedious.
Self-employment and business start-ups are becoming ever more common.
Reasons for opening a business are numerous and varied. For some a second income stream is the motivation while remaining in full/part-time employment. For others setting out and going it alone is all about freedom and control over schedules and work experiences. Others simply want to say goodbye to their bosses, constraints on promotion and salary stagnation.
The first week of the year has already passed. The Christmas and New Year festivities are fast becoming a distant memory. But, what of the New Year Resolutions? Did you make any? And, if so, how is your resolve in keeping them so far?
Have you already given up or are you still hanging on in there? Perhaps you’ve tried before, and you found yourself failing almost before you had even started.
How best can we keep to the resolutions we make on that strike of midnight that sees in the New Year? What about new disciplines for our business? How can we keep to the resolutions we make for our business to be more efficient, more streamlined and more profitable? Here are a few thoughts and ideas:
There’s no getting away from the reality that is Google. Whether we like to engage with behemoth-sized corporations of international scope or not, it is hard to imagine that our businesses will not benefit from Google in some way or another. At least that’s the situation for now.
Google supplies systems and applications that are extremely useful to small businesses, with Google Maps being one of these. Small business use of Google Maps, formerly known as Google Places, contributes as being one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your website and to increase ‘phone calls in to your business. Though, it is important to say that Google Maps works better for some small businesses than for others. Most effectively Google Maps performs better for businesses where a customer visit to a specific location is necessary. In fact, according to Google, around 30% of mobile searches are related to location.
We all know how popular Facebook is both for private users and with businesses. Facebook is something of a phenomenon and a multi-billion-dollar income generating machine.
Many of us use enormous amounts of our free time checking, posting, reacting and sharing at Facebook. Millions of us consult our phones in the morning immediately upon waking up with the Facebook app being one of the first things we check. In fact, Facebook has revolutionised our use of mobile phones altogether. In 2016 a Dscout survey revealed that typical mobile phone users spent 145 minutes on their phones and engaged in 76 phone sessions per day. At around the same time Apple confirmed that iPhone users unlock their phones 80 times every day – equivalent to six or seven times every hour. As for what is viewed during the multiple sessions, Facebook is often top of the list.
All too often it seems business planning fails to consider brand planning as a part of the complete process.
At Future Point 4 Business we believe that brand planning is an essential part of business planning. Why? Because the building of brand and customer loyalty to brand is key to getting new business from existing customers who in turn are far more likely to recommend the services they have received to their family, friends and other contacts. It is said that it’s 50% easier to sell to existing clients than to new clients and that 80% of future revenue will come from just 20% of clients.
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