Denise Stoppleworth – President – IRONCLAD Marketing

Denise Stoppleworth

One only needs to walk into a store, or in our case, the floor of a show like World of Concrete or CONEXPO, to see the vast array of products available. With a global market at our fingertips, the choices and opportunities have never been more abundant – and neither have the challenges. With so many products on the market, the biggest challenge is making your product stand out. You have to give the customer a reason to purchase your product – a reason different from that of any competitor. But how do you find that reason or unique selling proposition?

A quick check of websites or review of ads will tell you that everyone is pretty much communicating the same message. We have durable and dependable products that outperform the competition. But
when everyone says the same thing, it’s no longer unique and provides no help for the customer in choosing the product that is the best fit for his or her needs. At that point, the sole differentiating factor becomes price, and selling on price is neither profitable nor sustainable. Someone will always be there to undercut the price and steal the deal. So to avoid the eroding effects of price selling, it takes some creativity and planning.

To develop your unique brand promise/selling proposition is not an easy feat. It will require time, analysis and input from every level within your company. It’s a complex process that requires analysis of your company and its core values, as well as competitors and the market subsets you target. Most companies use their communication tools to sell a product, and its attributes and benefits. Seems like a logical approach, right? However, it often doesn’t provide a way to differentiate yourself from competitors and it often lacks the emotional motivation to persuade a customer to purchase your brand.  To be effective, search deeper. Think about that one area where your company really shines – the one thing you can offer customers that no other company can match. Then, test your message by checking out competitors and other companies in your industry. Could your sales message fit those companies as well? Does it sound the same as the marketing message on competitor sites? If so, you need to dig deeper. Push your sales and management team to look deeper than the product. Have your employees brainstorm individual ideas and discuss as a group. Go beyond the typical jargon and product descriptors like durable and reliable and find something about the experience with your company and brand that will set you apart.

What challenges have you run into in identifying your company’s brand promise? What other companies do you think do a great job of communicating a unique selling proposition?

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