Don't have a USP. Don't need a USP.

Why you need a smarter approach to sell complex software and services

Don’t have a USP, don’t need a USP.

USPs like this help consumers with snap decisions.

USPs like this help consumers with snap decisions but not more complex purchases.

When you are talking about marketing, you can’t go very far without someone mentioning how important it is to have a USP, or Unique Selling Point for your product or service.

But when you are selling complex technology, business-to-business, is it worth spending time and effort creating and promoting a USP? And if not, what should you do instead?

Great if you’re selling soap

Many people talk about USPs as if they were something quite generic and broadly applicable. But they’re not. A USP is a very specific tool, created in the early days of TV advertising, to make up some kind of memorable differentiation between different brands of soap powder or breakfast cereal.

Because consumers make scores of quick-fire purchase decisions in every shopping trip, USPs for everyday products don’t have to be particularly meaningful or credible, just so long as they are different and memorable.

More rational reasons to buy

But when you are marketing something more complex, business-to-business, the decision makers and budget holders have a lot more at stake. They take the time to do research and find rational reasons to choose one product over another.

What they need from you is a clear proposition: Acknowledgement of their situation and their challenges; an outline of how, specifically, your solution helps with that; and insights into how you do it better than your competitors.

Creating this kind of relevant, persuasive marketing proposition isn’t easy. It demands real customer insight and the skill to map your product features onto your audience’s most pressing needs. But done right you have a marketing tool that not only works for you throughout the sales process, but does justice to the competitive advantage that you have worked so hard to create.

For me, that is the real selling point.

Next steps

If you would like to discuss this further, then please call me on 01905 317 318 or email

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