The importance of positioning for the small business.

One of the things I love about being in the marketing industry is the incessant stream of creativity and the ability of being able to experience the unique perspectives of various businesses.  I find it amazing when two identical businesses can put different spins on the same exact product.  You have all heard the saying that there is no need to reinvent the wheel in business but I am not so sure I agree.   Every business is different and regardless of whether you are selling a product or service that other businesses are also selling you need to create a reason for people to do business with you.  You have to position yourself so that you stand apart from the competition.  You have to come up with something that makes you unique from the rest.  This is known as “Unique Selling Proposition” referred to as USP, and this is not something new, USP has been around for years.

The goal of USP is to create a benefit for your target customer that is different than the competitions, even though the actual product may be the same.  For many years Burger King told their customers that “You can have it your way”, this was their USP.  While there may have been dozens of hamburger joints in any particular city or town you could only have it your way at Burger King.  That set them apart, made them unique from the competition.  Dominoes Pizza guaranteed delivery “Under 30 minutes or it’s free”, FedEx “On time, every time or it’s free”.  These companies all made themselves different from the competition, even though the product might be the same, they added something to the mix, to make them standout, to make them different, using USP they created a specific type of image in the minds of their customers and potential customers, known as positioning, one of the Fundamentals of Marketing.

Positioning doesn’t just apply to larger companies; it applies to all businesses, large, medium, and small alike.  The fundamentals don’t change based on the size of a business, they are just as important and small businesses would do well to familiarize themselves with the various fundamentals and how they apply.  Regardless of whether you are a fortune 500 company trading on NASDAQ or just a small business on Main Street, you need a USP and you need to position yourself in the minds of your target customers.