Today on a simple trip to the supermarket or the corner convenience store around the block, shopping for something as simple as bathing soap will require you to sample at least 10 different brands offering bathing soap and priced differently, all claiming to be different and better than their competitors owing to their key ingredients or advanced scientific formula or bargain offer or some other reason.

For a product like bathing soap which is already a cluttered market and the consumer is spoilt for choice, how do we arrive at a choice?

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What are the determining factors that govern selection and choice? Are we to believe the brand communication and the claims every brand makes positioning their product as out of the world even when it is something as simple and basic as bathing soap, something that has been around for a while in society and the civilized world. And if we are not to be swayed by the tall claims of manufacturing brands, what is the determining factor that should be the key influencing factor governing choice and selection?

Every manufacturing brand no matter whatever their product is differentiates itself from its competition based on which it positions and markets its product. This is known as USP or unique selling point of a product which no matter how many manufacturers may be offering in umpteen variants under other brand names, is a distinct distinguishing factor for every unique product sold under a particular brand name.

So if associating oneself with class luxury and premiums is a discretionary ability, the unique selling point of every product or brand is what influences discretion. So if you are a manufacturer whose product is not a unique product and is offered by other brands, you have to identify a brand or product attribute that sets your brand or product apart from the competition distinctly. Like emphasized and elaborated in an example prior, assuming your manufacture soap and there are other brands also offering bathing soap for sale, despite the similarity of your ingredients with your competition and other profound similarities, there has to be identified one distinct discernible factor that is unique to the soap manufactured by you that is not replicated in any of the other variants available in the market.

Some soaps are positioned as beauty supplements, some bathing soaps are projected as a luxury cosmetic and some as antibacterial healthkeepers. This is an example of how distinctly different USP need to be developed for the sustenance and establishment of a brand.

How to identify & define your brand USP all while making it stand out?

In order to and create and define the USP for any brand, one needs to take a good hard look at the brand and define it again from the perspective of the reference points below.

Understand your target audience

Your target audience defines what sort of brand you are, if you are a smart cool and uber trendy brand like Snapchat or if you are crisp, a serious professional brand like a healthcare and insurance brand. The whole point of this being, who you attract in your Brand propaganda and propositioning through your communication, is who will actually end up spending money to make sales happen. So if your product is a trendy item that should be a hit amongst the youth and teenagers, your communication should be fitting in order to attract the youth and teenagers. If the advertising of the product displays a serious and gloomy picture, it might not end up attracting or captivating the youth, who are eventually not going to spend their money on your produce.

So understanding your target audience and positioning your brand in relevance and reference to the same is very critical to the success of any brand. However, don’t let sales decide which section of the audience you are catering to. Teens and minors are not employed adults and the purchase on their behalf is going to be made by their guardians or it is going to be sponsored. So repositioning your brand commune to cater to adults is not going to work to your brand’s advantage. You decide who your consumers are and devise your strategies accordingly.

Outline your brand’s competitive edge over the others

Once you have outlined your target audience, and the consumer segment with which your brand’s maximum appeal lies in, identified, we can move on to discussing the brand’s category, industry segment and voice over market. Upon ascertaining the prior parameters and fulfilling them, we perform a market research and chart out top players in the same category and price range.

And after collating data corresponding to these top players, who can also be referred to as competitors, a pattern has to be analyzed regarding their performance parameters and recorded. Comparing the prior data to the brand’s data corresponding to the same parameters, a comparative analysis will reveal brand strengths and weaknesses and reveal areas of major effort and capital investment and areas which are under control. Thus such analytical comparison, inspection, and thorough investigation can help outline a competitive edge for the brand and derive a sustainable brand strategy to address the competition.

Observe Industry Trends and draw a pattern

As discussed earlier, dedicated and sincere efforts have to be made to understand the behaviour of major players in the category who can be considered to be immediate rivals, in context to the nature and performance of the industry segment as a whole, in order to derive a distinct pattern. Identifying this pattern will be the stepping stone or the key to unlocking success. Easier said than done; arriving at a pattern will require immense hard work in collating predated data dating back years and comparing them on a larger scale to identify a definite pattern in the behaviour trends of the industry. Many companies have started implementing technology as a part of the current trend and use a online customer support software which helps in better interaction with clients and also gives them a closer touch.

Along with a defined USP and a well crafted competitive strategy, an established pattern, if recognized and identified can definitely make noticeable displacements in the industry and direct them in your brand’s favour. However, there is a lot of hard work and perseverance to be invested before one can arrive at a tried and tested guaranteed formula to completely overhaul and capture consumer markets.  

There needs to be continuous testing and prototypes and their enhanced versions developed to improve on the original module of the Brand USP and then only can the foundations of a sustainable brand are laid. For example, you begin with positioning your inherent brand merits as your USP but slowly with time and the overwhelming number of returning visitors, you change your USP to customer loyalty and focus on developing and growing the same with brand loyalty programs. The flourishing of the brand and relating its thoughts with its audience depends completely upon communication.

Using the right tools of communication and being present at the rights place where your audience is, at the right time is a tested strategy to captivate your target audience and arrest their attention with your brand presence. So in the conclusive line the one fact that remained untold is that this piece could very well be the key to USP generation for your firm if reviewed with insight.

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Today on a simple trip to the supermarket or the corner convenience store around the block, shopping for something as simple as bathing soap will require you to sample at least 10 different brands offering bathing soap and priced differently, all claiming to be different and better than their...