Today we have more options than our brains can often handle. Take milk. Would you like that skim, light or full cream? More calcium or less sodium? Strawberry, mint, chocolate, banana or vanilla? Would you like that in a carton, a bottle or a jug? Powdered, fresh or long-life? Will that be paid by cash, cheque, credit or savings? Paper or plastic?
When your prospective customer is standing at the proverbial milk section, gazing at the seemingly endless options, what makes them reach out and grab yours? Essentially, you’re just a carton of milk; like the carton next to you, and the carton next to them and all the other cartons around you.
But there’s something unique about you. Sure, you’re a carton of milk like everyone else, but you offer something more. Your customer knows that when they’re pouring you on their cereal or in to their morning coffee, they’re pouring in added calcium, or a 10% saving, or the peace of mind you get from knowing that the cow this milk came from was grazed on environmentally-friendly grass in a big green paddock with absolutely no performance pressure at all.
Think about your competitors. What do they offer in addition to their core offering? Why do people by their product or service over everyone else’s?
Now look at your product. What is it that makes yours different to everyone else’s? Is it something customers would find valuable? And do they know about this unique trait of yours?
With so many options available, it’s nearly impossible to differentiate yourself based purely on your core offering. Very few people today buy purely to fulfil a practical need. Sure, that practical need gets them to the milk section. But it’s your unique selling proposition that moves them to choose your carton of milk.