Unique Selling Points of Your Product
“A Unique Selling Point sseparates your product from its competitors.”
Is There a Marketplace for Your Product?
Every product needs a market, and a crucial question you should ask is whether a clear market exists for your product. For example: If your product crosses several markets, will it be able to attract buyers from each, or will it be left seeming like a ‘jack of all trades’ product?
If you feel that your product is not part of an existing market, you need to be absolutely certain of who you are targeting as the risks are much higher when there is no known marketplace; particularly for smaller firms with less promotion budget. Although you should remember that highly innovative and new products can sometimes create their own section of the market if they are made and promoted well enough.
Identifying Your Market
Over the course of your research and development you need to find out about your potential marketplace, there are several common ways you can do this:
You could simply analyse the sales and finances of existing companies with similar products or in similar markets. This will give you an idea of which market your product fits into, how successful the market is, and what sort of prices people are prepared to pay. If there are any; you could look at trade magazines or public magazines related to the product or market; this will also help you when you look at marketing and promotions.
“Published reports are usually expensive, but provide well researched data.”
Many companies publish reports and research on various markets, providing details on sales and profits across the range of companies and products. These are usually expensive, but generally provide well researched data that can help you understand your product’s potential markets better.
You can also carry out your own dedicated research into your product, potential markets or potential customers. This will cost considerably more than other methods of identifying markets, but should provide much more relevant results; although good research results do not always translate into sales!
When you research your market, you need to find the right balance between research cost and accuracy. Generally, the more information that is available, the less it is likely to cost, but that does not always guarantee accuracy. Carrying out your own research will get you the most relevant results, but will normally cost considerably more than basic market research.
What are your Unique Selling Points?
A Unique Selling Point (sometimes called a Unique Sales Proposition) is a feature or benefit that separates your product from its competitors. This could be a lower price, a smaller version of the product, offering extra functions, or even simply producing a standard product in a range of colours or designs.
You need to look at your unique selling points compared to your competitors, if you do not have any; you will probably struggle to make your product seem attractive to customers.
When considering your product’s unique selling points are, you should consider what personal qualities you (or your key employees) have that can give you an edge over the competition.
Maybe you have a lot of experience with the product or related market, or maybe you have an expert knowledge of the product or manufacturing process. Many successful businesses have started when a knowledgeable employee (or team) has left a company to make an improved product on their own.
“Your edge will remain throughout the life of the company.”
While both unique selling points and your edge are benefits that can influence sales and marketing, your edge is much more long term. You may make new products, or change and update your product every few years, but your edge will remain throughout the life of the company.
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