USP – unique selling position. This is marketing jargon for the thing that sets a brand apart from the competition.
Forget about competing! DOMINATE your space!
I am playing in a field that is growing more crowded each day. More and more Christians are seeing the power of speaking authentically about the impact of their faith on their success results. Each time I research my industry, a new face or organization shows up. Honestly, I welcome them. Considering the urgent need, more of us ARE needed here. Even the Bible endorses this:
Matthew 9:35-38 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
So, while I embrace my fellow workers in the field, competing is not my style. First of all, the Lord’s work is nothing to compete in or about. Another reason why competing won’t happen on my end is, my focus is not to out-do another player, but to out-do my last best effort.
Despite my best effort, my work in the Christian finance space was repeatedly lumped in with the work of Dave Ramsey. While I am honored by this association, our work is very different, and I found that I had to tweak my branding to make this fact even clearer to my audience. I needed a USP desperately, or I would be lost in obscurity.
I used to push the branding message of “debt-free wealth”, but somehow, the ‘debt-free’ part of that message seemed to stand out more than the wealth part of it.
It is one thing to be debt-free, quite another to have wealth, debt-free. The message I tried to convey was not coming across as I sent it – and the definition of communication is, “the message sent is the message received”.
Have you ever played the game Chinese Telephone? Even if you know it by another name, there is a strong chance you played it at least once in your lifetime. It is where someone whispers something in someone’s ear, and they pass the message along a chain of friends. By the time the message gets to the end of the chain, it is radically different than it started out. This game teaches the power of EFFECTIVE communication.
Today, my focus is PROFITABLE STEWARDSHIP. To be more specific, my branding message is, “Profitable Stewardship CREATES debt-free wealth”, and that focus is my USP.
The area of debt management and debt freedom is very crowded, and indeed, it evolved as the burden of debt is so great that many felt called to offer a feasible solution. As I see it, debt-management is about shuffling around the already tight dollars, enjoying less and less (lifestyle contraction) so as to shift money to escape the debt trap.
- A steward is simply a manager. Christians believe (or should) that we own nothing, but rather manage what God has put under our control.
- A profitable steward is one who moves what God has put under their control to a profitable outcome.
- Profit is the area of more, of abundance, of wealth.
- Wealth is the fastest way to crush debt and allows for lifestyle upgrades, and a joyful spirit of generous giving. Focusing on wealth building moves the conversation out of the realm of scarcity and into the realm of abundance.
However, this is not a prosperity gospel conversation. I believe prosperity is not entitled, per se’, but IS within reach to those who are good stewards of what God has put under their control, moving it to a profitable outcome.
Matthew 25:20 The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the other five and said, ‘Sir, you gave me five talents; here, I have made five more.”
So, do you have a USP? If you feel your field or industry is very competitive, it is time to re-evaluate your place in the pile. When it comes to a USP, you quickly realize that being different can be a very good thing.
- Review your profit margin. Is there room to grow? Then take the necessary action to grow.
- Is the space competitively crowded? Do you feel you need to compete especially in the area of price, constantly lowering your profit margin? Then look for your USP and forget about competing and find a niche within the niche where you can stand apart.
- Need help? Clarity? An objective viewpoint on your stuff to help you find your USP? Connect with me for a FREE 30-minute consultation where I promise you will be heard, and receive customized value during this session. After that, we can follow up to see if there is a mutual reason to continue the relationship and conversation.