Is your product different?
In a monopolistic market where there are a huge number of sellers and there is a great competition between the products and prices, where does your product stand?
Change is the law of the nature. If you have something different and unique in your product portfolio or you are ready to change only then can your company sustain in a longer run and can afford to grow and diversify.
To create a ‘difference’ in your product is essentially known as creating a USP or a Unique Selling Proposition. “With a cluttered marketplace in almost every business domain, the ability to stand out and be seen as a unique value-driver is what makes the difference between success and failure. We, at Magnon Solutions ensure that our capabilities of being a ‘one-stop-shop’ for Web Design, Web Technology and Web Marketing is something that we communicate powerfully in our pitch and sales collaterals” says Vineet Bajpai, Chief Executive Officer, Magnon Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Dominos created a USP for itself by announcing that their Pizzas would be delivered in just 30 min. from the time the order is placed, if not then it’s free.
Uniqueness in a product can be created by enhancing certain factors associated with your product. However, before starting, answering the following questions to yourself will help you in assessing the potential or the prospects of your product.
- Is your product unique? Are you sure about it?
- If ‘yes’, then how? If ‘not’ then, in what way is your product better than your competitor’s?
- Do you deliver value at a competitive price?
Once you have the answers, analyse the following factors and work on the uniqueness of your product accordingly.
Product features and benefits:
Study, what are your product’s features and their specific benefits. The features and benefits attached to your product should be such that they should either be unique or should be better than your competitors. They could be either saving customer’s money like Tata Docomo Mobile plan of 1p. per sec., combos provided by food chains like McDonalds, Dominos and others or gaining convenience and time like MTR’s ready to Eat Meals, Maggi’s Cup-a-mania noodles, PHD of PizzaHut.
A product’s USP or differentiation could be that it caters to a niche market. A product like Emami’s Fair and Handsome cream’s USP is that it is one of the few fairness creams that are for men. A car like Tata Nano’s USP is its low cost or in other words it is different from other car manufacturers in terms of the segment it caters to (i.e. - lower middle and middle level income group).
Service, especially after sales:
Certain brands create a USP by the unmatched service and value that they provide. “The creation of an entirely different product or service ‘experience’ is what matters and makes one company different from another. For example, you may get to see the same feature film in an old and single screen movie theatre as the one you get to see in a sparkling 7 screen multiplex but the services is what creates the difference.” says Bajpai. Maruti for example, is renowned for the after sales service that it provides to its customers. SBI, another example of a company, or more precisely a bank that is renowned for its service as it has the most number of ATMs in the country. Bajpai further adds “In our business we don’t just create Web properties for our clients, we bundle them with unparalleled post development support, deploying a 24*7 Relationship Manager, introducing Global standards as thought leaders in the Indian Web space and thus converting every dollar of client spend into honest Digital value”
While considering your product’s USPs, you should also consider the skills of your key employee or the key team. Your team can have people who have a huge experience in branding and marketing or some person, who thinks laterally that could do wonders for your product or your company as these help in generating better ideas. Some of the most successful business have started when a knowledgeable team or employee have created an improved product of their own. Rajdeep Sard esai, the well known Journalist, earlier working with NDTV is now the USP of CNN-IBN. Steve Jobs, previously working as the CEO of Pixar Animation s tudios, quit his job and co- founded Apple Inc., one of the biggest IT multinationals along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. Talented and famous people like these become the differentiating factor or the USP for a company
An added benefit or product plays its part to create a unique identity of the product and thus either creates a USP for itself or supports other factors to create a USP. Big Bazaar, a leading retail chain has used this strategy to create a name for itself and thus has become its differentiating factor.
So think again for your unique feature as being unique will give you an edge that you had always looked for.
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