Will People Find You?
Updated: Sep 22
I've written about the importance of having a USP in business in a previous blog, but I think that it is such an important element of growing a successful organisation that it is worth looking at again - but in a slightly different way.
When I started my first ever business it was on the back of being kicked out of college and then, shortly after, being made redundant. So, as you might imagine, not exactly the dream starting point. But it made me hungry, driven and determined.
It also meant that we started with a low budget to open our first store - this being the case, a fancy city location was not feasible. In fact, not even an un-fancy town centre location was a possibility!
But what we lacked in location we more than made up for in other ways.
We were creative, we did things others hadn't ever attempted, we thought outside the box, we created a niche, we basically invented a whole new sub-sector of an established industry and we created so much value for our customers that we became a destination in our own right.
Sometimes you can create something so good that people will come and find you.
Our first location was 7 miles outside of the main town, in a tiny village among a small parade of shops, but within weeks we had people queuing out of the door to buy from us.
I understand that in this modern and more tech-focused world that might be hard to believe, but it is true. People would literally bring a packed lunch with them while they waited until we found them (or in some cases made them) their ideal trip. We would have so many people waiting outside the shop on a Saturday that we employed 'runners' whose sole responsibility was to make their way up and down the line continually providing refreshments; teas, coffees and bacon sandwiches were what we used to keep the waiting public sweet!
Now, I mention the tech-savvy new world with an understanding that driving enough traffic to a physical location in 2022 is fairly hard to do, but it can still be done. You just have to have an offering that delivers so much value (or even perceived value) that people will vote with their feet.
Look at the queue at any Apple store on the day that a new £500 device comes out... people can't get enough of it!
Nusret Gökçe aka Salt Bae sprinkles seasoning with such style that people will now happily go and spend a few grand on a steak!
Marketing oracle Gary Vee will put out a tweet about a meet up and hundreds will descend on a random street corner to hear him dish out social media advice.
The digital revolution has made it easier than ever to start something, to create something, to build something - but the ease of creation leads to a greater challenge in terms of gaining attention.
Maybe USP doesn't quite cut it these days; maybe businesses now need E-USPs aka Extraordinary Unique Selling Points. At the very least, whether you operate in the real-world or the digital space (and let's not start the debate on the metaverse as that’s a whole different subject), ask yourself the question, is what you offer worthy of a customer or client taking the time and effort to proactively seek you out and come to find you?