I watched an interview with the guy from GoPro, the video camera company that has just been valued at $10bn or thereabouts. What impressed me is that somehow in a highly competitive field his business (a) identified their own space in it, and (b) owned it. Imagine how much there is to go wrong when you’re manufacturing highly technical video cameras with hundreds of components, that are intended to be used underwater, in snow and in the desert. It would be easy to get bogged down in the detail and lose sight of the bigger picture.
And this is a market where giants like Apple and Samsung make perfectly good video cameras that can also make phone calls – surely they’ve already got the market sewn up? Not according to GoPro, who spotted some unoccupied territory in the market. They realised that when people use their smartphones to record a video it’s reactive – they see something and want to record it. Whereas a GoPro user plans to use their camera proactively – on a dive, a bike ride, snowboarding or whatever. And that’s their unique selling proposition (USP) – for users to shoot great, cool content. And great content sells more cameras – just check out their marketing.
So if you’re struggling to find uniqueness in your proposition take heart from GoPro. Whether you’re selling cameras, software or your charity’s cause, make sure you find your USP. It may be slender, but it’s still a USP, and if you get it right you can own your part of the market.