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488, '2015-10-01 10:00:00', 1, '2015-10-01 10:00:00', '127.0.0.1', 'Define your unique selling proposition to set your spa or massage practice apart', 'Y', 'What makes your spa or massage practice unique from the competition? Is it the type of massage therapies you offer – aromatherapy and deep tissue, for example - or the special skin treatments you’ve created? Do you have outstanding customer service that includes easy online booking and early morning or late hours convenient for clients who work? Or do you specialize in the needs of a type of a specific demographic – seniors or expectant moms? Whatever it is that you stand for and that sets you apart from others in your market is called your ‘unique selling proposition’ or USP.

The importance of your USP can’t be overstated. It is the reason clients choose your spa or massage practice over others. In “What’s our Salon’s USP?”Greg Milner advises that your proposition must be something that the competition cannot or does not offer. It’s not merely a benefit; it’s something that truly makes your business or service offering stand out. Also the USP must be so strong that it attracts new clients.    

Determine your USP

There are a number of steps to take to determine your USP.

Step 1 Profile your target clients:
Create a profile of your target customer. That profile can include age, income, gender, geography and other demographics. You also can consider specialties such as working moms, sports enthusiasts, couples, etc.

Step 2 Analyze your marketplace:
Consider thecurrent trends in your market? For example, is a type of massage particularly popular?  Also make a list of your biggest competitors and for each note what they do well and what they do poorly. 

Step 3 Identify client needs/preferences:
Ask yourself what are the needs of your clients? What will make them come back to your spa or massage practice time and time again over the competition? Don’t only consider the services and retail products you offer in making your list. Think about the other qualities that are meaningful to clients such as convenience, customer service, friendly staff and reliability.

Step 4 Identify your qualities:
Make a list of the qualities of your spa or massage practice relative to meetings the needs of your clients. For example, if your specialty is sports massage, identify those attributes where you exceed the competition in education, experience and client base. Identify what each of these qualities means to your clients in terms of benefits.

Step 5 Get feedback:
Ask long-term clients, business associates and even vendors, if you can interview them about your service compared to the competition. Use the strongest characteristic and qualities they use to describe your spa or massage practice in your USP.

Step 6 Create a USP statement
: Start by creating a paragraph that describes your USP. Include your differentiation and key substantiating points. From there, come up with one or two sentences summarizing what sets your spa or massage practice apart.

Step 7 Develop your marketing strategy:
Incorporate your USP messages in your website – traditional, mobile and app - social media channels, advertisements, e-mail marketing, and any other promotional activities.  Select visuals for marketing that also reinforce your USP. Visuals can reinforce your type of client, strong customer service, expertise in types of massage or skin treatments.  

Don’t rush the process. Developing your USP will take time but will be well worth the effort to attract the client base you want.