What is a USP and why is it Important to Your School?February 11, 2019
In your travels across most marketing and sales reading, you might come across the acronym, ‘USP’. USP stands for unique selling position, and it’s an important concept for every business, including your school to understand.
There are a number of reasons why it is important for your school to identify and then effectively communicate its’ unique selling proposition.
1. Creating a basis for a marketing strategy
Your USP is a great starting point for creating a marketing strategy for your school. Having a unique selling proposition gives your school an opportunity to create content that interests your target market. Once you identify your unique selling proposition, you can use it to create powerful and consistent messaging across various marketing channels. Don't forget: your school can have more than one unique selling proposition, so remember to focus on the features or aspects that make your school unique in the eyes of prospective parents and students.
2. Standing out from the competition
Uniqueness means you stand out from the competition. Grab the attention of members of your audience who are in the decision-making process of their school selection process by effectively messaging your USP. Using your school's marketing tools that guide prospective parents to your school's enrolment process, you can highlight USP as a point of interest. Your USP may be based around your school's offering, or even around its' use of technology or software. Think outside the box and highlight what sets your school apart from others.
"Uniqueness means you stand out from the competition."
3. Generating demand
Your unique marketing message will help you to create excitement and demand for enrolments to your school. Enrolments are an important goal, and a unique selling proposition can be a powerful way to help your school create interest, enquiries and even online enrolments. Push your USP message out through your marketing channels such as email, social media and networking and watch the demand for enrolments in your audience increase.
So how do you identify your unique selling proposition?
Remember that this is a marketing function, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be something tangible (e.g. we are the only school with a three-story library), but can be an aspect that your prospective audience values (e.g. we prepare your child to reach their future goals). As previously mentioned, prospective parents can also value an improvement in their experience with your school such as the availability of an online enrolment system, a useful and powerful school website or even a parent app.
- Think about your audience: what is important to them in a school?
- Step away from thinking about the school’s goals and think about the goals of potential students. How can you help them reach those?
- Look at local competitors and think about their core values. How can you set your school apart in comparison?
Once you’ve established your unique selling proposition, it’s important to communicate it effectively. Think about all of the marketing assets available to you and remember to ensure that all of your messaging is consistent, regardless of the marketing channel.
Editors note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.