What is your company’s unique selling point? How many corporate websites have you visited recently where you’ve read something like this?

Our unique collaborative approach will identify your business needs and recommend customized technology-based solutions that deliver measurable business outcomes.

I bet that’s pretty familiar stuff to anyone who works in IT. You may even admit to having something like it on your own site. And we’re honest enough to admit that similar skeletons lurk in our copywriting closets.

There are plenty of problems with copy like this. It lacks facts to back it up. It’s “we” focusednothing to do with the customer. It’s vague, uninteresting and jargon-heavy. It’s a waste of precious reader attention.

But the biggest problem is that it claims or implies uniqueness for something that (in its current form, anyway) is totally undifferentiated. How many consulting firms, system integrators, large service providers and “megavendors” would claim the same? In fact, give yourself a point for any provider that you can name that would disagree with such a statement!

If you’re going to have a unique selling point, make it unique (or at least rare). But even if you’re articulating how you meet the customer’s “table stakes”credentials like a “collaborative attitude” that give you permission to playshow how your individual achievements put a unique spin on the basics. Stats, accreditations and independent assessments are great place to startas are customer references.

Bonus points if you recognised the film reference.

Posted by John on 5 July 2011