For many people, the term ‘unique selling point’ or USP – an acronym used primarily by marketers – is meaningless. It is, however, the key to making your studio stand out.
Imagine you’re the client. You have three designers to choose from: 1) a London-based BIID member 2) another London-based BIID member 3) a third London-based BIID member. Designers 1 and 2 are relying heavily on their desirable studio location to bring in work. Designer 3, on the other hand, emphasises a passion for finding creative solutions for unconventional spaces. Her portfolio is filled with examples of bespoke designs that fit each client’s lifestyle, and testimonials from happy customers pleased with her results. Of the three options, which designer are you likely to remember? More importantly, which one are you inclined to hire?
In a world as competitive as interior design, you don’t want to be designer 1or 2 in this scenario, passed over because your message isn’t strong enough. Instead, you need to be designer 3, the one talking about something no one else is, doing what no one else is. Remember, your USP is as much about the perception of your brand as it is about the work, so even if 1 and 2 also transform unconventional spaces, with the correct approach and positioning, you can become the designer known for it.
Although identifying your USP is one of the most difficult tasks when establishing your studio, it is also one of the most important. Here’s how you might do it:
IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
A useful activity when trying to identify your USP is to visualise your ideal client. Picture this person, thinking about your desired:
- Age group
- Marital status
Once you have this visualisation in place, it is possible your USP will become clear. For example, if you are aiming for clients with a heavy art focus, your ability to work art into an interior would become your USP. It really is that simple.
CREATE A MOODBOARD
Although that immediate ‘Aha!’ moment can happen, at times the process may take a little longer. We thus like to have our clients create a moodboard. Focussing your thoughts on the business, put together visual cut-outs of your aspirations, motivations, areas of interest and admired brands. As your collection of imagery develops to create an overall feel, you may find a USP you hadn’t expected. Not keen on literal cutting and pasting? Create a Pinterest board!
THINK ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT
Just as you as an individual are different, you as a business are different. Take a moment and think about your studio identity, and your identity as a designer. Are you based in an unusual location? Do you have specialist training in a specific area of interiors or a related field? Brainstorm, make lists, and take the time to understand what makes you special. Your USP will soon follow.
Remember, if you need help identifying your USP and building your brand, please contact us at Camberyard. We would love to hear from you!