One of the most challenging marketing tasks for a plumbing company owner is identifying a point of uniqueness. Why should a consumer do business with you, instead of the dozens of other plumbing companies screaming the same message? Why indeed?  


What is a unique selling proposition?

To differentiate yourself, you want to craft a unique selling proposition, or USP. It is a pity expression of why you are unique, different and better than everyone else. It answers the question, “Why you?”  Following is a nine-step process that will give you a winning USP.


1. Identify your target

Who are you trying to reach? Are your residential or commercial? Do you concentrate on a particular geographical area? Describe your target customer and his or her location. How old is the customer?  What is the household income? What are the main stresses on the customer? Your USP should speak to this individual.


2. Identify your specialty

Do you specialize in a particular niche, such as restaurants? What are the products and services you focus on? For example, do you focus on sewer and drain? Are you a pipe relining specialist? Are you an expert with tankless water heaters? Are you an expert in water conservation and other environmental plumbing strategies?


3. Identify your superlatives

What are you the best at? Are you the oldest company in the area? Are you the largest? Have you served more homes than anyone else? Are you the largest seller of a particular brand of water heater?  Were you the first in your area to innovate by using cameras, jetters or other technology before anyone else? Do you employ more licensed master plumbers than anyone else? Have you won any awards as a company?  


4. Identify your unique business practices

What business practices do you follow that are unique in your area? Do you have the fastest response time? Do you offer better guarantees? Are you the cleanest? Do you have the neatest and best groomed plumbers? Do you follow a unique business practice, such as, “no overtime charges, ever.”


5. Talk with your team

Ask everyone who works with you what they think about when they think of your company. Ask your plumbers, office personnel and the supply houses.


6. Talk with your customers

Call you customers and ask them why they selected your company. Ask how they would describe you.  Ask what they think makes you unique. Plumbing companies have been described as, “the friendliest plumbers.” Or, “the best technical plumbers in the area.” You might be surprised how your customers already see you.


7. Identify customer experiences

How do customers feel doing business with you? Do they feel relief when they see your truck? Are they confident the problems are solved when you leave?  


8. Identify open positions

Have other plumbing companies in your service area claimed USPs? If so, you want to steer clear of those. You want a unique position. The rule for positioning is whoever claims a position first owns the position unless the company voluntarily relinquishes it.  

An open position is not necessarily unique. It is one that is unclaimed. There may be a number of companies who are “friendly.” However, if no one claims the position, it is open. If you claim it first, you can own it.


9. Polish the USP

When you identify the point of uniqueness you want to utilize, spend time refining it. Try to make it as succinct as possible. Simple is better.  

When you finally get your USP right, do not keep it to yourself. Incorporate into your vehicle wraps. Put it on your business cards, invoices and every form of advertising you utilize. Put it on t-shirts, uniforms and company caps.

Creating a USP is hard work. Do not get frustrated. Stay with it and it will pay off for you.