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By IDRIS KATIB

 

You are peculiar in the whole world. You neither have duplicates nor triplicates. You are the only one copy of yourself—your own mirror! Your eyes, your head, your fingerprints, your footprints, your voice, your aura—everything you are or do—is all unique to you and you alone. To no-one else in the creation!

 

The term Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is employed in marketing and advertising to depict what a product, brand or service has that others do not have. Such a quality stands it out from all others. It may be product utility, taste, size colour, shape branding, texture or service satisfaction in terms of solution to people’s problems. Therefore, every brand is unique in its own sense. Each musician, each script writer or camera crew or editor or teacher is unique for something different.

 

Right from birth, each child has their peculiarities. Some are good listeners; some are voracious; some are observers; some are independent, given the opportunity; some love music; some love pictures; some love out-going; some love privacy; some love building castles; some ask challenging questions; some love to be left alone.

 

Others crave for dressing elegantly or always scribbling or designing. The list is endless as each child is fond of doing a particular thing always. That is the USP.

 

Whether it is tagged Unique Selling Power, Unique Selling Point, or Unique Selling Proposition—whatever appellation you prefer—it is your strength which sets you out from others. That is your strength—your unique selling position. It is the instrument within yourself that you use to sell yourself to the world. Can you write or do you love writing? Can you organize people or address them convincingly when there is crisis? Do you love working with children? Do your pieces of advice work for people? Do you always think your way out of trouble? Can you drive a car, operate and repair computers? Can you watch someone do a complex thing and do same on your own? Can you work independently with little or no supervision? Can you turn any commodity to money? Can you manage resources prudently especially money? Can you draw or plan pages of a book or magazine? Can you represent events in cartoons or poetry? Can you work many hours a day or a little longer than other people?

 

If you can do any of these or hundreds of others not mentioned in this write-up, you definitely have a strength which millions of others do not have. If many others have it, you will not be on the same aggregate in accomplishing it.

 

Many people do not excel in life because they do not listen to their USP. Parents want their children to become lawyers, doctors, engineers even when these children have inclination to do courses like fine art, music, or language. A lot many people would have been greater than who they are today if they had been allowed to choose their careers in line with their selling point.

 

As a student, which course(s) do you understand the most? In which one can you score highest mark? When you dress up, which of your dress styles do people admire most on you? Indigenous or English? Which of the colours make people admire and want to relate with you? Blue or black or yellow or green? The one majority of people admire on you is different from the one you prefer for yourself. This is because people see you more than yourself.

 

As a lecturer, which of the courses you handle do your students pass most? Which one do they enjoy very well when you are delivering? This is your area of strength where you can impact more on your students.

 

I never really identified my strength –although I had been demonstrating it for years after my national youths service then—until I was interviewed in a marketing firm. In the middle of the interview, the HR Manager candidly told me that I was more of a PR person than marketing. Since that day, my life has changed because I later searched and searched, and truly discovered that I am a midfielder, a supporting striker, a power-house, a planner and a pass-maker rather than a flank player or defender or top-striker or goalkeeper. Since then, I have been working as a writer, business development manager, research facilitator and public relations planner. It has really helped my career.

 

Your strength is your passport to the world; it gives you access to corridors of power, opportunities and networking you desire. People excel in dress-making, building, events planning, nursing, photography, speech-making/writing, lecturing, selling and a host of others because they themselves or other people beside them have identified their USP—and they work on it.

 

Listen to yourself very carefully. Observe yourself. Listen to people’s comments about yourself. That which they say to your face about you constantly is your USP—your power—your strength!

 

In fact, you may observe you have such qualities in your mentor or someone who is your source of inspiration. Seek it and there you are!

 

Wherever I find my old classmates, one of the first sets of questions they will surely ask is "do you still write?". It speaks volume and reminds me of my roots.

 

  • Idris Katib is Public Relations Officer, Crescent University, Abeokuta.

 

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