USPs are all the rage these days, because they make you stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Given how full of character – and, yes, “quirky” even! – B&Bs and guest houses can be, they’re in a great position to sell themselves in this way.
Having said that, figuring out your USP can sometimes be a bit of a head-scratcher, so here’s some food for thought.
For one thing, the great advantage that all independent properties have is that they’re unique in relation to chain hotels: they’re smaller, more intimate and offer a more personalised service. But, as the owner of a bed and breakfast or guest house, how do you distinguish it from all the others in the area? Here are some things to think about…
- Are you family-run?
- Do you grow your own fresh produce?
- Do you have a herb garden?
- Do you do some home baking?
- Are you pet-friendly?
- Do you have a log fire?
If you can think of something, you’ll find it a lot easier to attract customers and get extra bookings,
Mind you, it’s not just a case of being unique; it’s also important to be unique in the right way. If you’re looking for a unique attribute that you can use to sell your property and nothing comes readily to mind, it might be a good idea to start by looking at your recent customers:
- Who has booked your property in the past few years?
- What kind of people are they? What are they interested in?
- Have they written reviews on your website, or on TripAdvisor? If so, what have they said?
- Have any of them told you that they booked your property for a special reason?
- Has a certain local event or landmark brought them to your area?
In terms of finding something unique, customer feedback can be your most valuable resource.
If, having done all this, you still feel that your property still doesn’t have an obvious unique attribute, there’s always the option of creating one. If you’re in an especially beautiful part of the world, you could study some local history and offer walking tours that focus on that. Seasonal unique selling points are another great way to keep business coming in all year round: you could focus on an outdoor facility, like a patio garden, in summer, and an indoor facility, like a real log fire, in winter.
Once you’ve settled on a unique attribute that you’re confident about, the other most important strategy is not to undersell it. Make sure it’s prominent on your website and try to complement it, if possible, with the best possible photos.