Being Different – Defining a Unique Selling Point (USP)

In a discussion with a forum owner this week he warned me that I’m in a very crowded market with this game swapping stuff.

Perhaps he’s right. But that has never really bothered me.

Generally, unless you’re some sort of genius pioneer, all markets are crowded. Indeed the absence of any competition could be very worrying. There may be no market at all! Assuming there was, though, you’d then have to be a trail-blazer and convince people of the benefits of your new and wonderful service.

It did get me thinking about my USP – Unique Selling Point. Any marketer will gabble on for hours, days, weeks about this. You need a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I’m keen not to make ‘free’ my USP. I’d like the service to be of enough value to members that money isn’t that much of a factor.

So what is Swopster’s USP?

I think it’s direct swapping.

Direct Swapping

Although there are quite a few swapping sites out there, the vast majority of them seem to have settled on an internal currency within their systems. So, each game will get valued based on popularity, etc.

This means members can build up credit by putting games into the system, and then use thet credit to get games out of the system.

Swopster bucks the trend here slightly because you simply swap a game you no longer want for a game you do want. This has three key benefits:

•   You get swapping as soon as possible (no need to build up credits)
•   The system doesn’t get swamped with cruddy games
•   Every game is equal. There is no currency, no credit and no complicated algorithms

The downside to this approach though was there needed to be a way to match gamers together. Thankfully that was all figured out very early on and the resulting matching process has proved to work pretty well.

Recently, the site was improved to allow greater flexibility and let gamers negotiate their own swaps. This has proved to be really popular too.

Time will tell whether direct swapping is the right direction to go in, of course, but the early indications certainly look encouraging.

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