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Unique Selling Proposition – What Is It?

5 mins read

This article explains what a unique selling proposition is in a business.

To stand out in the market, businesses must clearly state what sets them apart from others. Although many of us would like to do everything well, we can’t be everything to everyone, and this nonsensical idea could prevent a business from being known for something specific; that one thing that keeps people coming back for more. If you attempt to be known for everything, you will most likely not be known for anything. So, what does your company stand for? How can you and your employees speak confidently about your products and services? This is where a Unique Selling Proposition becomes extremely valuable. A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is also known as the unique selling point or the unique value proposition for a business. Let’s look further into what exactly a business’s USP is.

What is a Unique Selling Proposition?

The Unique Selling Proposition of a business is their competitive advantage within an industry and is an integral part of the marketing and branding strategy. A USP is a very specific benefit that makes your business stand out when compared to other businesses within the industry or market. What you sell doesn’t need to be your unique quality; it’s the message you choose to focus on that your competition doesn’t offer.

Your USP should be able to directly answer a potential customer’s question of:
“What makes you different from the competition?”

Your unique selling point is focused on your business’s strengths, however, being unique or distinctive isn’t enough of a strength within itself. A USP needs to capture the audience you are targeting; meaning your unique quality must be something they care about or it won’t be effective.

A captivating USP should:

1. Be confident yet defensible: A specific position that you need to defend is more memorable than a generic statement such as “we provide high quality customer service”.

Here is an example of a confident USP from Domino’s Pizza:

“Get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.”

This USP confidently states what the customer can expect, and even explains how they will make sure that happens.

2. Focus on your target customer’s wants: Your unique quality won’t matter if it isn’t one your customers truly care about.

Tom’s shoe brand is a great example of a USP that targets their specific clients:

“One for one.”

For each pair of shoes sold, Tom’s donates a pair to a child in need. TOMS stands out because they distinguish themselves as a mission-driven, ethically minded organization. They target people who want their footwear made in a morally and environmentally friendly way.

3. Be more than a slogan: Your slogan or motto may be a way to communicate your USP, however it should also be embodied throughout your business. Don’t over promise and underdeliver. Your USP talks the talk, so you need to walk the walk!

Hello Fresh is a perfect example of how NOT to do this:

“America’s most popular meal kit.”

Sure, this works great while Hello Fresh is the most popular meal kit. What happens if/when they have a competitor that becomes the most popular meal kit in America? Unfortunately, their consumers may see this USP as a lie, which could damage the image of that business and their brand.

Next Steps?

There you have it, an explanation of a unique selling proposition and the basics of a captivating business USP. Now that you have an understanding of what a USP is, you may be wondering why it is important for your business! Check out our article “Unique Selling Proposition: Why It Is Important?”

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