In a competitive business field, you need a Unique Selling Proposition to help you stand out from your competitors! Yellow tulip stands out in a field with groupings of red and purple tulips.
In a competitive business field, you need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to help you stand out from your competitors!

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what makes you stand out from your competitors. In a nutshell, what makes your business different? Why should customers come to you? Do you really know? 

In the 1940s, the Unique Selling Proposition (sometimes also called the Unique Selling Point) was put forward as a theory to explain a pattern of successful advertising campaigns. Such campaigns, the theory said, made unique suggestions to customers to persuade them to change brands.

This is important for marketing because there are very few one-of-a-kind businesses. You need to give prospects a reason to choose your business on purpose. 

They have options. You want them to pick you specifically so they keep coming back to you because they feel invested.

This allows you to target your ideal customers and hammer home your marketing message to reinforce what you want to become known for.

There are lots of ways you can approach developing a USP, but let’s look at two of the main ones. 

Your Unique Selling Proposition: What Your Business Stands For

Now, you might think this sounds like you must take a moral, ethical, or political stance with your business. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You can go that route, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. 

In this context, what your business stands for means what makes your product or service stand out from the competition. What, specifically, is different or better? 

Do you know what you’re known for? Did you choose it on purpose, or will it happen by accident?

Pro Tip: It is far better to choose your Unique Selling Proposition on purpose than deal with one (you don’t want) created on accident.

Walmart is known for its bargains. High-quality coffee beverages are the USP for Starbucks. Zappos stands out for its return policy. Voodoo Donuts uses both the experience of waiting and the range of their menu. And, Tattly positions themselves with, “Fake tattoos by real artists.”

The key component for all of these is that their Unique Selling Proposition is not just brand positioning to stand out. It is brand positioning used to sell. And, it is a defensible stance for which you can provide proof. You must be not only able and willing to do it, but you must also follow through consistently.

Figure Out What Your Customers Want to Create Your USP

What are they really looking for, besides your product or service, when they come to you? You must figure out what motivates them. Are you selling the feeling of luxury? Community? Confidence? Quality? Customer Service? Reliability? Convenience? 

What is the problem you are solving for them? What is your value to their lives?

If you don’t yet have a lot of customers, you can visit your competition! See what, and how, they are selling their products and figure out if there is a gap you can fill. You could even ask a few customers after they leave the location, what they like or dislike about the products and services they are currently getting to do your own market research.

Last Thoughts

Remember, your Unique Selling Proposition needs to be more than just creative branding if you want to maximize its impact and your sales. You should use it in your advertisements. If you’ve done it right you won’t have to worry about it being confused as (or outdone by) your competition because it will be unique to your business. Your best USP will motivate customers to buy your product or service.

Have you figured out your business’ Unique Selling Proposition? Share it below! 

What does your business do differently or better than the rest of your competitors?

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