30 ‘Condiments’ of Business Success
Condiment 4: Define your Unique Selling Proposition
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what differentiates you from your competition. This is the perceived benefits your customers would get from you that is unique to you. *1
A unique selling proposition (USP, also seen as unique selling point) is a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. A USP could be thought of as “what you have that competitors don’t.”
A successful USP promises a clearly articulated benefit to consumers, offers them something that competitive products can’t or don’t offer, and is compelling enough to attract new customers. *2
*Why You Need a Unique Selling Proposition:
It’s likely that many of your prospective customers have difficulty deciding which option in your industry is the one that deserves their time, money and trust.
This selection can be a daunting process for customers that don’t have the experience to know what separates one competitor from another.
That’s why it is your job to assist them by making your unique selling proposition obvious, different and memorable enough that they can see exactly what your business has to offer that the other guys do not.
*Creating a Unique Selling Proposition that Works
When it comes to developing a unique point of difference for your business, it’s impossible to give one-size-fits-all advice.
That said, there are certainly some best practices that work across marketplaces and that any business owner can apply to make their unique selling proposition worthwhile.
Your USP can also be an important part of your branding that makes your business memorable.
This four-step exercise will help you write a unique selling proposition for your company, new product or service.
Step 1: Go Back to the Basics
The first step of writing a USP requires that you take a step back and review some of the basics included in your mission statement, business plan, market analysis, and overall business goals.
Start by answering some preliminary questions that recap what your business is selling, who you’re selling it to and why you’re selling it.
For example, a company that sells moving boxes may compile and answer questions like this:
•What products or services are you selling?
Boxes and moving supplies.
•Who is your target audience?
Local homeowners who are moving, and don’t have a lot of time to look for used boxes in order to pack.
•What does your business do well?
We provide quick, responsive service while making the purchasing process easy for our customers.
•What is your most important customer-focused business goal?
Helping our customers get the moving supplies they need quickly, easily and affordably.
Step 2: Solve a Problem
The next step is to clearly identify your target audience’s problem and explain how your product or service solves that problem.
Our example company that sells moving boxes may identify the potential customer’s problem as not being able to easily locate the proper containers when they are packing their belongings and preparing to move.
Step 3: Identify the Differentiators
This step focuses on identifying what it is about your solution to your customer’s problem that is different, or better than, the solution your competition offers. The value you identify here will be one of the primary reasons why your customers will choose you instead of a competitor.
The potential differentiators of our moving supply company may be that they offer sturdier boxes, less expensive boxes, complete packing solutions, same-day delivery, or exceptional customer service.
Step 4: Make a Promise
This step combines the most important elements of the previous steps into a concise statement that embodies the value your company has to offer. Keep in mind that your USP essentially implies a promise, or a pledge, you are making to your customers.
The moving supply company, for example, may create a USP that says simply, “Sturdy Boxes in 24 Hours,” aimed toward their overwhelmed customers who are getting ready to move, and quickly need boxes that won’t collapse.
Once you have a working USP, it’s always a good idea to sleep on it, run it by others in your company, or even create a focus group to measure the impact it has. It may take several tries, but once you hit the perfect USP, it can be an integral element of your marketing toolbox. *3
Send me an email to request a PDF document of 20 Examples of Killer Unique Selling Propositions via firstname.lastname@example.org
*1- Tale Alimi, 2016
30 ‘Condiments’ of Business Success