How to Craft a Genius Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

How to Craft a Genius Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Big Ideas

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September 10 2021
Big Ideas

If you want your business to stand out from the competition, then a unique selling proposition (USP) is absolutely vital. A well-designed USP can attract more customers to your company, enhance your brand reputation, and ultimately help to increase your revenue.

Let's talk about what a unique selling proposition is, why it matters, and how you can craft one that will deliver exceptional results.

What is a Unique Selling Proposition?

A unique selling proposition (USP) is the same thing as a unique value proposition (UVP), or unique selling point. Put simply, your USP is the feature of your company, product or service that makes you different from everyone else. It's a powerful tool that your sales team can use to communicate the key factors that separate your brand from the competition. It's the reason why your customers should do business with you, instead of another company.

Why is a USP Important?

It's important to have a USP in your pocket for two basic reasons:

(1) the business world is fiercely competitive, and

(2) consumers usually have multiple options from which to choose.

Think of this example: If you wanted to buy a car in the 1920's, what options would you have? Basically one: the Ford Model T. That was the Ford Company's unique selling proposition at the time — they were the only business that produced automobiles!

Now fast-forward to the 2020's. If you want to buy a new car, how many options do you have? There are Fords, Chevrolets, Hondas, Toyotas, BMWs... the list goes on and on. And they come in a wide range of styles, from heavy-duty trucks to coupe sports cars. So if an automobile company wants to win your business, what do they have to do? They have to give you a compelling reason to buy from them (whether that's a lower price, greater horsepower, or more features than their competitors).  

In other words, they need a USP.

Similarly, your USP is a vital element in crafting your future growth. No matter how much value your product or service has to offer, you'll never achieve an exceptional ROI unless you tell your consumers why they should buy from you. Whether you're selling cars or razor blades, a clear and crisp USP is a powerful way to stand out from the crowd and carve out a lasting reputation for your brand.


How Can You Create an Exceptional USP?

Now that we've established the importance of a USP, the next question is: How can you develop a good one? Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

1. Identify your target audience.

First of all, you need to know who it is you're selling to. Your product or service may offer exceptional value to one consumer segment, while offering limited value to another. Clearly, you want to identify which group falls into the first category and focus on them.

As an example, think about fast food vs. fine dining. What could a fast food chain's USP be? Perhaps it's how cheap their food is, or how convenient their offerings are for customers on the go. On the other hand, a sit-down restaurant's USP may be its relaxing ambiance or the quality of its food. The two businesses may be in the same industry, but they are selling to vastly different sets of people.

2. Pinpoint what makes your product/service unique.

If you want to develop a unique selling proposition, then you need to understand what makes your product or service... well, unique. If you're having some trouble coming up with a differentiating feature, why not ask your existing customers for feedback? Why did they choose your company over others? Be sure to get some observations from your staff as well — and especially your sales reps. After all, they're the ones on the front lines, closing the deals. See what they've found to be effective in their conversations with leads.

Remember, you shouldn't try to highlight every good point of your product — just the one that really stands out. If you try to get recognized for everything, you won't become known for anything. 


3. Look at what your competitors are (or aren't) doing.

As you develop your USP, it's crucial that you look at competing companies in your market. What are they focusing on in their marketing efforts? What weaknesses do they have that you can exploit? The classic Avis tagline: "When you're only No. 2, you try harder," is a perfect example of how to turn a competitor's strength into a weakness. Avis undermined Hertz' position as market leader by implying that their own brand offered better customer service — because they had to try harder.

On the other hand, you also want to look at what your competitors are doing that consumers don't like. As an example, many fans that keep homes cool in the summer are also extremely noisy. However, Dyson's blade-less fans achieve the same effect as their counterparts, but without the noise. Now that's a unique selling proposition!

4. Consider developing a measurable USP.

You don't have to have a USP that's uber-specific. However, it may help your cause if you do.

For example, FedEx promises that they can deliver "Absolutely, Positively Overnight." That's a very specific USP, and one that can be easily measured. A specific USP like that can reassure your consumers about your ability to deliver on your promise, and enhance your brand reputation — if you actually deliver, that is. If you're unsure about your ability to consistently live up to your USP, then you may need to go another route.



Crafting a Genius USP = Growing Your Business


In conclusion, a unique selling proposition provides your consumer base with a compelling reason to buy from you. It sets you apart from the competition. And if you carefully examine your target audience, your product/service, and the current state of the market, then you'll be able to develop an exceptional USP - one that will aid in business growth for years to come.

Glenn Cressman, our Chief Client Officer, has an almost magical way of drilling down and bringing out the Unique Selling Propositions of our clients. If you're at a loss and don't know what makes you different from a sea of competitors, reach out to Glenn, he'll be more than happy to set up a discovery session with you. 

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