Thursday 18 October, 2012

What Is a Unique Selling Proposition and Why Do You Need One?

A unique selling proposition (USP) is a message that your company gives its customers. It tells them what makes your business unique among others like you, and also emphasizes the benefits of using your service. Your USP doesn’t have to be a slogan, but it helps to put it into a statement. When you’re working on creating your USP, your goal should be to create a short sentence that sums up your uniqueness and the value you offer.

Why You Need a USP

Lots of businesses never give their USP a second thought. They get out into the marketplace and offer their goods to their target market, but they never define what it is that makes them unique. However, creating your USP is an important part of planning your business.

Your USP is your message, and you need a clear and consistent message to broadcast to your market. This tells them exactly what you offer and its present in all of your literature. Defining your USP helps to give you control over your branding. You decide how your customers see you.

The Elements of a Good USP

Your USP first of all needs to be unique. It has to be something that truly sets you apart from other businesses like yours. It could be something about the way you do business or the products you sell. It may be something to do with your market. For example, your USP might be that your products are tailored to a certain demographic of your market.

It needs to connect with people. The best way to do this is to think of what problem it solves and how it solves it. When it addresses a common problem your market faces, your brand will stick in their mind. This is how you make your USP memorable.

It also needs a good product behind it. No matter how well-crafted your USP is, if the product doesn’t deliver on the promise, it won’t help you.

Creating a Winning USP

Before you start creating your own USP, look at those of other companies. Start with your competition. For each business similar to yours, ask yourself what unique value they bring to the marketplace. What do their customers think when they think about them? What specific problem do their products solve?

Look at your business and start with your natural unique qualities. These are things that are already unique about your business. Try to choose a few that relate directly to your customer.

Brainstorm a big list of statements that describe your uniqueness and benefits and narrow it down. If you’re having trouble finding something unique for a hook, you might consider making changes to your business. These changes could help you carve your unique place in the market.

Your USP should say, ‘We’re not the best, but we’re the only ones who…’ You should make this as clear as possible to your customers.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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