How to Craft an Amazing USP and Why This is Important

We’ve all heard about the importance of having a fantastic USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and how it can make a difference in our business, but like so much good advice, many entrepreneurs don’t stop to think about it until their customer base suddenly dries up and no new leads are coming in.

Whether you’re still in the start-up stages or you’re looking to re-create your business goals and rewrite your overall plan, a solid USP can be worth its weight in gold.

Here’s how to write an amazing USP that sets you apart from your competition, and gets customers practically beating a path to your virtual door.

A USP is Not a Slogan

This is a common misconception – a USP is not a slogan or a tagline.  It’s not just “30 minutes or its free”, the delivery catch-phrase that turned Domino’s into a pizza powerhouse. Rather, a good USP permeates and sinks into everything your business does.  It’s like a mission statement, philosophy, slogan and promotional tool all wrapped up into one.

You want to make absolutely certain that your customers understand the key things that set you apart from your competition – and that they take action with YOU versus THEM.

Solve a Problem – Define a Promise – Paint a Picture

These are three crucial points your USP must cover. You must be able to list at least one main benefit people will receive by doing business with you.  Create a promise that fulfills that benefit and sum it up into one concise sentence.

Ask yourself:

What can I do that is difficult, time-consuming or otherwise not possible or easy for my competitors to do?  Don’t just go for the lowest prices, as this will only create a downward spiral based purely on a number and not the real value you provide.

What are the biggest problems or issues that I solve for others?  If you can’t define it, how can you expect other people to understand it?

What one picture will enter the customer’s mind as a result of choosing your product or service?  This is where you paint the picture of what the client will receive as a result of doing business with you.  Your words are like a pencil drawing images in your prospects mind.

– Hot, fresh pizza guaranteed in 30 minutes or less.
– A chocolate candy that melts in your mouth, and not in your hand.
– A nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine.
– A package that’s delivered overnight when the post office can’t be there.

Chances are you already know the famous companies behind these USPs – which goes to prove just how good they are.

Once you’ve defined your USP, follow up your commitment to it by creating products, eBooks, whitepapers, special reports and newsletters, where your USP is evident in everything you do.  This will reinforce your statement and make it more believable and concrete with your prospective customers.

Of course, you also have to live up to the expectations you set for yourself – no one wants to do business with someone who can’t deliver on their promises!

By keeping these points in mind, you’ll be able to craft a memorable, action-driven USP that will increase your bottom line and help your business rise up above the rest.

Please share your opinion on the importance of having a memorable USP by leaving a comment below.

AlexHow to Craft an Amazing USP and Why This is Important

Comments 20

  1. Kwame

    You drive home a very important detail here and that is living up to the expectation we set for ourselves. Like all the successful companies like Subway, Starbucks etc they maintain the same standard. Well said. Thank you.

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  2. Andy

    Hi Alex,
    Nice piece but I think that USP’s can also be based on price.
    Think “We will NOT be beaten on price” (used by more than one chain here in the UK) or “we guarantee to beat your cheapest quote”. Most people expect good service no matter how much they have paid – you only have to look at those complaining about $3 WSO’s 🙂 Whilst I agree USP’s are better being benefits (what good does it do) rather than features (how it does it) in this age of austerity price is becoming more of a factor.
    Regards,
    Andy

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  3. DichloroAcetate

    You are correct, too often companies have cute or ‘clever’ phrases. This only works if you are a huge company like IBM (whose phrase is simply ‘think’)

    But for smaller guys you needs something that conjures up an image in people minds. For weight loss something like ‘Picture yourself thin on the beach this summer’

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      Alex Safie

      Yes

      Your USP can also serve as a reminder to you about the concept you are trying to get across to your prospects so you can weave it in everything you do

  4. MartinJ

    Alex:
    Many companies develop a USP and believe they’ve “positioned” their company in the minds of their stakeholders. The way I differentiate is this: I want to own a unique position in the collective minds of my market members. I achieve that by determining what positions are already held by my competitors because once a position is entrenched it’s very difficult to dislodge it. I need to find a different but desirable position. With that in place I turn all my efforts – product development, marketing, employee training, even purchasing and manufacturing – to achieving that position in my prospect’s minds. This is a strategic function. Partially what you’ve described in this post is “positioning”.

    I look at the USP as a tactical function which partially interprets the position, but more urgently, provides the customer with a “reason to buy”. It is, after all, a unique SELLING PROPOSITION. And a USP can be changed and communicated with fair regularity and takes the form of a slogan, albeit, one that can drive certain aspects of a company’s modus operendi.

    In most situations, a company is responsible for defining and implementing the position, whereas a USP comes from the company’s ad agency(s). So when a USP fails, companies fire their agency and look for another with another USP. If it succeeds the agency sticks around and the USP can become part of the corporate culture and legend. This may sound cynical, but that’s SOP in the ad industry.

    Thanks for your many right-on blogs and products.

    Martin

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  5. William Cassidy

    Hey Alex,

    Just a quick shout out to say I’m a fan. I’ve read every word of every product, bonus and email you’ve sent me. I appreciate you effort and the valuable information you provide. Thanks you.

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  6. Kaiser Nabola

    Thanks Alex, this post about USP has been very helpful and I will try to put this in practice when I write my blog posts. Your products too are very good, thats why I read every email that comes from you. Please carry on doing the good work, I do appreciate it, and hope others do as well.

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