Identifying Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)? To successfully market your business, you need to know what makes you different from the competition. These 7 steps will help you identify your USP.

One of the keys to successful marketing is identifying what makes your business unique and letting everybody know about it. This helps your prospects to understand why they should buy from you rather than the “other guy”, and when used successfully makes you the obvious choice. This is often called a USP or Unique Selling Proposition.

The best USP’s consist of unique concepts that set your business favorably apart from the competition. When you do this, you effectively make the prospective customer a promise that you do things a certain way, and get certain results. Therefore, it’s vitally important that you never use a USP that you can’t honestly fulfill.

Companies who employ USP’s have a basis for competing in the marketplace that goes way beyond price. And, since there always seems to be someone who can do it cheaper, it puts your business into a different league.

Surprisingly enough, there are many companies that don’t use USP’s. Somehow they manage to exist; often they lose steam and fail. For marketing that really packs a punch and for those of you who “hate” selling and USP is one of the things that will make the sale for you.

Here’s a simple exercise to help you identify your USP:

  1. Gather together a couple of people from your team, or who know something about your business.
  2. Put yourselves in the shoes of others in your industry, especially your prospective customers. 
  3. Pinpoint the types of things these others might say about the products, services and companies in your industry. Don’t holdback – include stereotypes and globalisms – sometimes even funny ones will help. 
  4. Make a long list. 
  5. Step back into your own shoes. 
  6. Now, read your list. What makes YOU or your company different? 
  7. 7Select the most compelling ones that you honestly come by and incorporate them into your marketing program.

Some ways to use your USP:

  • Sound-bites or elevator speeches
  • Marketing messages
  • Brochures
  • Value Propositions
  • Advertising
  • Press Releases
  • Proposals


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