What makes your business different from your competitors? What makes your products more attractive? Your unique selling proposition or USP is what makes your business stand out from your competitors. It's what your customers will benefit from when they choose to support your business over others in the same industry. Your USP helps to guide all of your branding and marketing decisions, influencing your content and messaging, and clearly tells potential customers exactly what makes your business different from your competitors.
Your USP needs to be:
- something your customers value
- represented in every part of your business
- a specific position that is defensible
Your unique selling proposition doesn't mean you need to have a unique product, but rather that you are offering a unique total brand experience by how you position your products and business.
Do You Really Need a USP?
When running a business, there will always be competition. Your USP is important because it attracts potential customers to your business. So yes, you do need a unique selling proposition, with the benefits it can provide your brand being:
- increased revenue - customers will buy the product that best matches their needs, and which has the best combination of price and benefits.
- more attractive products - customers will see your USP as making the product more appealing and attractive to purchase.
- clear differentiation - your brand and products are clearly identified as being different from those of your competitors, giving them a compelling reasons to choose your brand over others.
- streamlines sales strategy - all employees will have a specific sales strategy to use and communicate to customers.
Developing Your Brand's USP
Your brand's unique selling proposition should be defined in one or two short sentences, be aligned with your business' values and put your customer needs front and centre. When developing your USP, keep in mind that it should utilise these four things:
- Highlight your brand's strengths - out of the four P's, product, place, price and promotion, what strengths and attributes do you offer?
- Be customer focused - your customers experience needs to be at the heart of your USP. You need to meet their needs and offer them solutions.
- Explain how your customers needs are met better by your brand than by your competitors - demonstrate to customers how your brand will meet their needs better than you competition will. Take note of your competitors strengths and weaknesses to help identify the unique customer experience your brand provides.
- Be grounded in your business values - how will your USP tell customers what your business stands for, and be sure to check that your USP related to your brand's mission and vision statements.
Once you have written your brand's USP, you'll need to test and refine it further by chatting with potential customers to receive their feedback. Does it meet their needs? Is it clear and fills a gap in the market? Can you deliver upon it? Then take the time to adjust and make changes to the USP before integrating it with your brand.
Sharing Your Unique Selling Proposition Message
Once you've developed your USP, you need to decide how its message will be conveyed to your customers. Remembering that your USP must remain consistent whatever channels you use, some of the ways you can share your USP include:
- website - include it in your banners and graphics, product descriptions, home and about pages.
- social media - share examples of your USP in action or social proof from your customers of their experiences with it.
- product packaging - include details of your USP on your product packaging if your product is stocked in a physical store.
- tagline - create a tagline that conveys your USP message and use this everywhere!
Examples of Well Known USPs in Action
We've put together a few examples of USPs from well known brands to help spark ideas about what your brand could create:
- M&Ms - melts in your mouth, not in your hand
- Canva - empowering the world to design
- Nike - bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete
- Coca-Cola - refresh the world. Make a difference.
- Stripe - payments infrastructure for the internet
- Starbucks - expect more than coffee
- Ikea - to create a better everyday life for the many people
So, where to next? It's create and promote your brand's USP time! If being environmentally friendly is one of your key messages, when you host your website with Website World, you can promote that you are using green web hosting as we are green web hosts!