USP, is an acronym for, Unique Selling Proposition (or unique selling point). It’s a marketing tool that differentiates a product or company from its competitors. USP’s use value propositions like, the lowest cost, the best quality, or a product that is the only of its kind.
Your USP should clearly state, to potential customers, a benefit that only your company can offer that your competitors don’t. This should be very compelling in order to attract new customers.
Here are some great examples of USPs from well-known companies:
- Southwest’s claim to be the lowest-priced airline.
- Denny’s serving breakfast 24 hours a day
- Little Ceasars hot and ready pizza (you know you can walk in and get a pizza without calling to order or waiting long for one)
- FedEx – When it has to be there tomorrow
How do you develop a unique selling proposition?
You have to know not only your audience but your own personality and how your business reflects that personality. What’s the corporate culture of your business? With a company like FedEx, it’s all about speed. The hidden arrow in their logo, expressing forward motion, was no accident. They’re saying, we can get your packages where they need to go faster than the competition. That’s their USP.
What is your unique quality and what is the personality of your business? Are you charity driven like Bombas? They realized that the number one request at homeless shelters was for sox. Their unique selling proposition became, for every pair of sox they sold, they gave a pair to the homeless. That’s a, pretty, powerful, USP. You have to look at what’s different about your company or product and how you can turn that into a strong marketing statement that makes customers want to use you instead of your competitors for their unique needs.
Why is this so important?
What separates successful businesses from ones that scrape by is knowing why they are better at something. Little Ceasars may not make the best pizza you’ve ever had, but if you’re late getting home from work and on a limited budget, a quick stop and a five dollar bill and you can feed your kids. That’s important to the customer. Your USP should be your flag that you fly that says what you can do for the customer to make life better for them in some way. Cheaper, faster, one of a kind, best ever, best quality, best for them and their lifestyle; these are the reasons people choose who they buy from.
Should you have more than one if you sell multiple products?
Only if those products are very different in nature or scope. If you’re Colgate, you sell things for teeth; toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouth wash.
If you sell cars and also shoes, you may have to create more than one USP. That’s not common for most businesses but deciding on your Unique Selling Proposition takes time and careful consideration.
Think it through and make it your own.