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What’s my USP?

USP stands for Unique Selling Point or unique Selling Proposition, which is basically saying to prospective clients “Buy this product / service, for this specific benefit.” The proposition must be one the competition cannot or does not offer. It must be unique—either in the brand or a claim. It’s the essence of what makes your product or service better than your competitor.

In online marketing, communicating your USP clearly and quickly is one of the keys to getting potential customers to convert on your site.

If all the products appear to be the same as your competitors products, your prospective customers won’t know which one is right for them. Being clear about your unique selling proposition helps them differentiate between the variety of choices available to them. It is a crucial part of effective selling, otherwise all your marketing efforts will go unnoticed and blend in, especially online with so many options.

A USP can also serve an important role internally, as it forces you to consider your company’s mission and its very reason for being. A successful business often determines which of their key competitive differentiators are clear.

As a business owner, you need to consider and communicate who your business is for, what drives you to offer the services you offer, and how you want to make an impact in the target market.

Your USP is your key differentiator and the reason your customer will buy from you and an important part of your marketing strategy for attracting new customers.

For example, Nike is known for selling shoes. Yet they are differentiated from Clarks shoes because they focus primarily on athletic shoes with prominent sponsorships with star athletes. Their USP is that they provide the best quality shoes for athletes and fitness in general.

USPs are by their nature unique to each business, but roughly fall into three major categories:

  • Quality - Superior materials or ingredients, superior craftsmanship, proprietary manufacturing methods, one of a kind

  • Price - The lowest price guaranteed, price matching, free shipping, bulk discounts, special offers

  • Services - Easy returns, personalization, great customer service or even advice and a curated selection of products and goods

Once you know your strengths, examine your competition. Identify their strengths and weaknesses and directly contrast them to what you’re selling. This will help you identify how you stand out.

  • Are you giving customers a better online experience than your competitors?

  • Are you making it easier for customers to access and pay for your products or services?

  • Do you have stronger values, processes or knowledge than your competitors?

  • Do you offer 24-hour service or free delivery?

None of these bullet points are a USP, in themselves. In combination, however, they could help you to consider a unique customer experience that is different from your competitors. In some cases, that contrast forms the core of your USP.

If you’re still having trouble finding your USP, ask yourself the following:

  • What are the characteristics of what you’re selling?

  • What inspires you?

  • Can your customers be segmented?

The top 4 pitfalls to avoid when defining your USP

1. Forgetting to put customer needs at the centre of your selling proposition

2. Broadcasting an inconsistent message

3. Creating a USP with no depth

4. Partnering with companies or suppliers that don’t share your values.

We will leave you with some other well-known examples of USP’s

Ben & Jerry's: We make the best possible ice cream in the best possible way.

Shea Moisture: A better way to beautiful.

L’Oréal: Because you’re worth it.

Tesco: Every Little Helps

If you would like to advice on finding your USP, branding, website, logo or anything else that needs some added shizaz, please visit .

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