A unique selling point (USP) sets you apart from your competitors and gives people a reason to do business with you. It’s a winning differentiator that makes you the stand-out option.
In this post, we’re going to uncover why a defined USP is key to success, how to create one, and how you can use social proof to make your USP even more compelling and impactful.
What’s a USP?
A unique selling point, sometimes called a unique selling proposition, is a short statement that tells the world why your company is different and better than your competitors. The most effective USPs are memorable, concise, and showcase the unique value that your customers can only get if they buy from you.
Some of the world’s most well-known brands have built their success on the back of a strong USP.
FedEx – “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
The FedEx USP showcases two benefits in a short and snappy slogan. You know your package will be delivered, and it will get there fast. When FedEx started using the USP in the early 70s, it had a fleet of 20 aircraft. Today, FedEx has the 4th largest fleet globally, generating over $79 billion in revenue in 2020.
Domino’s – “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.”
Domino’s famous USP was developed on a key understanding of the value it offers. It is not just a company that makes pizzas. It’s a pizza delivery company.
Its customers want reliability and speed. The USP highlights both of these benefits in a memorable and explicit guarantee. When Domino’s introduced the USP in 1979, it had 287 stores globally. When Domino’s changed the USP in 1989, the number of stores had increased to over 5,000.
Why You Need a USP
Creating a USP is one of the most important steps in growing your business. It underpins all your marketing and sales initiatives and is key to positioning your brand in the market.
A clear USP shows how your brand is different and why your potential customers should choose you when making a purchase. Without a USP, choosing between different products and services becomes arbitrary, and the lowest-priced product usually gets the sale.
When you deliver on the value you promise in your USP, you increase the chances of a customer buying from you again. Each time you deliver on the USP, the positive experience strengthens customer retention, encourages brand advocacy, and inspires positive word of mouth.
A strong USP is a foundation for your marketing and sales initiatives. It shows that you believe in your product or service. This makes it easier for your sales team to highlight your value and provides a framework for your marketing team to ensure consistent messaging across your digital campaigns and channels.
Define Your USP
We’ve covered why a USP is so important. But how do you create one?
Market research is a vital first step. You can only create a winning differentiator when you know the value you provide and what your competitors offer.
We can break down market research into two categories:
What Value Do You Provide?
Step into your customers’ shoes and think about how your product or service helps them overcome the challenges they face.
The value you provide comes from the benefits that your customers get by purchasing from you. Create a list of the top five benefits you provide and why your solutions are important to your customers.
What Makes You Different?
What can you offer that your customers can’t get elsewhere?
Make a list of the things that make you different from your competitors. Your product may be more reliable, cheaper, or have more features. If you make your products from sustainable materials, you can highlight your environmental credentials as a key differentiator.
It’s not just the features of your product or service. A differentiator can be anything from customer service and price point to innovation and branding.
What Are Your Competitors Not Offering?
You can’t highlight how your business is different if you don’t know what’s already out there. Make a list of your competitors, their USPs, and how they position themselves in the market.
Is there a gap you can target that your competitors are failing to meet?
Take a deep dive into your competitors and how they are perceived by your potential customers. You may find that a competitor positions their product or service as the most reliable but fails to fulfill that promise. If you can better meet those needs, you can position your company as a more attractive option.
What Are Your Customers’ Pain Points?
People don’t buy products and services. They buy solutions to problems.
You need a deep understanding of your customers and the problems they want to solve. Pain points are the symptoms of those problems, and they can be a good starting point for your USP.
How does your product solve a problem and improve the lives of your customers?
By highlighting a pain point in your USP, you can show how you understand your customers’ needs and how your product or service offers a solution.
For a more detailed guide on creating a USP, check out our post 8 Steps Between You and an INCREDIBLE Unique Selling Proposition.
Once you have your USP, it’s vital to deliver on the promise you make. If you claim to be the fastest, make sure you are faster than your competitors.
You can make your USP more compelling and impactful by backing up your claims with social proof, including:
- Encouraging customers to leave reviews on your website.
- Asking your followers to leave reviews on your social media pages.
- Creating case studies showing how your company has helped clients.
- Consider using video testimonials on your site and social channels.
Using social proof to support your USP can be a powerful driver for conversions – 84% of people trust user reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and testimonials can increase average revenue per site visitor by up to 62%.
Your USPs Power
A clear USP helps you position your brand and influence how your customers view your products and services. In an age where somebody can pick up their smartphone and find ten companies like yours, a winning differentiator is vital for cutting through the noise and getting noticed.
If you need some help defining your USP, differentiating your brand, or getting found by your ideal customers, it might be helpful to have an expert by your side.