What is a unique selling proposition?

A unique selling proposition (USP) refers to the unique benefit exhibited by a business, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors. The unique selling proposition must be a feature that highlights product benefits that are meaningful to consumers.

A USP is one of the fundamental components of a company’s existence – it’s what makes your business unique and valuable to your target market. 

It answers the question: How does your businesses products or services benefit your clients BETTER than anyone else?

Why is having a unique selling proposition important?

Having a solid unique selling proposition (USP) means having a differentiating factor, which enables your business to distinguish itself from your competitors in the marketplace. As such, a USP is important as it provides more value for money to consumers who would be swayed towards opting for other goods or services.

If you need help when identifying your (USP) and ideal audience, consider the following questions:

  1. What does your perfect customer really want?   
  2. How can your product or service solve their problem(s)?   
  3. What factors motivate your customers buying decisions?
  4. Why do your existing customers choose your business over your competitors?

So to fast-track the development of your unique selling proposition here are some steps for your consideration:

Step 1: Describe your target audiences

Before you can even start marketing your product or services, you need to know who you are targeting. In this step, you want to be as specific as possible.

Step 2: What problem are you solving

From your prospective target audiences perspective, what is the individual need or challenge they face that your business can solve for them?

Step 3: Identify the distinctive features and benefits

In this step, list 3-5 of the biggest benefits a client gets from choosing to work with you that they could not get from someone else (i.e., what sets you apart from your competition).

Step 4: What is your promise or guarantee

A big part of a successful USP is making a promise to your audience. While this can be implied instead of spelled out in your USP, write down the promise you are making to your clients in this step.

Step 5: Gather your responses and refine

Once you’ve completed the previous steps, take all of the information you’ve listed and combine it into one paragraph – there should be some recurring ideas and thoughts, so you’ll want to start merging statements and rewriting it in a way that flows and makes sense.

Step 6: Summarize

In this step, take your paragraph from step 5 and condense it even more into just a sentence. You want your final USP to be as specific and simple as possible.