Unique Selling Proposition: What is It and How Do I Use It to Promote My Store?
By Nicholas Hurd
A unique selling proposition, or USP, is a concept that is very easy to understand, but it might be a bit tricky to develop for your company. The term has often been described as the personal brand of a company. As you probably know by now, the personal brand of your company should be unique so that it draws as many customers as possible. You cannot afford to have a concept, logo, or even product that is exactly the same as anyone else’s. You need to define what sets your product or service apart from all your competitors.
In today’s world consumerism is at its highest and people are constantly becoming bored of what they have. It is very difficult for business owners to keep track of consumer behavior which is exactly why you need a unique selling proposition. This is the main element in any company that allows the user to switch brands and keep them there for a very long time. The right unique selling proposition can help you propel your profits into a whole new category at the end of the day.
Differentiate Your Product or Service
The unique selling proposition (or USP for short) is the factor of any company that makes them different or even better from any other company in the area or even within the same service sphere. It makes a business stand out from the rest. It is usually one feature of a product or service that is different from the competition and shows the consumer that no other product or service will benefit them in this particular way. Successfully communicating the very essence of the unique selling proposition is one of the most important aspects of branding your company.
Unique selling propositions might fulfill the function of creating unique branding and enticing customers, but this can be difficult when there are so many new products on the market. The main thing that you should do is find a gap in the market. You should create something that will attract attention and make sure it is something that customers need. This need can be created without customers knowing about it. Business owners are encouraged to implement unique selling propositions into their branding and selling of products or services. Here are a few ways in which you can implement unique selling propositions in order to achieve maximum exposure to your brand.
Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition
Step 1 – Define Your Target Audience
Before you can sell anything, you need to define your target audience. Who are you selling your product or service to? You need to be as specific as possible. You may find it easiest to create an Avatar. What does your target market look like: age, sex, family, income, work, etc. Be as detailed as possible with this step. You want to do that because the avatar you create here can and should also be used when you are thinking about advertising. It’s also used when you are designing your website for your target audience.
Step 2 – Define the Problem You Solve
This is from your customer’s perspective. What problem/challenge does your product or service solve. If you don’t solve a problem you don’t have a product or service.
Step 3 – What are Your Distinct Benefits?
What are 3-5 benefits that your customer gets from your product or service? What do you provide that is different than anyone else serving your customer? The benefits don’t have to be huge. Think about the fast food industry. McDonalds had hamburgers that you essentially got what they produced and Burger King came out with “have it your way”. Is that a huge difference? I don’t think so.
Step 4 – Define Your Promise to Your Customers
What are you promising your customers your product or service will do for them? Define you pledge to your customers. For example, Chipoltle defines their promise as providing fresh, organic Mexican food served promptly.
Step 5 – Combine Your Ideas
Combine all your ideas into one paragraph that tells your story. The story you want your customers to understand. Take a few minutes and make the paragraph, or two, a statement of what your business stands for.
Step 6 – Compress It
Now take your paragraph and find the essence of what it says. Compress it down into as few words as possible, that still express’s your uniqueness. This is the hardest step and may take you hours. You may find that this evolves over days. Take the time you need to make it the absolute best you can. Do it today, look at it tomorrow and the day after.
Check out this example of a great USP is the old Domino’s Pizza USP: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less—or it’s free”. You’ll find some other successful USP at this Wikipedia article