When it comes to business, you need to find a way to stand out from the competition. This is where your unique selling proposition comes in. What makes your business unique? What can you offer your customers that nobody else can? When you have a strong unique selling proposition, it becomes much easier to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more. In this blog post, we will discuss what a unique selling proposition is and how you can go about developing one for your business!
What is a unique selling proposition?
A unique selling proposition (USP) is a unique selling point that distinguishes a company or product from its competitors. It is the one thing that sets your business apart and makes you the obvious choice for your customers.
When developing your unique selling proposition, it is important to keep your target market in mind. What are they looking for? What need does your business fill?
Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can begin to brainstorm ideas for your unique selling proposition.
Some businesses find it helpful to create a list of their competitors and what they offer. From there, they can start to identify any areas where they could improve or change in order to better serve their target market.
Other businesses choose to focus on their unique strengths and use that as their unique selling proposition. Whatever route you decide to take, make sure that your unique selling proposition is something that sets you apart from your competition and makes you the obvious choice for your customers!
What isn’t a unique business proposition?
When they are first learning about or hearing about this concept, many business owners get confused or miss the point entirely.
Saying that your business offers great service is not a unique selling proposition. Nearly every business claims to offer great service.
Saying that you are the cheapest is also usually not a unique selling proposition. In most industries, there is always going to be somebody who is cheaper than you. Even if you were the cheapest, you better be capable of surviving until you can dominate the market and have the volume high enough to survive.
A unique selling proposition has to be something that makes your business unique and sets you apart from your competition in a way that your customers will notice and appreciate.
Why should I be developing a unique selling proposition in business?
When you have a strong unique selling proposition, you become the obvious choice for your target market!
When customers are looking at a product or service, how do they choose which one to use? In some cases they may look at reviews or pricing. Those are common factors to consider when there isn’t something compelling about a product or service. However, if one is able to stand out in a truly unique way, it not only creates added interest, but it can also do the following:
- Removes or lowers pricing as a determining factor for the consumer and allows you to charge more for your product or service.
- Creates brand loyalty and customer retention.
- Generates word-of-mouth marketing.
If you can find a way to stand out from the rest of the businesses in your industry, you will be well on your way to success!
Developing a unique selling proposition can be a challenge, but it is definitely worth the effort.
Examples of a unique selling proposition
Now that we’ve gone over what a unique selling proposition is and what it isn’t, let’s take a look at some examples.
- The only product on the market that offers XYZ features.
- Unique qualification/certification.
- Money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- Free shipping/consultation/installation.
- Extended business/office hours.
These can be considered unique selling propositions depending on the area of business you are competing in. However, many of these, such as “free shipping” are being adopted by more and more retailers. So, you will want to look around and see what your competitors are doing so you can differentiate yourself. Also, just because others are offering free shipping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer it. It just means you may need to look at a different angle for your business.
A good example of a USP is when Domino’s Pizza advertised that the pizza would be free if it wasn’t delivered within 30 minutes or less. It gave customers a huge incentive to choose Dominos over other pizza chains. They knew that they would be eating soon or it would be free if they ordered from Dominos.
What does your customer need/want?
In order to find a truly great USP, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers. What is it that they are really in need of, particularly on an emotional level – because people make buying decisions based on emotion.
Where are they hurting the most and how are you going to help them get relief fast?
You have to be able to answer these questions before you can create an effective unique selling proposition.
Creating one for your business
Now let’s talk about how you can go about creating one for your business.
Remember to keep your target market in mind as you brainstorm and think about what they are looking for and what need your business fills.
Once you have some ideas, you can start to narrow them down and choose the one that you think will be most effective. When you are brainstorming, don’t be afraid to think up crazy concepts. Nothing has to be physically or financially done in the brainstorming phase. You just need to be open to every idea you can come up with.
Make sure that your unique selling proposition is something that sets you apart from your competition and makes you the obvious choice for your customers!
Here are some of the most important questions to ask yourself when developing your USP:
- How does this benefit my customers and appeal to their needs/wants?
- Do my competitors do anything like this?
- Am I willing to make the necessary sacrifice to make it happen?
- How am I going to market the USP effectively?
A slogan or short catch phrase might help you get your USP across to your customers in a simple manner.
One last thing to consider when developing a unique selling proposition
Implementing a unique selling proposition might require a little more money or effort on your part. It might even hurt a little bit at first because it might push you outside of your comfort zone in business. That is part of what makes it seem “crazy” to do from a business owner’s standpoint. If it weren’t a little different, or if it were super easy to implement, every business would be doing it.
Just remember that your unique selling proposition has to be something that is unique to your business and that your customers are actually looking for!