Do you have a unique selling proposition (USP) that you’re shouting to the world? Is it one that really matters to your target audience, so that when they hear it they sit up and take notice?
If not, you’re missing out on a very important component of your business.
The Importance Of Creating A Unique Selling Point (USP)
If you don’t have a USP for your business, you’re leaving a massive gap between where your business currently is, and where it could be.
It’s no surprise that most businesses, lacking a USP, merely get by. Their failure rate is high, their owners are apathetic, and they get only a small share of the potential business.
Not only that, the absence of a USP leads to significant amounts of time and money being unneccessarily wasted while you attempt to sell and market your offerings.
What Is A Unique Selling Point (USP)?
Your USP is a promise to your customers, both potential and existing. It is ideally something that only you can say. If it wasn’t something only you can say, it wouldn’t be unique – would it 😉?
Essentially, your USP demonstrates to your audience what’s different about you, and your business. It answers one of the most important questions that your prospects will have – why should they choose you?
And in the process, it makes you or your business stand out from your competitors, and makes you memorable. In a world where there is so much noise and competition, where it’s so hard to get someone’s attention – your USP is perhaps your most powerful weapon.
How To Create Your USP
There are a few steps to create a unique selling proposition.
- Know your audience well – and identify their needs better than anyone else. You may want to use the customer empathy map below to help you. What are their greatest challenges and frustrations when dealing with your industry? What problem/s do they have that you can solve better than anyone else?
- Compare your offering with your main competitors. What is it that makes yours different, and what is it that you can do that your competitors can’t copy or reproduce easily?
Set some time aside, relax, and have a go at writing a one-paragraph statement of your new USP.
To start with you’ll have trouble expressing it tightly and specifically. It may take two or three paragraphs or more. That’s okay. From there you can edit ruthlessly until you have the crispest, clearest, most specific promise you could possibly make.
Then, rework it and hack away the excess, until you have a clearly defined, clearly apparent Unique Selling Proposition that will grab the attention of your prospects.
Here are some examples of unique selling propositions:
- FedEx Corporation
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
- Domino’s Pizza
You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.
These days it can be easier than you think to create and deliver on a USP, as so many companies are dropping the ball on the absolute basics.
As an example – can you guarantee you’ll call your customer or prospect back, or have an answer or a quote within 30 minutes? Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference to a customer.
Testing Your USP
Once you’ve come up with what you think is an awesome USP, test it with your target market. The best way to do this is by asking 50 to 100 people if they actually care about what you think makes you special (or could make you special). Would it be enough to positively influence their decision making?
Living Your USP
Once you have your USP, focus on doing it – excellently and consistently. Better than anyone else.
If you shout your USP to the world from the highest mountain, and don’t live and breathe it in your business – you’ll come to grief. The customer experience must match the promise – at the very least.
Once you’ve got this sorted internally and with your team, it’s time to start incorporating your USP into your sales and marketing, and shouting it to the world.
What’s important is that it’s easy for you to communicate, and that your audience understand it quickly and easily.
Creating a USP for your business is extremely important, and it doesn’t need to be difficult. The steps to create a unique selling proposition are quite simple (but not easy), and the examples of unique selling propositions above demonstrate that.
Your USP will most definitely help you to stand out from the crowd in a sea of sameness. Just make sure that your target audience understand it, relate to it, and care about it.
Most importantly – your USP is a promise of some kind. Make absolutely sure that you deliver on it.
Get out there and create a USP for your business. If you already have one, or have an idea for one – post it in the comments below to seek feedback (and give your business a plug).
What’s your USP?