Unique Selling Point (USP)
A unique selling point (USP) is the value or factor that makes your product or service better than competitors’ offerings.
What Is a Unique Selling Point?
A unique selling point (USP) is the value or factor that makes your product or service better than competitors’ offerings. A unique selling point helps you define your unique position in the market. The advertising you run and the pitches you make to investors should revolve around the unique selling point.
USPs are often put into the following categories: quality, price, speed, service, convenience, selection, customization, originality, and specialization. Choose one that will become the core of your work and start from there.
Why Is a Unique Selling Point Important?
In a market with several products, it’s difficult for customers to determine which item best suits their needs. Having a clear, unique selling point helps the customer differentiate between different product choices. USP is even more important when selling online because customers have so many options.
Internally, a USP can serve a different role by forcing you to focus on your company’s mission. A successful brand determines its key competitive differences clearly to stay on the right track. As the owner of such a business, you need to consider who your business is for, what makes you offer the service you offer, and how you can leave an extraordinary impact each time.
How to Develop a Strong Unique Selling Point?
The goal of the USP is to answer one question: why should a target buyer shop from your business? A successful USP can comprise a few words or even a paragraph because the word count does not matter. As long as you capture and clearly define the promise to your buyers and state what makes your products desirable. Remember that a USP is not the same as a business tagline, but a good tagline summarizes the complete USP in one sentence and makes it impactful.
Finding your unique selling proposition begins with extensive market research. This is when you create a strong connection with the customers and figure out what motivates them to make their buying decisions and what they care about. You can also focus on different sales features like convenience, quality, credibility, reliability, and cleanliness that influence a buyer’s decisions. You cannot understand what matters to your customers without this knowledge, and pinpointing a USP will become tougher.
Market research is your best bet at finding out why your current buyers choose your products over the competition. Suppose you are just starting and do not have customers who can provide such research, learn from the competitors and learn how they operate. You will get a clear understanding of what makes your business special, and you will be able to grow faster. As more customers buy from you, your brand will have a better recall.
Questions to Ask:
To communicate your unique strengths, ask yourself the following questions:
How to Communicate Your USP?
There are many channels that a brand can use to showcase its USP to customers and prospects. A few common methods include:
Brand marketing campaigns and traditional advertising can be a good platform to get your brand out there and communicate your USP
For many businesses, social media is a key driver of brand awareness. You should have a strong presence on social media and work with social media influencers in your niche. These channels can uniquely communicate your USP.
Creating viral and interesting content that also talks about how and why your company is different (or better) than others can be a good way to showcase your USP.
For a digital business or online store, the USP is often delivered as a list on a product page or a web page tagline.
Search Engine Marketing
Improving the SEO of your site and ranking for important keywords in search engines like Google is a great strategy for a company to create visibility and communicate its USPs.
Testing Your Unique Selling Point
If you are confused about what makes your customers buy from you, then A/B testing will be a key process to find out information from your landing pages. By testing USPs against each other, you will find the messages which resonate best with your prospective customers by focusing on conversion goals.
Let’s say that you are the owner of a marbles company that sells a rare type of marble. You cannot determine whether people will buy it for its quality or age (50 years old). Should the USP be the quality or age?
You can find the answer to this question by doing A/B testing for your landing page, where you can test two headlines:
- A: Precious and High-Quality Marbles for Sale
- B: Rare 50-Year Old Marbles for Sale
The USP on a landing page is not always the headline. It also consists of some combinations of headlines and a bulleted list of benefits. You can track the performance of each page with the help of a tool like Google Analytics. The page that gets more conversions will also contain your effective USP.
Unique Selling Point Examples
There’s no shortage of companies with unique selling points that you could take inspiration from. For instance, Zappos, an online footwear store, uses “free returns” to lure customers. Don’t want the pair you ordered? Zappos lets you return it for free without any penalty, making for a great unique selling point.
Another example of a great USP is Toms Shoes. Although there’s nothing unique about retailing shoes online, Toms stands out by donating a pair of shoes to a kid in need for each pair a customer buys through its website. Toms’ unique selling proposition helps you do good and get a high-quality pair of shoes simultaneously.
A USP can also be synonymous with your brand. Apple is a great example of this; whenever people think of Apple, they automatically associate it with the premium, high-end feel the brand offers through its products.