In a competitive marketplace, you need a strong unique selling proposition (USP) to stand out. If you can’t quickly get your marketing message and its underlying psychology to register immediately with your best-fit customers, then you’ll always struggle to increase lead flow and sales.
Each of your competitors is shouting alongside you about how great their solution is. It’s your job to craft a unique USP that rises above the clamoring so that your target market sees you as their best option.
Many customers get confused and overwhelmed by the number of competitive choices. The right unique selling proposition cuts through the confusion and helps them feel like they’re on solid ground as they settle in on your message that resonates with their needs.
It’s a win/win solution when you take the bull by the horns and rise above with unique messaging.
Let’s dive into how to identify your unique selling proposition.
What Is Your Unique Selling Proposition?
A unique selling proposition is a simple statement that immediately helps customers understand what makes you different or special in your market.
It’s your way of communicating the value you offer customers in one quick burst of words. It should mentally stop your audience in their tracks and get them to pay attention to your product or brand.
From there, your USP’s messaging can expand and educate those newly-opened minds with further details about the benefits of buying from you. As a general recommendation, it is a good idea to test it via A/B testing for your online store.
Expanding this idea further, your USP needs to have these qualities:
- Focused on customer needs: It won’t help to come up with a “unique” angle that isn’t something your best-fit customers care about.
- Assertive, yet meaningful: Don’t say things like, “we offer the best quality.” Create a memorable unique selling proposition that you can defend while making it clear how it sets you apart from competitors.
- Don’t get caught up making slogans: Slogans have their place in other areas of marketing, such as your website title. A unique selling proposition shows how you walk your talk.
You don’t need a unique product. You need USP messaging that reveals the intersection between what you do best and what your customers want most.
Think “we make 100% scratch-proof glasses”, not “we sell high-quality products.”
What Isn’t a Unique Selling Proposition?
A unique selling proposition isn’t one of your specific offers such as:
- We have a rock-solid return policy
- We offer 24/7/365 customer service
- Get free shipping
- Get 15% off
These are effective when positioned correctly in your sales funnel. They’re not unique, however, and you can’t defend them because your competitors can simply copy them.
Your unique selling proposition isn’t a website header copy either. Instead, it’s the position your company takes as a whole that you can bake into the overall experience you provide for customers. It’s more holistic and affects every touchpoint your customers have with your product and business.
Why Is it Important to Have a Unique Selling Proposition?
Customers today struggle with the number of products they have to choose from. It’s confusing for most people when trying to figure out which company offers the best solution for the problem they need to solve.
An effective unique selling proposition immediately grabs a customer’s attention and shows them who you are, why you’re unique, and why you’re their best option.
If you close the confusion gap customers experience, then you’ve made inroads for getting the sale. All the planning you did with your customer journey maps can now take hold.
5 Recommendations to Craft a Great Unique Selling Proposition
Let’s dive into ways to put your unique selling proposition together.
1. Practice What You Preach
Most customers get fed up with empty promises made by many companies. Your customers have purchased products and services that didn’t live up to the marketing hype.
Instead of telling customers why you’re their best choice, make sure your USP shows them why. Anyone can make generic promises and claims. You need to craft a unique selling proposition that reveals specific benefits.
You shouldn’t say, “We’re here to coach you.” Instead, you should say, “Clients coached by us see an immediate 23% increase in sales volume.”
2. Emphasize Your Differentiating Qualities
You created your product for a specific reason. Tap into that when crafting your unique selling proposition. If your competitors can steal your USP and copy it over to their company, then you haven’t done your job yet.
Get back to work figuring out how to explain what you do in a way that’s 100% unique to you, your product or service, and your specific company.
On the surface, printing business cards isn’t special. Vistaprint made itself stand out by using a USP that focused on helping “growing businesses on a budget.”
3. Answer Your Customer’s Primary Question: “What’s in it for Me?
Many business owners fail because they get stuck in their personal views about the product. They focus on the cool product features instead of what their customers truly care about.
You can’t afford to make this mistake when crafting a unique selling proposition. Show customers USP messaging that helps them see what happens throughout the buying process.
Remember that they care most about what happens after the sale more than they do about product features. Their focus is all about whether your product improves their future or not.
4. Craft Phrases About Your Unique Product or Service that Are Clear and Concise
Clear and concise messaging always wins out against long, confusing, and self-serving phrases.
One truth about copywriting is that you get long-winded when you don’t have anything useful to say. Ouch! It’s true, though. Find a short, sweet, and to-the-point phrase that encompasses your uniqueness to customers.
Don’t say things like:
- We’re committed to giving you the best, most world-class blah, blah
- We leverage our highly-skilled window glass cleaners to help you blah, blah
- We are all about guaranteeing our work so that you blah, blah
Those phrases get long, and your customers have heard that jargon before.
Use short, clear, and concise phrases like “We come to you.”
5. Think from Your Customer’s Perspective
Your job is to get in perfect tune with the problem(s) that your best-fit customers want to solve the most. Don’t work hard to turn around skeptical people who aren’t your best-fit prospects, to begin with.
Once you understand who your best customers are, you need to focus on explaining your uniqueness in a way that fits your customer’s perspectives.
What are they looking for that isn’t getting satisfied by you or your competitors yet? Ask yourself what current customers already saw in your company and the product that caused them to buy from you. Use these customers’ perspectives to form your unique selling proposition. You might focus on areas such as:
You won’t go wrong if you resist the urge to build your unique selling proposition from what you think is important. Instead, form your USP based on what’s most important to customers.
Examples of Great Unique Selling Propositions
One of the easiest ways to understand how to craft a winning USP is by seeing how other companies do it.
Muse already has a unique product because it provides information about your brain while you meditate. Their biggest competitor is regular meditation without using a tool like their product. They use “get the most out of meditation” as their unique selling proposition and use this messaging all over their website’s pages.
Death Wish Coffee
Most coffee companies talk about richness and smoothness. Death Wish Coffee goes in a different direction and caters to people looking for the strongest cup of coffee. They use the concept of the strongest cup of coffee everywhere, such as on their website, on all the packaging, and even in their refund statement that allows refunds if their coffee isn’t bold enough.
Mini-popcorn by itself isn’t much of a differentiator. Popcorn went into the health-conscious direction by using phrases like:
- Small batches
- Whole grain
They also talk about the non-GMO and gluten-free aspects of the product. Their USP’s health focus shows customers why this popcorn brand is different. This allows Pipcorn to retail at premium prices, and it attracts an entirely different market of popcorn consumers.
Knix sells intimate underwear to women such as “period underwear.” Their unique selling proposition is, “We are the most comfortable intimate brand on the market.” Period underwear products that replace pads help to back up their USP’s claim. How might you similarly use innovative products?
Many temporary tattoo companies focus their marketing on children. The Inkbox USP goes in a different direction, where they cater to people of all ages. The focus is on expressing yourself in a fun, safe, and temporary way that doesn’t come with the high costs of permanent tattoos. How can your unique selling proposition change stigmas and alter consumer viewpoints?
Crafting a unique selling proposition is critical for standing out in the marketplace. Use these tips to create your company’s USP. You should see a measurable difference in the way customers respond to your messaging and an uptick in revenue.
Author bio: Romy Toma-Catauta works in the marketing field and is passionate about writing on web design, business, interior design and psychology.