Marketing First Principles – USP – Unique Selling Proposition
Whether you are a start-up or an established business you will find yourself wanting to differentiate yourself from your competitors – enter the Unique Selling Proposition or USP an easy way for us marketers to discuss what makes you different and more importantly what makes you and your offering better or more appealing than your competitors.
I include established businesses, along with start-ups, as you would be surprised how often a business might not have one, might not realise they have one or have forgotten their roots over time (an always on principle is important).
1 – How to define your unique selling proposition?
If you are a start-up and you created your business because you saw a niche in the market than it’s obvious your USP is your niche, good for you – you’ve already completed steps 1 & 2, skip to part 3. Point in fact, a new client recently started up a mobile coffee business in an area that doesn’t have one – USP solved Coffee Brought To You.
You could be in an industry with what may seem as fairly rigid terms of service. Example: I am an accountant – I do your books (speaking of accounting, learn about how accounting software platforms differentiate themselves in the Australian market HERE) it doesn’t feel like there is much room to separate yourselves from the other accountants out there.
There is always a way
A good place to start is by asking yourself what’s most important to you and your business:
Best in market/Premium
2 – Research
Learn what your competitors are doing.
If you said value than you might want to find the other’s prices and beat them – (but we would more likely recommend adding value because simply lowering prices can become a race to the bottom).
If on the other hand, you may have said premium make sure you only stock the best products.
Not only do you learn from your competitors learn from your customers. Ask them – why do they keep coming back and then use that as inspiration.
3 – Solidify
Now that you have an idea write a paragraph explaining it or write 3 key things about your USP.
Just get it out of brain and onto the page.
Now that you have done that reduce and repeat. You may even find that you can get it down to a tag line.
Some examples of taglines that are USPs in their own right
The burgers are better at Hungry Jacks – simple effective no social proof needed they are just stating the fact.
9 out of 10 dentists agree… – this is a poof that people in the know suggest it.
Open happiness – Holy Coca Cola Batman… this is abstract but it is unique
One of our favourites however has to be finger lickin’ good.
Speaking of KFC and Coca-Cola another USP for both of them is secret and you can’t get it any where other than their product. The Coca-Cola recipe is a well-known secret… umm is that an oxymoron? you know what I mean… it’s well-known that it is a secret. And KFC has the mysterious 11 secret herbs and spices.
4 – Promote your USP
This can be considered part of your general marketing activities but remind people constantly what makes you great. Be it in person, at your storefront, on your promotional materials; in your edms and naturally on your digital home the website.
Following these steps will add value to your business and will also solidify in yours’ and the other employees’ minds what your brand is all about.
If you or someone you know is having trouble with USP drop us a line.