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Unique Selling Proposition (USP, unique selling point, unique selling proposition), is something that differentiates a product or brand from the competition. USP in marketing is a differentiator, a key to gaining market advantage and scaling sales. If you have something that differentiates you from the competition then you are one step ahead. However, it is not the mere existence of a differentiator that is most important, but that this differentiator has value for the consumer.
Your customer, asking the question what he will gain by buying from you, why it is better, faster, more advantageous, expects a concise answer in the form of a USP. If he finds this, the chances of effective marketing increase significantly.
The chances of effective marketing increase significantly.
Why is owning a USP so important in business?
Having a strong differentiator, a USP, is so important because it is the key to consumer choice. A compelling USP helps clearly communicate the value your company brings, making it easier for customers to understand why they should choose you. When customers have many options to choose from, a well-crafted USP can prove to be the deciding factor in the decision-making process. Not only does it attract new customers, but it also fosters loyalty and trust.
On the other hand – what causes the lack of a clear differentiator? First of all, price pressure, which will automatically be a competitive advantage. Price pressure means lower margins, weaker business operability and spiraling savings. Lack of a strong USP also means lower marketing efficiency, weaker conversion rates, difficulty in convincing the consumer with non-price elements.
What are the key elements of a unique selling proposition?
In most cases, the USP will be simple and writable in a single brand message A matrix of four key elements such as:
can help build it.
- Exceptionality: your USP should emphasize what sets you apart from the competition. Identify your company’s unique strengths and use them to your advantage.
For example, if you run a coffee shop, your USP might be to use local, organic beans that are not available anywhere else. By highlighting these unique aspects, you create a compelling reason for customers to choose your offering.
Uniqueness is not just about unique availability, you can be unique because of other features such as the right to return a product without giving a reason within X days or 1% of each transaction to charity.
- Tailoring: your USP should be in line with the needs and desires of your target audience. Understand their “pain points” and clearly demonstrate how your company can solve their problems.
For example, you run a clothing store and your target audience values sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices. In this case, your USP can focus on a commitment to helping local communities and overt labor standards.
- Transparency: your USP should be easy to understand and concise. Avoid vague or confusing language that can dilute your message.
Using clear and simple language ensures that your USP will resonate with your target audience. Avoid industry jargon and complex terminology that can confuse potential customers. Instead, focus on communicating your unique selling points in an easily digestible and memorable way. In other words, if you need more than one sentence to convey your USP, it’s a sign that something is amiss. Customers expect a clear and simple message, otherwise your USP will get lost in the crowd.
- Value: Your USP should communicate the value that customers can expect from your company. Highlight the benefits and advantages that set you apart.
Highlighting the value your company provides is essential to attract and retain customers. This value must be unique, not available in the market. So you can’t talk about great customer service or high-quality products. That’s not enough. Instead, say that you are offering a 10min free consultation with a selected specialist about the fall collection.
How to create your own USP in business?
To create a good USP, you must first of all look at the business from the customer’s side. You need to know almost everything about your ideal customer before you start thinking about what qualities will set your company apart from similar companies.
When identifying your ideal potential customer, consider the following:
- What does your ideal customer really want?
- How can your product or service solve their problems?
- What factors motivate their purchasing decisions?
- Why do your current customers choose your company over your competitors?
- Why do some customers not choose your offer, but your competitors?
Remember – it’s not enough to target ads to a specific demographic group. You need to know exactly who you want to sell to and why. Once you know this, you can get to work on the next step – solving your customers’ problems. Understanding your audience’s true need is the key to so-called consumer insights
In marketing, it is said that consumers don’t want to buy products – they want to solve their problems. It’s not quite that simple, but perhaps it’s better to approach the subject using the example of the cosmetics industry, for example. Companies in this sector don’t just sell makeup – they sell lifestyle ideals; glamour, confidence and style. Think of it in terms of problem solving; people who may not feel perfect, confident and stylish will do so if they use a certain product. This lies at the heart of most cosmetics advertising, and the concept applies to many other industries as well.
To design a strong USP, you need to research the profile of your ideal customer and then promote your products in a way that shows them that you can meet their needs and solve their problems. You can’t hope to write a compelling text based on your customer’s voice if you don’t know who they are. If potential customers choose your products, how will their lives, comfort or well-being improve? What makes your company different enough that potential customers should choose your products or services? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you will never create a good USP.
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How to deploy USP to online marketing?
When you’ve created a compelling unique selling proposition (USP), it’s time to put it into action. Successfully implementing a USP can help set your company apart from the competition and attract your target audience. Here are some steps to consider when implementing a USP as part of your marketing strategies.
It is crucial to ensure that USPs are consistently incorporated into all aspects of your marketing efforts. This means that from your website content to your social media posts, every communication should reflect your unique selling proposition. That way, you create a consistent and memorable brand identity that resonates with your audience. The idea, of course, is not that every post should have the same content. USP communication can be done through different methods and differentiated advertising content. Imagine, for example, the USP – use now, pay in 12 months, where they offer a unique opportunity to use a product with deferred payment for up to one year. This USP can be communicated in dozens of ways!
One way to incorporate USPs into your marketing strategies is to create compelling and engaging content that highlights the unique benefits your company offers. For example, if your USP focuses on exceptional customer service, you can create blog posts or videos featuring real customer stories.
One effective way to communicate about your USP is through your website. Make sure your USP is well and consistently visible on your homepage and throughout your site. Consider creating a dedicated page that explains your USP in more detail, giving examples and testimonials from satisfied customers. Maintain customer attentiveness even during the buying process. Allow customers to share information about the brand along with the USP.
You should integrate your USP into your digital marketing strategy Your USP must be the foundation of your marketing message and the focal point of your marketing campaigns. You should use it in your headlines, slogans, text, logos, ads, website, social media, emails and any other customer touch points. You should also reinforce your USP with evidence such as testimonials, reviews, ratings, awards, certificates or guarantees. Your USP should be across all marketing channels and platforms. Only this ensures that a genuinely strong USP will translate into a more effective marketing effort and a better return on investment.
Summary: How to write a unique sales proposal?
A unique sales proposal not only differentiates your company from other similar companies, but also serves as a focus for all marketing decisions. If you’re just getting started with marketing communications, take some time to get to know your customer and their needs, and then move on to designing a USP. Remember that what you talk about in your USP must be simple and transparent to prove so that customers can believe your brand (reason to believe).
It’s also worth treating USP as something that can be tested and improved based on feedback and results. You can use various methods to test USPs, such as surveys, interviews, landing pages, ads or social media posts. Simply ask your customers or potential customers what they think of your USP, how it affects them and how it influences their purchasing decisions. For testing purposes, you can also use experiments in ad campaigns, on Google Ads or Meta Ads platforms. This way you will get data that will verify which version of your USP works more effectively for a given audience.
CEO and managing partner at Up&More. He is responsible for the development of the agency and coordinates the work of the SEM/SEO and paid social departments. He oversees the introduction of new products and advertising tools in the company and the automation of processes.