The ultimate guide to an effective USP

Your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is what keeps your business in the minds of your potential and existing customers. It’s what sets you apart from the rest, making you stand out from your competition.

A successful USP is crucial to every business, big or small. Without one, people won’t understand why they should go to you over your competitors. Don’t go thinking that people automatically choose the business offering the lowest price, because there’s so much more to it than that.

In fact, studies have shown that price is rarely the main factor in the buying decision. These studies even go as far to say that lowering your prices in order to beat the competition can have a negative on your business. In the eyes of the customer, this can decrease the worth of your product or service.

With that in mind, here are some things to think about for an effective USP:

Define simply: You need to be able to define your USP in no more than 90 words. Within those 90 words, you need to tell people why they should do business with you and not your competitors.

Make it memorable: Your USP is what is going to make you stand out from the rest, so make it a memorable one.

Be unique: There’s little point in having a USP that’s the same as your competitors. After all, it’s in the name: Unique Selling Proposition.

Promote individuality: Show your customers how your product or service fills a gap in the market. Prove to them that you really do provide something that others don’t.

Outline the benefits: A USP needs to describe the benefits of your product or service. Why should people choose you? What will people get out of working with you?

Specify: It’s important to be specific about your product or service, going into detail about its quality, selection and guarantee. A vague USP will only seem suspicious.

Keep it relevant: If your USP doesn’t interest the customers you’re targeting, then you’ve got to do one of two things; reconsider your USP or reconsider your target audience.

Allow for change: It must be able to evolve and meet your customers’ ever-changing needs. Businesses grow and develop all the time and so do their customers, so make your USP adaptable.

Be believable: If your USP isn’t believable, then this will obviously have negative effects on your business. People will doubt your legitimacy and reliability, which is not what you want!

Make promises you can keep: You need to be able to deliver whatever it is that you’re promising. Otherwise, you’ll damage your company’s credibility and image, risking the loss of current and future customers.

Market effectively: There’s no point in having a decent USP if you’re not getting it out there. With a well-thought out marketing strategy in place, your USP will go the extra mile.