How to create your own ‘unique selling proposition’

November 30, 2023

Most business people have heard of the term ‘unique selling proposition’ (USP). It’s something every marketing expert talks about. But the reality is, 95% of businesses have never developed a strong USP!

That’s incredible. In fact, if you have a clear idea of your USP, you’ll be streets ahead of most of your competition.

The main reason businesses don’t develop a clear USP is because it involves serious thought. Most of us don’t like to think too hard. We’d rather get on with the job of “working”. So we keep putting off the need to think about a USP.

A simple question to help develop your USP

“Why should someone do business with me rather than any other company in the same market?”

When you have a great answer to that question, you can really push sales through the roof.

To demonstrate how powerful a USP can be, consider the story of Dominos Pizzas. Tom Monaghan, the founder of Dominos, came up with 10-word USP, which turned the entire pizza industry upside down and had everyone else chasing him for 10 years trying to catch up.

His magical USP was this:

“Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free.”

On the strength of that unique selling proposition, Tom Monaghan took a run-down pizza joint and built the Dominos Pizza empire.

Other great USP examples

“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” (Federal Express)

“Best Range. Lowest Prices. End of Story.” (The Mitre 10 DIY chain in New Zealand)

These USPs are clear and easy to remember. Think about what makes your business different from your competitors and why people should buy from you instead of them. Refine this down to a simple phrase that people can remember.

Some ideas for developing your USP

If you are stuck for ideas, here are some suggestions that you can build your USP around.

1. Do you provide an exceptionally high level of customer service?

2. Is your product of superior quality than your competitors?

3. Do you use the latest (or best) technology in your industry?

4. Is there something convenient about your product that makes it unique?

5. Can you give your customers a quick response? (Like Dominos’ 30 minutes or les).ing?

6. Can you offer more personalised service?  (by being a small company, for example)

7. Do you have a long track record of success in your industry? (specify the number of years)

8. Can you offer a 100% money back guarantee? Does this make you unique?

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking.

Do some brainstorming and write down every idea that you come up with. Don’t worry about how silly they might seem. No thought is too far fetched at this point. Sometimes those “silly ideas” that you laugh about are actually things your competitors don’t offer and can sometimes be incorporated into a USP.

The next step is to nail down your list. Be creative and really think here.

Ultimately, only you can come up with a USP and, like anything worthwhile, it will take some serious effort.

Are you willing to put in the effort? Or will you keep putting it off, like most businesses do?

Leave a comment