Crafting The Ultimate Killer USP
Imagine if you had one thing that makes you unique, one thing that you will be famous for. If you could have a unique business idea, what would that be?
What Is A USP?
We all know that to succeed in business, you’ll need to have a unique selling proposition, especially if you also have unique business ideas. Don’t try to be an all-purpose business, set yourself apart from others and have customers know why they should choose you. That is what you’ll be known for; why should customers choose you? How can your unique business ideas attract customers?
Why You Need It?
In today’s world of noise where new businesses are popping up everywhere and one can easily get buried under the millions of other pages on Google. An effective USP communicates your brand’s core values and how this benefits your clients.
It also helps guide your marketing and sales teams in defining the following:
- Products or services you offer
- How your offerings benefit customers
- How your customers can’t get the same from the competition
- Who is your target market
- What kind of problem you are solving
How To Craft It?
Let’s look at the ingredients that will go into making your awesome USP. We’ll take a few brands as case studies along the way too.
1. Open with what makes you unique
Right off the bat, the first thing you should be thinking about is to start with what makes you unique.
We'll let you in on a little secret tip - if what you think makes you unique can also apply to your competitors, then you are not unique enough and you need to dig deeper to identify what makes you stand out from the pack!
Start with thinking about the strengths and benefits that you bring to the table. How does your product differ from your competitors? Or maybe how your product specifically targets customers' pain points.
For this point, we look at Domino’s - “Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free”. They are most certainly unique in that it’s not about the quality of the pizza, but how quickly they can have one delivered to you, baked and all, in 30 minutes or less.
2. Clear & confident
While you want to be different from competitors, you also want customers to remember you. Remember, you’re also pitching your company, product, and/or service. If you don’t have faith in your product or can’t express just why customers should pick you, they’ll walk away.
Once again, for this point, we’ll look at Domino’s. They are so confident in their prowess that they are willing to promise you a free pizza if you do not get your order in 30 minutes or less. It’s clearly worded and they back it up with their actions.
3. Exaggerate just a little
Part of being confident in your selling point and pitching yourself is to say things like “World-class customers look for our world-class solutions”. It may be an exaggeration, but it indicates that you are enthusiastic about what you offer.
There is a caveat to this point - do not claim something that you are unable to at least fundamentally back up. If you are selling a new brand of solar-powered cell phones. You can say something like “Talk all day, every day with our self-charging solar phones”. That is an exaggeration because people can’t talk all day, but you are still able to back that claim up fundamentally and in principle since your phones will charge even as you use them.
What you can’t say is “Cure cancer with our self-charging solar phones”. First off, that’s not even scientifically plausible and it's not a claim that you can fundamentally back up at all.
We’ll look at an old favourite of one of our writers - Pringles. Their USP is that it’s so delicious you can’t stop at just eating one chip. Even their tagline is as outlandish - “Once you pop, you can’t stop”.
4. Focus on benefit, not the product
Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt once said - “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole”. Brilliant sales pitches don’t sell the product or service, they sell the dream, the could-be, and what’ll your life be like with this item.
A quick way to gauge if your USP is selling well is in how your prospective customer engages with you. If your USP is not compelling them to believe in the benefits of buying your product or the service, then you’re probably selling the item too much and not focusing on how it will benefit them. Either that or they can’t see the benefits clearly for themselves.
For this point, we will look at a legend in cleaning tools - Dyson. They’ve had many different USPs over the years. One that we remember from way back was that they always touted their vacuum cleaners as ones that “Require no bags”. This was back in the day when vacuum cleaners still had these things called vacuum bags that the dust and stuff would be sucked into.
When vacuum cleaners became bagless, Dyson switched to repositioning its USP with a focus on suction power instead.
At all points, they were thinking of how their USP will benefit the consumer ultimately. Either it was the convenience of having a bagless and more convenient time cleaning their house or a vacuum cleaner that would be as powerful ten years down the road as the day you first bought it.
Put It To The Test
Go ahead and write out your unique selling proposition incorporating the four points that we’ve gone over. Then once you’ve got your sample, we’ll go through how to quickly test it in just two steps.
1. Is it unique to you?
Everyone wants to claim that they have the best customer support. However, ask yourself - Has what you’ve written uniquely defined you and can’t apply to anyone else?
2. Can you deliver on your promises?
Sure, you’ve pitched and promised a benefit that your customer wants. Now, the question becomes - can you deliver on that promise?
Effective USPs help your business stand out. Take the time to understand what makes your business unique and what you want to be associated with. It also has to answer the customer’s question - “Why do I need you?”.
To effectively answer that question, you’ll need to be seeing how your product or service benefits the customer from their point of view. Then work it into your USP to effectively sell them on that benefit. In a way, you are then allowing it to steer the company, the sales pitches, the marketing, and the way you do business.
Of course, you will find that as your business evolves, so will your USPs. It will get more focused as well as more appealing to the right customers.
We hope that you have found this article helpful. We wish you all the best in crafting your USP!