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5 Steps to Your USP: Unique Selling Proposition

May 28, 2014 By Joy Gendusa
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In this article, you'll learn:
  • How to create something unique and amazing about your business.
  • How to separate yourself from your competitors.
  • How to distill your unique offering into a simple Unique Selling Proposition.

Anytime you see a truly exceptional business, you are sure to find a "unique selling proposition" (USP)—something that sets that company apart from the competition and defines it in the minds of consumers. Basically, a USP is your answer to this question: "Why should I choose you over your competition?" But here's the kicker: You can only use one (maybe two) sentences.

Look at these famous examples:

  • Zappos: The only online shoe retailer that offers Free Shipping and Free Returns 365 days a year.
  • Domino's Pizza: The only pizza company that guarantees delivery within 30 minutes or it's FREE.
  • Toms Shoes: The only shoe company that donates a pair of shoes to a needy child with every pair purchased.
  • Nordstrom: You can return anything purchased at Nordstrom at any time, no receipt necessary.

Compelling, no? That's the power of a quality USP. But on the other side of the token, businesses without a USP struggle to form an identity, and ultimately fail to market the benefits they offer. The results are not something you want any part of.

No matter what industry you are in, it is possible to create something that sets you apart. Essentially, every powerful USP is made up of two things: 1) an aspect of your business that makes it unique, and 2) a benefit you offer consumers. Without uniqueness, no one can distinguish you from your competitors. Without a (desirable) benefit or a clear-cut industry problem that only you are able to solve for them, no one has a reason to care about using your business.

Yes, indeed: The USP is vitally important—but how do you create one?

Follow these five simple steps to a specialized USP for your business.

1. Have an Honest Conversation
Gather your staff together, especially those who have direct contact with customers, such as salespeople. Once you have everyone together, you need to have a brainstorming session and answer these questions:

 

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