A captivating USP can spell the difference between a thriving business and a stagnant one. Not only does it differentiate you from other service providers in your niche, but it also gives prospective customers a good idea of what to expect when working with you. Because of this, you need to develop the best possible USP for your business. Below you will find a unique selling example that really demonstrates how and where business owners go wrong when crafting their USP.
Before we delve into the nitty gritty of the concept of the Unique Selling Point (otherwise known as Unique Selling Proposition), let us first explain what it is.
Many business owners confuse their USP with their company slogan. However, there is a critical difference between the two.
To better illustrate what I mean, consider the following slogan a company might use:
“Taking your business to the next level”
That sounds like an amazing slogan, but it cannot be your USP because it does not help prospective customers understand exactly why they should choose to work with you over your competitors.
With the slogan above, many prospects probably end-up asking:
“How are they going to take my business to the next level?”
“Is this company going to help me finance my business upgrades?”
Confusing your prospect customers this way can be detrimental to your business’s success.
To better understand what a USP is, you must answer this question.
Why should a prospective customer work with you instead of your competitors?
If you can answer that in 10 or fewer words, then you’ll have your USP. Of course, your answer should be both unique and specific, and it should solve your customers’ problems the way your company does it. Your answer should be true to what your company stands for and the culture that you’ve established within your brand. Here are some examples:
SiriusXM – “180+ channels, commercial-free music”
BillFaster – “Professional invoices in 7 seconds”
USP Tip #1: Develop an Identity
Your company’s vision should be clear to you and your target customers. You have to be able to show off your best asset in a single statement to attract people.
Go back to your company vision, goals, market strategies and business plans. Define what your products or services are, enumerate your strengths, list areas that need improvement and know your target market.
By delving into the core of your business, you can market your offerings to your target audience. USP is one way of telling your customers what you do best. Your USP should make customers think:
“I want to know more. Show me more!”
“Tell me more about your products!”
You can only get such reactions from your customers when you fully understand what your company is about what you have to offer. If you can arouse curiosity, then you have captured your prospects’ attention, which will ultimately result in them purchasing goods and services from you. Such sales mean that people have gotten hooked on your USP, and that they’d like to scratch the surface of your proposition.
Here are some USPs that you can check out.
The makers of this innovation understand their product’s uniqueness, as well as the health and environmental benefits of using their wrap instead of plastic wrap. They apply this effectively to marketing communications to capture the attention of their audience.
FedEx promises fast and reliable freight service, and guarantees that your package will arrive by a certain time. They clearly state this with their USP.
Huit Denim boasts that they do nothing more and nothing less than make high quality jeans. Because they focus on doing only one thing, they do it well.
Bellroy knows that wallets carry people’s important items. Often, pockets become full and heavy with unnecessary items. Bellroy’s proposition? Slim wallets of top-notch quality. This is their asset, a product and a proposition no one has previously thought of.
USP Tip 2: Pay Attention to what the Market Wants
USPs aren’t about you, but about your customers.
You might be able to provide a service better than your competitors, but without an attention-grabbing selling proposition, the market won’t even notice you.
Know what your target clients want and need, as opposed to what you can offer. Conduct surveys on the street and questionnaires on the Internet, and ask for a feedback from returning customers for a clear view of what people want.
Here are some samples from different companies:
Colgate – “Improve mouth health in 2 weeks”
Coastal.com – “Eyeglasses brands you love from $48”
Volkswagon –”Form meets function with a flair of simplicity. We design with a purpose”
Ask yourself how you can solve their problems and what methods you should use to do it the way they want to. You should be able to meet, if not exceed, their expectations. Customers should be your top priority if you want to beat the sales of companies who offer the same service.
AmericanMusical.com knows that customers want ease of payment. They want to be able to buy something expensive with a payment plan that won’t shock their wallets. With what they are offering, musically inclined individuals will surely opt to purchase from them.
LLBean.com’s USP offers something their competitors don’t. “Free shipping to US and Canada every day. No minimum order, no end date.” This attracts online buyers who prefer hassle-free shopping. The free shipping offer appeals to buyers because they can save money on their purchases.
Low price? Well, Cymax.com has a price meeting program allowing buyers to choose a product at their desired price. Now that’s customer-centered selling!
The Dollar Shave Club provides hassle free shaving with their membership program. Pay their monthly fee and have your razor delivered to your doorstep monthly.
USP Tip 3: Know what You Can Offer that Your Competitors Cannot
Product exclusivity is one of the things that attract a wave of clients. If your product can beat the other products in the same aisle at the supermarket, then expect your sales to be booming. Likewise, if you can provide reliable service and a one-of-a-kind customer experience that makes your competitors eat dust, then clients are sure to switch to your company.
This is your asset, and you should use it to appeal to your target market. Emphasize why you, rather than any other company in the same segment, are the best choice to solve your audience’s problems.
Use distinctive words like:
Or offer them something they can’t refuse:
- Money-back guarantee
- If it’s late, it’s free
- First month is free
Examples of this include:
Domino’s Pizza – “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.”
Accessory Geeks – “Create your own case now starting at $16.99”
Coastal.com – “Get your first pair of glasses free. Choose from over 300 frames”
Make sure you know who you’re competing against, and show-off the qualities that make you different. Do not boast about something everyone in the industry has, because that won’t make you stand out. In business, you shouldn’t brag about being the best; in a sea of companies claiming to be the best, that sort of claim gets no attention.
The way to stand out is to be unique, to do things differently, and to show this to your target market. Curiosity, packed with a persuasive USP and guaranteed customer satisfaction, is sure to sell your business.SpreadShirt gives the t-shirt market an innovative twist by letting buyers create their own product and designs. These customizable ideas sell because of the uniqueness of the USP.
Pureformulas.com beats their competitors with the following USP: “Orders placed before 5 PM EST ship the same day.” This attracts clients who want to receive their purchases the same day.
Best Buy not only dares to compete but also challenges to eliminate competitors with their USP. “Find a lower price and we’ll match it.” This defies the natural and challenges the usual.
Watch Co.’s “365-day return policy” guarantees both customer satisfaction and the quality of its products.
USP Tip 4: Craft a Compelling, Straightforward USP
Your USP should be short and catchy. After all, its main purpose is to get the attention of your target market. A compelling USP should also be meaningful and straightforward. Eliminate any unnecessary words.
To give you an example, here are some commonly used USPs that do not successfully draw attention:
“We deliver your package, fast”
“We offer the best postpaid plans”
“Providing the best business coaching services”
Although these may state the company’s services and address customer issues, they do not stand out from the crowd. Give details as to why you are the best and why customers should buy from you, all the while keeping it short and catchy. Explain what your company can do for your customers, but capture your audience’s attention and make a mark while doing so.
Once you have your USP figured out, put it on your website, on your marketing material, packaging design and in all content that you create. You might have a fantastic USP, but no one will see it if you don’t get it out there.
Here are some good examples:
With the photo of their bag on a man with a machine gun, the quality they are trying to express is immediately obvious and over the top.
Warby Parker’s home try-on program lets you order online and try these at home. No more worries with whether your online purchases will suit you or not. And because free trials draw people, this USP is one way to tell that their company prioritizes customer needs.
Straight to the point information about how GEICO works. It saves you money on auto insurance with just a few minutes of your time. This makes customers want to dig deeper to learn how this is possible. This is something you must remember when crafting a USP.
Charity is one way to sell. With every purchase comes a helping hand. This lets busy individuals, through their purchases, share what they have with needy children. TOMS Shoes uses this USP to attract the masses to an increasing sales report.
With competition fierce, and with a number of companies trying to win the same audience, a compelling USP is not just important, it’s critcal. You must draw customers with your short product statement. This requires an in-depth knowledge of all the aspects of your business and market.
Here are a few more examples of killer USPs:
M&Ms – “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”
Although this is a bit too fancy for a USP, M&M’s certainly did sell from this. Who would have thought that chocolates wouldn’t melt when held? This company did. And this is how they set themselves apart from other chocolate manufacturers.
Colgate – “Improve mouth health in two weeks”
When a new product comes out, Colgate makes sure they sell it with improvements on their previous products’ performance.
BMW – “The ultimate driving machine”
This certainly has everything BMW can offer, powerful engines, sleek design, and the sophistication of its interiors. This one-liner aligns the company’s vision with what the customer wants. No wonder they’re selling!
Commercial-Investors.com – “Welcome to North America’s #1 place for safety conscious investors in search of high yields”
This not only states the company’s achievement but also speaks of investors’ concerns, offering service and a guarantee at the same time. Man Crates, known to send guy gifts in crates, stands out not because of their products but their packaging.
What makes Ellusionist stand out? Well, because this site narrowly targets an exclusive audience – magicians. Products and tutorials sell, because magic is cool!
Another way to sell is to have someone famous hold the product for you and state how he or she enjoys using it. Or in this site, Waitrose provides tutorials and recipes from the famous English baker and chef, Paul Hollywood. Showing how he uses the products convinces customers that their quality is far from ordinary.
Saffron Rouge touches on the desire people have for healthier skin and products made of all-organic ingredients. Moreover, they do not test their products on animals, so they effectively market themselves as the go-to skin care brand of animal lovers.
ModCloth.com focuses on excellent customer service by providing multiple ways for buyers to connect with them, both before and after a sale.
Gaiam TV offers a trial service with unlimited access for 10 days, available to subscribers who sign up. The customers receive a sample of their services, and can opt to continue with their monthly subscription or not.
Watchco.com has an eye-opening 365-day returns policy. A returns policy this lenient shows customers how confident you are of your products. While this may not be possible for all ecommerce sites and the products that they offer, this is definitely something worth considering if you want a USP that impresses customers.
PCspecialist.co.uk lets customers configure the heck out of the PCs they order. Regardless of your ecommerce niche, your customers surely appreciate you letting them customize their orders. Many USPs talk about uniqueness, being on time, and providing high quality work, but those that allow customization are very rare.
Textbooks.com lets customers choose between used or brand new books. Using this as your USP can have quite a powerful impact on your ecommerce site, and can help you leverage both buyers and sellers.
Ellusionist.com is in a unique niche, which means there is very little competition.
The way Despair, Inc. uses humor to differentiate their products from the rest of their competitors is ingenious.
Beauty.com allows discounts and scheduled auto reorders for their products. This lets your ecommerce site to leverage repeat business, helping you maximize the value of each of your customers.
Warbyparker.com lets customers try on their products virtually, using the “Virtual Try-on” feature. If your ecommerce site sells men or women’s clothing, having a USP that talks about being able to try on the product virtually will surely give you an unfair advantage over your competitors who don’t.
It’s Your Turn!
I’m sure that you have a couple of tricks up your sleeve. Whether you have suggestions, tips, ideas, or even questions, please share them in the comments section below. We hope to hear from you soon. Cheers!