USP 01: Create a compelling USP
A good USP answers the customer’s first question when they discover your product or service:
What makes your product or service different from the competitors? And why should I choose you?
You’ll need to do some serious brainstorming to come up with a winning USP. Forming a deliberate USP helps you to focus your marketing strategies. It influences your branding, messaging, copywriting, and other marketing decisions.
Your USP also plays to your own unique strengths and must differentiate between some aspect your target audience actually cares about, otherwise your message won’t be nearly as effective.
A compelling USP should offer:
More than just a slogan.
Of course, a slogan or jingle is one way your USP can be communicated and become memorable. However, your USP should go beyond that.
Tiffany & Company use their USP to sell jewelry – but is that all they’re selling?
Their USP is “The Right One is Worth WaitingFor.”
Are they selling the diamond ring – or are they selling the idea of a happily ever after?
They’re clearly using emotional triggers within their USP to set themselves apart as being special, the go-to company for quality jewelry for that special someone.
Assertive statements that are defensible.
Your USP will be more memorable if it forces customers to make a case against competing products. Just saying “My products are high-quality” isn’t going to cut it. You’ll have to come up with something you can prove they can’t get anywhere else.
For example: if you create online courses,
- How does your course stand apart from others?
- Are you the only one offering a certain number of video-based content?
- Are you updating more frequently?
- Are you offering bonus auxiliary components not typically found in competitor’s courses?
Look for a way to be unique, even if it’s in a small way. What makes you stand out in the market could come down to the smallest detail so spend time closely analyzing your products and services to determine all of the many ways you could stand out.
What your customers need and want.
If your customers don’t care about your product, being “unique” won’t count for much, right? It’s your job to understand your customers’ values and offer them a solution to a problem.
Fulfill their needs and wants and they’ll keep coming back for more.
This comes down to thoroughly knowing your market. You should spend time researching your niche or industry inside and out, long before you create your own product or service – and long before you decide on a USP.
The more you know your market, the easier it will be to create a USP that resonates with them, speaks to them, and motivates them.
HubSpot, one of the leading companies of Inbound Marketing and Sales solutions, has a great USP when it comes to branding and communicating their marketing messages.
“There’s a better way to grow” is an excellent selling point because it outlines their unique proposition.
You start with their free tools and, as your business grows, HubSpot grows with you (at a price, of course!).
This is an assertive statement – our company offers you a better way – that they can defend and support this with their services, which start out free and increase in price as your company grows and needs more done.
It’s what their target audience wants. After all, when you’re just starting out, you don’t want to pay a lot of money for marketing services.
Their USP demonstrates that anyone can get started, regardless of where they are in their career or business development, and upgrade to gain access to additional resources as they grow and only when they need them.
And it’s much more than a slogan. “There’s a better way to grow” will garner interest, evoke curiosity (how is it a better way to grow?), and essentially is a winning USP that covers a lot of ground with just a few words.
Let’s look at another effective USP. Ben & Jerry’s indicates, “We make the best possible ice cream in the best possible way.”
Is that more than just a slogan?
Yes, because they carry their policy of sustainability and corporate social responsibility over into everything they do.
Their website links to pages explaining their caring dairy, cage-free eggs, fair trade practices, and non-GMO products. It’s also what their customers want. Today’s consumer cares about the environment, and so they want to buy products that reflect that care.
This is why it’s important to allow your USP to evolve over time.
What matters most to your customer base today may change in a few years, so be flexible and willing to change your USP as your market demands it.
Nest… Things to avoid.