A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement that explains how your business is different from everyone else in the market. It tells your customers how you can better meet their needs and what makes you special. Your USP essentially tells them why they should buy from you instead of from your competitors. It takes some creativity to come up with a compelling USP, but it’s the biggest decision you’ll ever make for your business.

Why You Need A USP

The simple reason that you need a USP is that, no matter what product you’re selling to which market, there are other companies you’re competing with, and you need to stand out. You want your market to think of YOU when they need your products or services. If you create a good USP, it will stick in their memory and put you above the rest.

The Elements of a Good USP

There are three things that make a good USP:

  1. It specifically addresses the needs of your market. It should be something they can’t live without, that solves their problems, or makes their lives easier.
  2. A good USP is memorable. It has to stick in people’s minds so that you’re the one they think of when they need your products.
  3. It connects with your buyers emotionally. Good USPs speak to the fears, worries, desires, and frustrations of your target market.

A good USP is especially essential in a crowded market. If you’re up against a large number of competitors, you need an especially strong USP to cut through the noise. On the other hand, even if your business is the only game in town, you still need to create a USP that speaks to your audience. It’s not only about battling the competition, but also establishing your brand in the minds of your customers.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Amazingly, a majority of those who start their own businesses fail to create a unique selling proposition. Of those who don’t, almost 100% fail. However, creating a USP that suits your business and speaks to your audience doesn’t automatically guarantee success. Your products or services need to deliver on the promise that your USP is making. Otherwise, it won’t get you very far.

The Creative Process

Your unique selling proposition won’t appear out of thin air. Since this is such an important decision, it’s a process that takes some time. However, it’s not difficult to come up with the right message if you follow certain steps. Pay attention to your market, check out your competitors, and analyze your products to find their unique selling point. If you put in the time and refine as necessary, you can create the right USP for your business.