A unique selling proposition (USP) is a characteristic of your product or service which differentiates you from your competitors. USPs must communicate clearly as to what your company offers, and why it is better than what your competitors offer. By emphasising USPs, companies can attract customers who resonate with what it offers.
Most USPs are often divided in three categories; products, prices or support oriented:
- When a company differentiates itself by claiming they offer a superior product their USP is product quality motivated,
- When a company claims their product is cheaper than its competitors, the USP is affordability oriented, or
- When a company emphasises its after sales support, in the form of warranties, technical support or online resources they are focused on social connections with their customers.
Each of these USPs hold tremendous value but it is not, however, compatible with all companies.
Of course, many companies can have more than one USP but communicating more than one can be difficult and creates less impact. By identifying one, the company can leverage its USP to clearly articulate a specific benefit – one that other competitors do not offer – that makes it stand out from the crowd.
Standing out from the Crowd
Listen to the needs of your target audience
Your USP must appeal to your target audience and your product must provide a suitable solution for their problem. If you have determined that your audience belongs to a lower income bracket, the target audience will most likely support a brand which stresses affordability and value above excessive emphasis on product quality. Should your target audience consist of higher income individuals, the opposite is true.
Integrate it in every aspect of your business
A USP is not something you need to shout at the top of your voice or send banners through the sky advertising it. It should rather be something underlying in your company values and mission. It should be obvious among management and employees and recognised almost automatically externally among stakeholders and target audiences. While it will be mentioned quite often, it should be a part of everyday operations and integrated in the company. It should be communicated in a subtle manner in your marketing strategy.
Use your USP to keep the focus
Very few organisations are one of a kind and by focusing on what makes your exactly that, it will thrive on its uniqueness. A consistent USP will hook the target audience and create brand loyalty if it is aligned with their needs. Focus on what makes your product unique and appealing and customers will follow as no other company provides the solution they need. As the company grows, enquire why customers prefer your products. By establishing the real reason, the company can narrow its niche and refine its USP even more.
Look at your competitors
Though this might sound counterintuitive, evaluating your competitors can help identify which demographic is excluded from their target audience. Companies are all competing for market share and a USP is crucial to make this happen. You need to know what others offer to ensure that what you offer is truly unique to snatch a part of the said market.
These principles will assist in achieving sales goals if implemented consistently and promoting a USP is an effective marketing tool with immense benefits. Sales conversion rates are directly linked to the unique solutions a company can offer to those with a specific problem.