Marketing / Business marketing

Create a unique selling proposition that works

Not only does every business need a unique selling proposition (USP), they need to know how to market it, too. Here are some tips on how to develop and get the most out of your USP.


Chances are, in the eyes of the customer at least, you aren’t the only person doing what you do in your local market. So, given that you have other businesses offering similar products or services to you, why should customers purchase from you?

That’s where having a unique selling proposition (USP) comes in – something that makes you stand out from the crowd; something that makes people compelled to do business with you.

Often micro businesses have an amazingly unique and valuable offering but their downfall is they don’t effectively communicate their USP to the marketplace. And the problem with that is: you can’t sell a secret.

Do you have a clear unique selling proposition? Do all of your customers know about it? More importantly, do all of your potential customers know about it?

The better you know your USP, the easier it is to attract new customers. Here are some tips on how to develop and market your USP.

"Although your USP is about what makes your business unique, make sure it is focused on the benefits for customers."

1. Find out what your competition aren’t doing, or what you’re doing significantly better than them.

Is it customer service related? Perhaps you’re the only 24/7 business in the area? Or do you have a product range or quality that stands out from those around you? Perhaps it’s your returns policy or rewards for customer loyalty?

2. Find out what’s important to your customers, not what’s important to you.

It doesn’t matter if you think it’s valuable – what matters is that your customers think it’s valuable. After all, you’re trying to sell to them, right? What’s their biggest frustration or challenge, and how can you help them in such a way that no one else can?

Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.

3. Make it connect with what your business stands for.

If you want your sports store to be known for providing long-lasting equipment, base your USP on the fact you only sell the highest quality goods. And if you want your fashionable clothing store to stand out from the rest, your USP will centre on having only the latest and greatest designs in stock.

4. Clearly explain the benefits in terms of your customers.

Although your unique selling proposition is about what makes your business unique, make sure it is focused on the benefits for customers. Rather than talking about how many staff you have, how skilled they are, or how many years you’ve been in business, talk about what that means for the customer – what’s the benefit? This might mean that customers are always well looked after and receive the best service and advice. Remember: focus on the benefits for the customer.

5. Do what you said you’d do, when you said you’d do it.

If what makes you different is the fact that you’re there within the hour, every time, make sure that you’re there within the hour, every time! When you’re creating your USP, it’s really important that it’s not exaggerated and that it’s something that you can deliver virtually without fail. It pays to practise doing what you promise you will do before marketing your USP.

6. Let everyone know about it!

If your competition aren’t doing it, your customers value it, it’s congruent with what your business stands for and you can guarantee that it’ll happen every time, then it’s time to start yelling it from the rooftops. Like I said: you can’t sell a secret. If this is the reason why people need to buy from you, then they need to know about it – and it’s your job to tell them.

Marketing is all about constant and consistent communication, and you need to make sure that your USP is constantly and consistently in all of your marketing for it to have full effect.

How has identifying and marketing your unique selling proposition (USP) worked for your business?

Mike Smith

helps small businesses grow, both online and offline. His focus is on simplifying the marketing and IT process for business owners so that they can focus on their passion – running their business!


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