Unique Selling Proposition


In order to gain maximum results and success from every level of your businesses marketing strategies, you must begin by ascertaining your businesses Unique Spelling Proposition.

A USP is exactly like the name suggests, a uniqueness that will sell your product/service in the market place, better then that of your competitors by offering a differential advantage and working with your target audience, – its an offer to buy.
A USP is filling a void in the market place, and working together to formulate a niche market for your product or service.

With such a busy and competitive driven market place, businesses are for ever trying to out sell, out think, and out run each other, this is were your USP comes into play and plays a partitive role in your business success. With competition vast its not always what you sell, but how you sell it, this is how you can use your USP to educate your prospects on the advantages of buying your products or utilising your services

There are differing types of USP and the possibilities for tailoring your own USP are endless. Some companies have already established USP’s that sets them apart in the market place from day one of operation, although many corporations work on perceived USP’s. You may have a company that has been operating fairly consistently over the years, but needs a overhaul, establishing a USP is an excellent way to ad more life and vibe into your business.


Establishing your USP


No one knows your company better the you do, so you must have an idea (biased or not) of what you believe your company can offer the consumer market that will hold your corporation in higher esteem then that of your competitors. This is most easily achieved through determining needs which are unfulfilled in your industry, and how your company can meet these needs, although the way the USP is executed in your marketing process, is going to differ on wether you are offering a product or a service.

Through a product based industry your USP may express some of the following advantages:

  • Discounts

Price is a common advantage portrayed by many companies which sell both products and services, this is because price is an extremely important factor in the minds of consumers. (Possibly include some STATS (eg: Price was 90% reasoning in 2002 etc)

The easiest and most effective way to get your point across when offering discounts or reduced rates is through print mediums, this is because it is a highly visual medium which can be read and remembered. Examples may include:

  • Package displays with “% off” or “Savings of dollar amounts”, displayed on the packaging of your product
  • In store displays and promotional print material, explaining you point of difference. Certain styles can be implemented with print mediums as in:
  • Comparative methods between you and your competitors, this must be executed in a broad industry sense, such as:

“An average price to pay for a ladies haircut is $40.00, but at Cuts for Less, you pay $35.00 for a cut and blow dry”

This an effective example of price discounting as it has the further advantage of value adding, by including another service.

Keeping in mind to choose which style of USP to utilize as in which is satisfying your target market.

When you are implementing comparative methods with your, USP its imperative that you perform all advertising methods in a positive light. Often ad’s which target specific competitors, end up looking sinister and negative. Never use competitors names or products in any form of marketing.

  • Quality Products

Your USP could be tailored around products which are superior to your competitors. No consumer wants to be paying for a product / service that is mediocre, when they could get the best quality, often prestige or status methods can be applied were the consumer feels important because they know they are getting the best quality for their dollar.

Other product USP could work around these aspects:

  • Extensive range / differing product types
  • Technologically advanced
  • Interest or deposit free 
When you are offering a service your USP will be service based. Examples may include:
  • Attributes of offering greater expertise over your competitors
  • Strong industry proven advice (eg: “been in operation for over 30 years”)
  • Greater technological advancements, which benefit the service

One style of USP when offering a service works, with a problem / solution type scenario. Just like consumers have needs and wants, often the may have a void, a problem or an aspect which needs implementation, this is were your USP is designed to provide a solution through your service.

An example of this may be a service such as a window repair company.

Note the following example, A window to a shop front is broken, snow if falling outside resulting in possible water blowing into the shop, it is also the early hours of the morning and the lack of security of not having a window at the owners shop front is distressing, HELP the client needs a solution.

That’s were your USP comes in, we have a window maintenance services, operating 24 hours Here is your point of difference “24 hours”, then you can back up your company by adding, extra benefits such as fast call out time, so there was a problem and you offered a solution.

Business Day
Business Day

Consistency an Advantage


When you have established your USP its important to implement it into every aspect of your marketing, from display promotional advertising to direct mail and sales people. Sales people are a valuable tool when expressing your companies USP, its important for them to clearly state the advantages and benefits of dealing with your company or purchasing your inventory. Always carry your USP through to all marketing and business processes.

Your USP – further points for consideration

  • You cant please everyone your USP will not be effective enough to dominate the entire market place, that is why its important to determine the “target market” you want to reach, by analysing your target market, you can express your USP in a strong, bold and concise fashion, wether that be to “discount seeker”, “quality seekers”, “prestige clientele” etc, keeping in mind to channel your attention on one type, not adding, too many advantages into your USP, you cant appeal to people looking for high quality if your going to be selling your products for next to nothing.
  • Be able to keep the promise you make, wether is be offering cash back or buy one get one free type promotions, whatever your USP be able to follow through, never state a false pre tense of a USP, this will be detrimental and counter active to your business.

Dennis Wong teaches coaching programs at IRI.

ICON Business Systems

Folder: Marketing\Fundamental Principles

System Area: Referral Systems

Specific Area: USP

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