Does your business use its unique selling point (USP) in its marketing strategy? If so, does that USP truly set you apart?

Your USP is what differentiates you from your competitors. It’s a fantastic marketing tool that allows you to home in on why consumers would choose you over anyone else. As a result, it’s pretty imperative that your USP be truly unique.

Put it this way. If your USP marketing strategy is to say you’re “the best” or “the leading” or “the favourite” in your field, chances are you’ll get lost in a sea of other bests and leadings and favourites. This kind of USP doesn’t truly capture the uniqueness of your business and is the kind of quick throwaway selling point that many businesses who don’t properly understand USP marketing will choose. You’ll become just another equal counterpart in your industry with nothing to make yourself really stand out from the crowd.

Finding your USP isn’t always easy. It can take time and it will most likely involve many discussions with your team to come up with what truly sets you apart from your competitors. Follow these steps to uncover a USP that will make your marketing strategy so much easier in the long run.

1. Set aside an appropriate amount of time

You really want to take a deep dive and explore exactly what you have to offer your customers to unearth your USP. This will involve research, creativity, planning and thinking and you will need adequate time to cut through the fluff and surface suggestions to find one that is truly impactful. Ideally, you want to work on your USP in blocks of time over a couple of weeks.

2. Strategise your USP marketing angle from your customer’s perspective

Since your USP is about appealing to your customer in a way that connects with them, you really need to ensure that it is angled to take them into account. Some questions to consider include:

  1. What are their day-to-day challenges?
  2. How can your product or service really make a difference to them?
  3. How will it make their life easier, more productive or just better?
  4. How will your product or service save them money and/or time?

However, just looking at the features and benefits won’t be enough. Today’s consumers are savvy. They are swimming in a sea of competing products and, particularly millennials, are looking for values-driven companies. They are interested in whether you’re ethical, environmental or socially-minded so it can help to weave this into your USP marketing strategy. If you’re stuck, it can help to start with your ‘why’.

3. Avoid getting swept up in what your competitors are doing

Part of developing your USP will involved researching what your competitors are doing to ensure you don’t just end up marketing yourself in a similar way. However, it’s important to not get caught up in their approach and simply develop a USP that perhaps ‘fills a gap’ in the market. Concentrate on what YOU offer, not on what you think you should offer based on your competitors.

4. Don’t be vanilla

Developing your USP is not a time to play it safe. You want to be bold and take chances with it. You’ll only end up with the same old results if you employ the same old strategies. Get creative and open your mind to all new and intriguing possibilities. Buck the ‘normal’ trends if you can, ask people who you know have unique ways of looking at the world to help you find something entirely fresh and compelling.