Every successful business has a unique selling proposition. Also referred to as a “USP”, this little slogan will distinguish your brand in the marketplace.

Good marketers understand that their products and services need a unique marketing hook. While you may not be able to regurgitate a company’s USP, you know what they do differently from their competitors.

  • Dominos is committed to serving their customers in a timely fashion. Here is a statement of their USP: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.”
  • Geico is known for their reliability and efficiency. Their unique selling proposition states, “15 Minutes Could Save You 15% Or More On Car Insurance.” And yes, everyone knows that.
  • FedEx Corporation is known for being dependable in urgent situations. Their USP reads, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

Does every company need a unique selling proposition?

The answer is YES.

A unique selling proposition is the cornerstone of every business. If your brand lacks a strong differentiating factor, it will be very difficult to scale in a competitive market.

Unfortunately, more than 31% of B2B businesses have not developed a unique selling proposition. A vapid USP can hinder a company’s lead generation, sales conversions, and customer lifetime value. On the contrary, a clearly defined USP can have a profound impact on a company’s bottom line.

A USP allows you to focus on the one skillset that you do better than anyone else in your niche. But more importantly, you have to deliver those benefits to your customer in a unique way.

Creating a concise unique selling proposition isn’t as complex as you might think. Below are three proven steps that you can use to develop a USP that appeals to your customers.

Step 1: Know What Your Customer Wants

Before you start creating content, you must determine exactly what your customer wants. This is by far the most important part of creating a unique selling proposition. Many marketers make the cardinal mistake of relying on their own expert positioning. Never assume that you understand your customer’s needs and desires. In most cases, there will be a major disparity between your level of knowledge and theirs.

This will require you to do some market research. The best way to understand your customer is by calling them directly. This will give you a better understanding of their gender, age, and occupation. When you get them on the phone, you’ll want to inquire about their top objectives and objections. You can also use broadcast email messages; though you may reach more customers, you not you may not get as high a response rate, but it’s also worth trying.

Customer Objectives

  • Why did they purchase from you?
  • What is the primary benefit they are looking for?
  • What did they like about your products?

Customer Objections

  • What did they not like about your products?
  • What are the biggest obstacles they are dealing with?
  • What holds them back from purchasing your products?

In most cases, your customer will appreciate your time and effort on the phone. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will divulge their deepest desires, fears, and frustrations on the first attempt.

Example

Let’s use the fitness niche as an arbitrary example. If you ask your customer about their number one goal, they will usually tell you that they want to live a healthy lifestyle. However, that is seldom their core desire. If you want to figure out the true benefits they are looking to glean, you will have to dig a little bit deeper.

In most cases, the customer isn’t taking precautionary steps to protect their long-term health. The reality is that most people want to look and feel better, as quickly as possible. They are interested in the vanity of being in shape more than the health benefits.

Often times, they won’t be transparent about their core needs and desires. Anticipate the trepidation of your customers, and ask questions that appeal to their emotions – not their logic. If you’re persistent enough, they will eventually reveal what they truly want.

Calling a handful of customers will give you a substantial advantage over your competition. When you understand their top objectives and objections, you can tailor your content to address them.   

Step 2: Determine What Makes You Unique

The second step is to identify what makes you unique. Every niche is different, and some are much larger than others. The bigger the niche, the more unique your core value proposition needs to be.

Now that you understand your customer’s needs and desires, you need to determine the unique qualities of your brand. How are you going to deliver on these benefits differently than anyone else in the market? If your product or service doesn’t offer a unique value, it will be extremely difficult to gain traction, much less scale.

A unique selling proposition isn’t abstract. “Delicious pizza!” isn’t going to resonate with an audience. The USP should accommodate the deepest fears and desires of your customer, while positioning your brand as the primary solution. It needs to be detailed: “We serve you the best hand-tossed pizza within 30 minutes of your order…guaranteed!” This appeals to specific topics and benefits: Hand-Tossed Pizza, Fast, Friendly, Guaranteed.

If you can’t determine the value of your brand, then how will your customers? Explicitly state the unique aspect of your business in a succinct, customer-driven way. Draw a parallel between their number one goal and your method of deliverability.

Step 3: Content Creation

Your unique selling proposition isn’t something that you’re going to publish on your web properties. It’s a slogan that simply represents the way you conduct your business. When you clearly identify your USP, you can start creating content that appeals to your target audience.

Your products, sales pages, email sequences, and blog content will be centered around your core value proposition. This will help educate your prospects on the specific benefits that you can deliver. At the same time, it will help them understand the backstory of your brand, which reinforces what you do best. As you continue to deliver value in a unique way, it will increase your conversions and decrease customer friction.

Conclusion

Your unique selling proposition will be the driving force behind your brand. It will direct you towards your target audience, and help you create content that’s congruent with their core needs and desires.

As your brand continues to evolve, the unique selling proposition should become more defined, and even more captivating to your customers.

What are some strategies you have used to develop a unique selling proposition?