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  • Writer's pictureSophia Brading

How to create a powerful USP that works!

How can you fully utilise and enhance your Unique Selling Proposition/Point?

Your USP is what makes you, well, you!

It’s your signature, your trademark, your promise to deliver. It carries the character, soul and very essence of your business. In doing so it also needs to be engaging and interactive enough to engender and encourage positive behaviour and reactions towards you and your business.

The unique selling proposition (USP) is also called/known as the unique selling point or the unique value proposition (UVP).  In the business model canvas this is the marketing strategy of informing customers about how your own brand or product is superior to its competitors (whilst in addition to and complementing its other values).

Competition is normal, healthy even when in business. It means there is a demand for your product or service. However, with competition there is also a need for understanding in how to position yourself and your products in order to make a significant difference between standing out and being noticed or just blending in with the rest of the competition.

Customers are, for the most part, completely overwhelmed with a mass of varying advertising options. They have a need and want to quickly understand what makes one product or brand different and better than another.

So you need to stand out.

A strong and, more importantly, a very recognisable USP can launch and make your business thrive and be noticed when operating in a competitive market.

But what is it that can make you different from the competition? This is where your USP comes in.

First you need to understand and identify your target audience and, ideally, get inside your customer’s head!

Before you start thinking about which qualities set your business apart from similar businesses, you need to understand everything there is to know about the wants and needs of your customer.

What do your customers really want?

  • How can your product or service solve their problem(s)?

  • What motivates the buying decisions of your ideal customer?

  • Why do your existing customers continue to choose your business over your competitors?

In order for a USP to hold up under scrutiny, it has to do three things well:

  • Be memorable. A statement that can easily be copied, like “high-quality products tailored to your needs” is too generic to make a lasting impression. It’s too average. A USP has to communicate to your customer with an unparalleled and unmatched benefit.

  • Be tangible. Your message has to be backed by everything that you do, evidence and prove upon your promises and mission statements.

  • Be customer-focused. Above all it must showcase a unique feature or benefit that customers value, want and need.

  • Explain How Your Business Solves Your Ideal Customers’ Problems

Consumers, believe it or not, don’t really want to buy products – what they want is a solution that can solve their problems and deliver rewards. This could be as simple as purchasing a reliable set of tools that will last for years, but it can be (and frequently is) much more complex than that.

Effective and Proven examples of USP’S

FedEx - “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

How many times have you felt the panic or worry about an item not being delivered or in place on time? FedEx recognises that concern and offers a solution that encourages confidence in them.

Colgate – “Improve mouth health in two weeks”

Colgate’s USP links the idea of toothpaste and health. In this they know that consumers want an established and reputable brand when it comes to maintaining their dental health.

Also, by making a definite and time-limited promise, “improve mouth health in two weeks,” Colgate projects confidence that they can actually deliver those results.

Starbucks - "Expect more than a coffee."

This is followed by “Our Barista Promise: Love your beverage or let us know. We’ll always make it right,”

This example offers a personal approach - we all take/like our coffees differently and the way this is worded, again, inspires hope and confidence in their ability to do so.

M&Ms - “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

This is an example of how even a quirky USP can attract customer interest. Who would think of making a selling point out of the fact that your product doesn’t melt when you hold it? M&Ms did, and it worked incredibly well for them! This goes to show that as long as a benefit is meaningful to prospective customers it will be effective. In this case, the fact that the M&M shell keeps the chocolate inside from oozing out and dirtying your hands is a definite plus for customers.

Domino’s Pizza - “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.”

This slogan, whilst really too long to be catchy, is still an excellent USP because it spells out a promise and guarantee with perfect clarity. The terms of the deal are laid out so specifically that Domino’s customers know they can hold the company to it. Sadly, Domino’s no longer uses this slogan or offers this deal because it led to a series of car accidents when delivery drivers started driving like maniacs so that they could beat the thirty-minute limit!

You can also introduce one of the two classic frameworks for structuring your message or statement

  • PAS - Problem, Agitate, Solution - This again is evidenced within the FedEx post. Your problem is getting your product delivered on time. It’s “agitated” with the words “has to be there”. The “solution” is evidenced and promised with the very first word - “When”.

  • AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action - Best evidenced with the Starbucks post. “Expect more than a coffee” delivers both attention and interest whilst their Barista promise delivers the desire and action.

The ideal USP should also include at least one of….. The 4 “U’s”

Urgent - Like with the FedEx post. Provide a quick solution to a problem.

Unique - Starbucks - evidences a unique selling point.

Ultra Specific - Domino’s - show your solutions in detail.

Useful - M&M’s - How can your product improve the users experience.

Simple huh?!

But never fear if you’ve got too much to juggle,

And creating a USP seems a bit of a struggle,

Rest assured, there’s no need to go Loco,

Just get in touch with the Team at Colloco.

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