10 Jun Unique Selling Proposition: Why Is It Important?
What Is A Unique Selling Proposition?
If you have done business or marketing planning in depth you have probably heard the phrase “unique selling proposition” (or USP). What is a unique selling proposition though? Prior to this year I would have said that this involved a long-winded description of what makes an organization valuable or memorable from the point of view of the business owner. It turns out I was wrong on several point.
Characteristics of USPs?
Here are the defining characteristics of a good unique selling proposition:
- It should be short enough to be said in one normal breath
- It should highlight something you do that your competition doesn’t do
- The characteristic that differentiates you from your competition should clearly emphasize how your customer segment will benefit
Examples of good unique selling propositions:
Avis – “We’re number two. We try harder”
FedEx Corporation – “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”
M&Ms – “The milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hand”
DeBeers – “A diamond is forever”
Domino’s Pizza – “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.”
Dropbox – “Dropbox keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share. Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and never lose a file again.”
These are bad examples of unique selling propositions because they are do not speak to a specific character of an organization and are presenting a vague benefit:
“Good Quality and Low Prices.”
“Affordable Quality Since 1984.”
“Service With A Smile.”
“Excellence In Quality And Service.”
As you can see, the good examples focus on one specific quality of their product or service, and present it in light of why their customer will care.
Can you define what makes you unique from your competition and what customer pain point your product or service you solve? If you can’t, maybe you need to go back and look at your unique selling proposition. If you can’t define what makes you special, how will your customer be able to?