A unique selling proposition, or USP, differentiates your business from your competitors. It helps you stand out and is why customers decide to buy from you over competitors.
In online markets, where there are many competitors, it’s essential to stand out. USPs identify your target market, why your business exists, and how you want to impact the world uniquely.
The USP is the intersection between what your customers want and what your business does well. What you sell doesn’t always have to be unique, but the message you focus on does.
Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition
Finding your USP can be challenging. The following tips should help:
- List your differentiations. Make a list of what differentiates you from your competitors. Be as specific as possible. Brainstorm as many options as possible.
- Research competition. Research your competitors. Find out who they are and their USPs. Find the gaps to see your niche. Identify the target market’s pain points. How can your business uniquely help them?
- Quality or price. These are the two main ways your business can stand out. If your USP is based on quality, perhaps focus on your product’s superior materials or ingredients, craftsmanship, or uniqueness. If your USP is based on price, advertise the lowest price guaranteed, price matching, free shipping, bulk discounts, or special offers.
- A/B testing. After brainstorming, perhaps your company has come up with two potentially good USPs. To find which one is better, utilize A/B testing to determine which one generates a better customer response.
- Create a positioning statement. An example, from Shopify: [Your brand] offers [product/service] for [target market] to [value proposition]. Unlike [the alternative], we [key differentiator].
Communicate Your Unique Selling Proposition
Because your USP draws customers to buy from you over your competitors, it must be communicated effectively. It shouldn’t be complicated, but it should be memorable.
You can use many platforms to make sure customers know your USP.
- Banners. Low cost and effective, when placed in a high traffic area with a compelling design, banners will catch the eye of customers.
- Flyers. These are easy to hand out and better target your ideal audience. Share with customers who’ve already bought from you or those who fit your target audience.
- Social media. Depending on who you’re trying to connect with, various platforms will better enable you to reach your target audience. There are many possibilities, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok.
- Search marketing. When people type words into a search engine platform such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you want your business to be at the top of the list. Search marketing includes strategies you can utilize to get you to the top. That way, when customers search for the product you sell, you’ll rise above your competitors, leading to more sales. Make sure your USP is prominently displayed on your home page.
Effectively advertising your USP will boost sales.
Unique Selling Proposition Examples
Sometimes the best explanations are through examples. The market for shoes is crowded and competitive. But by having a unique selling proposition, the following companies can stand out and generate sales by appealing to customers’ values.
- Zappos’ unique selling point is free returns with their online store. This helps reduce customers’ risk aversion, translating into more sales. It also shows that Zappos is willing to stand by their shoes, attesting to the quality.
- Toms Shoes’ unique selling point is that they donate to a child in need for every shoe the customer buys. This will make the customer feel as if they are doing a good deed by purchasing a shoe. They’ll feel good because of their new shoe and knowing that someone in need has a new shoe too.
- Nike’s unique selling point is the best quality shoes for athletes, which is communicated by sponsorships with star athletes. The customers look up to star athletes, and they begin to associate Nike with star athletes and, therefore, success. When they’re looking for a high-quality shoe, they’ll think of Nike.
Your unique selling proposition helps your business stand out from your competitors. It answers the question, “Why should I buy from you?” Your sales will go up once you have a compelling answer to that question.
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