Get Ahead of Your Competitors With These 9 USP Ideas
A unique selling proposition is one of the most important conversion factors, according to QuickSprout.
It's literally the very first thing visitors should see on your page because it's what's going to keep them reading (or shopping).
Need some USP ideas? Keep reading!
54% of companies do nothing to optimize their USP according to QuickSprout
That said, choosing your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is one of the hardest thing you'll ever do as a creative business and it's why most businesses don't even bother trying.
But the hard, cold truth is that without a USP you are losing customers, sales and revenue. And without those, you don't have a business.
You see, we are always taught to think less of ourselves, to blend in with the crowd and to keep our face down.
But it doesn't work that way in business. In business, you need to let your brilliant ideas shine and bask in the glory of what makes you unique.
Now, I'm sure you've heard of a Unique Selling Proposition (or: USP) before, in one way or another. It has many names, including Point of Difference or Point of Selling, and it's the driving force behind countless brands.
But let's quickly recap the basics of what it is and why we need it before moving on to the actionable part of this guide: how to choose your USP.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition
A USP is essentially the answer to the question "why should I choose your brand over your competitiors'?"
It is what makes you unique, advertised and broadcast in every possible way so as to make your business stand out in a sea of other "me too"s.
A USP can be (and usually is incorporated into) your business tagline, but it's a lot more than that. It's the summarized version of why choose you, and it should be evident in every marketing message you put out to the world (in your product descriptions, in your blog, on your social media, etc.).
Why you should differentiate yourself from the competition
Differentiating yourself from the competition will help you:
1. Clarify what you're offering - with your USP clearly spelled out for you and the world to see, you'll know exactly what are the immovable objects in your business - what you can simply NOT compromise on and which new products you should focus on for the future.
2. Hone in on your ideal customer - when you know what you specialize in, it's much easier to define a more niche ideal customer. If you do fitness for nerds, for example, you now know where you can find these people (video gaming communities, Star Wars communities, etc.
3. It would make it easier for the customer to choose you - a clear differentiation between you and your competition means that the customer has an easier time choosing which business they would like to support.
For example, if I were a latino bride and I had the choice between a regular wedding planner and a wedding planner that caters to latino brides, I would obviously choose the one that caters to my specific needs.
4. You'll sell more easily - if you have a clear offer to make, you know where to find your ideal customer, you clearly communicate with them in their own language and they can easily tell why they should choose your business, that adds up to an easy sale.
And an easy sale is what makes your business grow, exponentially.
What makes a good USP
A USP is clear, distinct, obviously unique and succinct. It should be a sentence or two in length, no more and it should take into account your ideal customer.
It's is not about being the best.
Being the best is near impossible. And even if you get there, the market changes so fast that you probably won't stay in that position for very long.
So don't try to beat the competition.
Instead, become the best at something no one else is doing,
And what I mean by that is, be different. Change the rules of the game.
That's how Michael Silverman got accepted to Standford.
You see, Michael didn't win by being the best or the smartest of the bunch.
He won because he focused on a series of environmental sustainability projects and earned a reputation and press coverage for his accomplishments.
Michael succeeded in drawing a lot of different attention to him, despite his mediocre SAT scores and GPA.
He became best at something new, and that made him stand out amongst 32,000 other applicants to Standford, earning a place amongst the 7,2% who were accepted.
Now, that... is the power of a strong USP.
How do you choose a winning USP?
1. Do your market reasearch.
2. Find out what your customers want.
3. Cross the path between what they want and what you offer,
4. Answer the following questions:
a, Why should I choose you over your competitors?
b. What can your product or service do for me that others can't?
c. What can you guarantee me that no one else can?
d. What do your customers really want?
5. Choose one of the USP categories below.
6. Combine all of your answers into 1 sentence that captures the essence of why you're different.
Here are 10 USP ideas to get your creative juices flowing
1. Ideology - could be faith based or just good will (donating to charity, etc).
2. Longevity - your product can last much longer than your competitor's.
3. Niche - targeting an extremely small group of people can make for a strong USP.
4. Intersection of niches - what's stronger than targeting one niche? Targeting the intersection of two niches!
5. Farm to table - the sweater that is hand spun from yarn we shear from our own sheep
6. Organic / green / vegan - adhering to these would most certainly gain you many fans, but it only works in industries where organic/green/vegan don't exist.
7. Rarity - if your product is made from rare materials, flaunt that stuff!
8. Curiosity - if you can make your product unpredictable, this USP is for you.
A necklace that contains a special piece of the Bible which is a prophecy over your life, but you won’t know what it is until you get it.
9. Sarcasm / humor / novelty - many people are attracted to this sort of uniqueness. Make fun of them, be overly sarcastic or come up with a novel idea, and they'll buy it in the thousands.
The big-mouthed barbie that will talk right back at you.
That's it from me... How about you? Do you have a clearer idea of what your USP should be?