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7 Steps to Determine Your USP - Unique Selling Proposition


Here are seven steps to determine your USP - Unique Selling Proposition.

Before jumping into the steps, "What is a USP - unique selling proposition?"

A USP is one of the fundamental pieces of any solid marketing campaign. It’s a summary of what makes your business unique and valuable to your target market. It answers the question:  How do your business services benefit your clients better than anyone else can?

The seven steps to your USP - Unique Selling Proposition:

1Describe Your Target Audience.  Before you can begin marketing your services, you need to know who your target audience is.  For inbound marketing, we refer to this as the persona.  In this step, you want to be as specific as possible.  The more you are able to describe the characeristics of who your potential buyers are, the better.

2List the features and benefits that are unique about your product or service.  Do market research with your favorite online search engine.  Compare your features and benefits with either your direct competitors or a business you want to emulate. Identify the benefits your business has that sets you apart.

3Determine what emotional need is being specifically met by your product or service.  Forget about your own opinion.  This is entirely from the perspective of yourcustomers.  Once you know the emotional need, add it to your list.

4What aspects of your product or service are specific only to your business that your competitors cannot imitate?  Highlight anything that cannot be easily duplicated, reproduced, or copied.

5Define Your Promise.  A big part of a successful USP is making a pledge to your clients. While this can be implied instead of spelled out in your USP, write down this promise you make to your clients in this step.

6Now comes the fun part.  It is time to create short phrases about your unique product or service that are clear and concise.  Use the words from the previous steps that you singled out.  Veyr important:  These phrases must be easily communicated to and understood by your customers. (Too much creativity can become a barrier.)

7The end goal:  Be able to answer concisely your customer's primary question: "What's in it for me?"  It must be "to the point" and you will state it as a benefit to the customer.

Examples you may be familiar with:

  • Target: "Expect more. Pay less."
  • BMW:  "Sheer driving pleasure"
  • Anacin: "For fast, fast, fast relief
  • Gillette: "Look sharp, feel sharp"
  • U.S. Peace Corp: "The toughest job you'll ever love."
  • M&M's: "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand."
  • FedEx: "When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight."

What's your unique selling point?  You most likely have heard it already from your customers in their recommendations and praises.  For a start-up business, you will be listening to the comments others make via social media, the news, online forums, offline stores (and in person).  You may decide to hire a consultant to help you get inside the minds of your customers.  5 Circles can get the job done.

Finding your USP is one of the many steps in a business plan and a priority for your marketing strategy. You will gain the advantage as a new business start-up by standing out in the mind of your customers by walking through these steps to determine your USP.

Need help with understanding, discovering or creating your USP?  Connect with me and let's get you started.

Topics: Marketing Plan Business Planning