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How To Create A Captivating Unique Selling Proposition

The success of any small business depends upon the creation of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). If you hope to capture any business, you need to clearly define the “So What?” factor of your company. Why should customers switch from their old goods and services provider to you? What makes your offering so much better? Why should prospects give your business a chance? Your goal should be to summarize your business in 10 words or less.


Questions To Ponder

  • What is your major benefit? What does a prospect get by purchasing your product or service?
  • In other words… What need does your product or service fulfill for consumers?
  • Which type of spin do you want? (Ex: Value, Selection, Quality, Speed, No-Risk, Warranty)
  • How are you unique?
  • How are you better than the competition?
  • Answer the question: What’s in it for me?
  • What gap or void do you fulfill within your industry?
  • Can you prove your advertising claims with concrete evidence?


What If You’re Not That Unique?

Often, business owners will admit that they didn’t jump into the market with anything terribly revolutionary. It’s not essential that your business be totally one-of-a-kind, but you want to brand your business with a certain attribute in mind. You are merely creating the audience perception that your company, product or service is unique. If you’re the only one in your industry talking about a particular topic, you win the branding war. Take, for instance, how Rosser Reeves branded Gleam Toothpaste back in the 1950s. He hyped up the fact that his toothpaste contained “miracle ingredient GL70,” which was really just chlorophyll – which every other brand had as well – but he promised the answer to fresh breath for smokers and coffee drinkers.  


Examples of Great USPs:

  • BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine.
  • Domino’s Pizza: You Get Fresh, Hot Pizza Delivered To Your Door In 30 Minutes Or Less – Or It’s Free.
  • Federal Express: When Your Package Absolutely, Positively Has To Get There Overnight.
  • Saddleback Leather: They’ll Fight Over It When You’re Dead.
  • M&Ms: The Milk Chocolate That Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands.
  • Wal-Mart: We Always Sell For Less.
  • Mast Brothers Chocolate: We’re From The 18th Century, Back When Craftspeople Were Revered And Took Pride In Working With Their Hands.


What To Avoid With Your USP:

Your Unique Selling Proposition should not be a mission statement or an over-hyped sales pitch. Even though you do occasionally hear company slogans like “Barnum & Bailey’s Circus: The Greatest Show On Earth” or “British Airlines: The World’s Favorite Airline,” these aren’t terribly effective draws. No one wants to hear that you “care more” than your competitors or that you think you’re “the biggest,” “the industry’s best” or that you’ve “been around the longest.” They want to know how you raise the bar and stand out from the pack.


Focus On…

Instead of saying “We’re Better,” you want to say something with more personality. Look for a narrow target audience, a narrow angle, and a single, clearly communicated, thought-provoking idea. Prospects want a news headline in a feature article that grabs their attention, gives them a quick summary of what you’re all about, and intrigues them to learn more.



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Related Articles:
INC: Unique Selling Proposition As A Competitive Edge

Entrepreneur: Positioning -- Setting Your Business Apart

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