USP stands for Unique Selling Position. A USP is a statement that explains who you are, uniquely, as a company. It’s your identity, your story and your strengths. Your USP tells your ideal clients what you are all about and why you’re different.
Basically, a good USP (Unique Selling Proposition) takes a solid UVP (unique value position – your uniqueness) and puts it into language that speaks to your ideal client. A UVP describes who you are and the USP tells your market why they should care. It expresses what’s in it for them. A great USP comes from knowing who your customer is, what they want, and what makes them tick. Your products and services are an experience someone is going to have with you and your company. Your ideal clients get excited about the desired outcome. So every part of your selling proposition has to be directly related to that outcome.
A good USP has your potential customers believing they need your product or service because it will change something in their lives (something they’re currently not happy about). When you describe the transformation that will occur, using outcome-oriented words, they will see why your product is valuable and they’ll WANT to buy it!
It’s important to keep in mind that if you don’t consistently let people know what you offer, you’ll have a hard time reaching your ideal clients. But they are out there and they need your product or service. However, every day we’re inundated with emails, blogs, new products and social media messaging. Occasionally, someone or something breaks through all the clutter and we make a purchase. This breakthrough usually comes from a well crafted USP. Base it on the work you’ve done to describe your ideal client and UVP (unique value position).
Remember, in the last lecture we discovered that people typically spend money to combat pain or to pursue pleasure. People are not as interested in the features of what you offer as much as they are in the benefits. The benefits speak to solving problems and getting rid of pain.
Think about what problem your product or solution can fix. Figure out how it drives efficiency in some manner because this is what everybody’s looking for. How can you make their jobs or lives easier? Your potential customer wants to know how you’re going to help them. What does the solution look like, exactly? The more urgent the pain, the more likely it is you’ll be able to offer a compelling solution and the more quickly they will commit to becoming your customer. You want to be able to answer the questions: “Why do we need what you’re offering?” and “What’s the result or outcome if we make this investment with you?”
Lastly, when creating any marketing material, always ask yourself: Am I just providing lip service here or do I have proof of what I’m saying? This is what helps your potential client get off the fence and get on with saying “Yes, I need this and I need it today.” You’ll want to integrate your USP into all your marketing materials, including: advertising and sales copy, business cards, brochures, flyers, signs, phone and sales scripts, letters and postcards, email marketing, websites and all social media activities.
Below is an example of a well-crafted sales script for a shaving company called Harry’s. Notice the result words that are used in this example.
“Harry’s was built out of respect for quality craftsmanship, simple design, modern convenience and most importantly for guys who know they shouldn’t have to overpay for a great shave. Your shave is going to be close, comfortable and best of all, less expensive. The special blades make it easy to trim your sideburns and hard-to-reach places like under your nose. The handle is shaped to fit naturally into your hand making it easier to control and more comfortable to hold. The blade cartridge features a rubber flex hinge that has a perfect balance of elasticity and resistance to help glide more comfortably over the contours of your face”.
Tagline: The shaving company that’s fixing shaving
The purpose of this next exercise is to create a powerful script, one that effectively captures your audience’s attention and business. Go back to your ideal client and UVP work as this is where you determined the emotional benefits and desired outcome from purchasing your products and services.
Your USP can be an effective tool that helps you focus your marketing goals and ensure every piece of marketing collateral you create is consistent, setting you apart from the competition. It’s a good idea to go back to your vision statement, mission statement, business plans and goals when working on your USP. Use all the information we pulled together and keep it handy for your team.
Once you have a working USP, it’s always a good idea to sleep on it, run it by your team, or even create a focus group to measure its impact. It may take several tries, but once you hit the perfect USP, it can be an integral element of your marketing toolbox.