A unique selling proposition (USP) is a simple descriptive statement that tells how your company, service, or product are different from your industry competitors. For instance, perhaps you choose eco-friendly materials or offer innovative solutions that help your target customers choose your products over something else.
Once you develop your USP, it’s an excellent tool for marketing and sales, as it verifies all of the benefits of your product or service in a concise way. It’s also an important piece to include in your branding.
How to Write a Unique Selling Proposition
You may already know your value proposition, but you’ll need to take a step back to look at the basics like your business plan, mission statement, market analysis, competitor analysis, and company goals.
Ask Questions First
If you have a good idea of your USP, you can always write it down and ask some questions. You’ll think about your business and how to attract customers from competitors.
These are some of the questions you may ask below from the perspective of a business that sells furniture.
1. What products or services does your business sell?
Boutique, handmade furniture.
2. Who is your target audience?
Affluent homeowners want to redecorate their home with high-quality, unique furniture or interior designers looking for unique, handcrafted pieces for a client.
3. How does your business service customers better than competitors?
We provide custom, handcrafted furniture pieces with an online ordering and design process that makes it easy for customers to order and ship the desired furniture quickly.
4. What would you say is the most critical customer-focused goal?
Helping customers get a beautiful, custom furniture piece that they’ll love for a lifetime with a digital experience helps them visualize the design and shipping process.
What other questions do your customers have about your industry and products? You can use tools like AnswerthePublic.com or even look at your CRM to collect essential data about your customers and their purchases. In addition, talking to your sales and customer service teams with these same questions in mind can help you get the best perspective on what’s unique about your products and services.
Offer Solutions to the Customer’s Problems
After going through your research and defining goals, you should think about your target audience’s specific problems when they start searching for your products or services. How does your business solve that problem, and what makes it a better solution than its competitors?
For instance, our example furniture company sells unique, handcrafted pieces to audiences looking for unique, lifelong furniture to add to their home. It solves an aesthetic need when their space may lack the art or function that a specific piece of custom furniture can solve.
You’ll want to identify your buyer personas and look at their intent when searching for products and services in your market.
Identify Your Business Differentiators
So how does your solution differ from how others solve your customer’s problem? What makes your solution the best option for the customer? Perhaps it’s your price, or maybe it’s the materials used to amp up the quality of your products.
You’ll want to look at all of the possible differentiators. In our example, this boutique furniture company sells custom-made, handcrafted, high-quality furniture that you can’t get anywhere else. The aesthetic, design, texture, and craftsmanship make it stand apart. Still, our example company also has a unique digital buying process that makes it easy for customers to purchase online.
Things like same-day delivery, free shipping, live chat or 24/7 customer support, less expensive products, or lifetime warranties are other differentiators that you should include in your list if supported.
Craft Your USP Statement
In many ways, your unique selling proposition is a promise that incorporates all of the above into a concise statement that persuades your target audience. If done well, your audience will instantly see why your products and services are so much better than the other guys.
Example USP: The Furniture Store
Our example furniture company’s USP statement looks like this:
- Custom-Made, High-Quality Furniture with Online Design Tools and Fast Delivery
This statement emphasizes the quality of the furniture and what separates it from competitors with an online design tool and fast delivery.
When it comes to how to write a unique selling proposition, shorter is always better. We think our statement is a little lengthy, but that's okay for specific markets where flair is expected. In other spaces, you'll want your statement to be more technical and define the exact element that sets you apart.
Should You Directly Compare USP to Competitors?
It's essential to take a moment and look at what your competitors are doing. What if your USP is just like theirs? Remember: the goal is to do something different that separates you from everyone else--in a good way.
We've included some other examples below so you can clearly define your USP but also see how it's done.
More Example Unique Selling Proposition Statements
Get Buy-In from Your Team
Once you develop the USP, you’ll want to create a focus group or share it with other stakeholders to get buy-in before including it in your marketing and sales materials. After it’s approved, it will become one of the most critical pieces of your marketing packet.
Forget Everything You Know About Insurance
Lemonade insurance's USP instantly takes the customer's mind out of the frustrating experience of finding insurance.
America's Most Popular Meal Kit
HelloFresh is in a competitive market with a variety of other food subscription boxes. However, they claim to be the best in a bold statement, and it also creates FOMO for the buyer.
Investing for Everyone
Before Robinhood, the stock market was genuinely a mystery for many people. However, their "Investing for Everyone" offers a unique selling point that anyone can get behind, and they back it up with a mobile app that makes it easy to slide into the stock market as a beginner.
Get a personalized, top-shelf grooming routine as unique as you are
Dollar Shave Club stands out in the shaver market because of its personal marketing touches. Their USP is all over their website, social media channels, and marketing materials.
Try five frames at home for free
Wouldn't it be awesome to see what glasses looked like on you before you spend hundreds of dollars on them? This is Warby Parker's USP that makes it easy to capture customer's attention and get them further along the buyer's journey just by offering a free at-home try-on.
Let the drinks come to you
Drizly offers a delivery service for beer, wine, liquor, and other drinks, and the company delivers to most customers in selected cities within 60 minutes. That's an incredible value, especially if you're staying in for the night.
The easiest way to make a podcast
Anchor goes for simplicity with this USP that captures a beginner podcaster's attention. It can be super difficult to put all the pieces together for a good podcast, but Anchor claims it can make it super easy. Their call-to-action is also simple: "Make your podcast." It's the perfect way to get new podcasters into your funnel.
Not sure where to go from here? Your marketing team is just a click away. Talk to an emarketing consultant and get answers to all of your marketing questions. We can help you with a 12-month roadmap to inbound marketing, online sales, and more.