A good USP kills two birds with one stone. First, if you can formulate your unique selling proposition in just a few words, you have a product with a competitive advantage. Second, a USP is a great starting point for your brand identity and marketing strategy.
So, how does one create an effective USP? Let’s discuss the process step-by-step and look at some examples of great USPs.
What Is a Unique Selling Proposition?
A unique selling proposition (USP), also known as a unique selling point or unique value proposition, is a marketing concept that refers to the distinct feature or benefit that sets a product or brand apart from its competitors. A USP is a key element of a company's marketing strategy, designed to communicate why a particular product is superior to alternatives in the market.
A well-crafted USP should be emotionally appealing and easy for customers to understand. The benefit highlighted by the USP should be particularly important to the target audience, so understanding customer needs and preferences is the first step to creating a powerful USP.
Advantages of Products with Unique Selling Proposition
Designing products with a unique selling roposition is important for several reasons:
In today's crowded marketplace, consumers have many options for nearly every product or service. Having a USP allows your product to stand out from the competition. It gives customers a reason to choose your product over others, creating a competitive advantage.
A USP helps a product establish a unique identity. It distinguishes your offering from similar products and positions it as something special. This differentiation is essential in capturing the attention of consumers and creating brand loyalty. Without USP, your product will get lost in a saturated market.
A well-crafted USP communicates the unique value or benefit that customers can expect from your product. It clearly answers the question, "What makes this product better?" and communicates a valid reason to purchase it.
When customers perceive added value in your product due to its unique qualities, they are often willing to pay a premium for it. This can lead to higher profit margins and increased sales revenue.
A strong USP can build brand loyalty by creating a memorable impression in the minds of consumers. Customers who have a positive experience with your product are more likely to become repeat buyers and brand advocates.
How to Write a Unique Selling Proposition?
Writing a compelling USP requires a deep understanding of your target audience, your product, and your competition. Here is a step-by-step guide to crafting a great USP:
1. Understand your target audience
Start by researching and profiling your ideal customers. Understand their needs, pain points, desires, and preferences. Identify what matters most to your target audience about the product you offer, for example, affordability, durability, or accessibility.
2. Analyze your competitors
Conduct competitor analysis and study your competitors to see how they position their products. By analyzing your competitors with Essense, you can identify gaps or opportunities in the market that you can leverage. At the same time, you can determine what benefits set your product apart from the competition.
3. List your product's features and benefits
Make a list of all the features and benefits your product or service offers. Make sure to consider both tangible aspects and sentimental benefits.
4. Identify the most compelling benefit
From your list, pinpoint the most compelling benefit that your target audience values the most.
5. Craft a clear and concise statement
Summarize your unique benefit and what makes your product special in a brief and memorable statement. If you can’t express the benefit with one simple sentence, perhaps it’s not the one.
6. Make it customer-centric
Frame your USP in terms of what it means to the customer. Don’t focus on a product's feature and its technicalities. Instead, explain how the product solves a customer problem or fulfills a particular need.
7. Emphasize the value
Highlight the value that customers gain from choosing your product or service. This could be in terms of time saved, money saved, convenience, quality, or any other relevant factor.
8. Use persuasive language
Choose words and phrases that evoke emotions and resonate with your target audience. Try to get into your customers’ shoes and use the language they would use to describe your product.
9. Incorporate it into your marketing efforts
Once you have consulted with your colleagues and finalized your USP, integrate it into your branding, advertising, and marketing materials. Make sure the messaging is consistent across all channels.
10. Monitor and adapt
Continuously monitor the market and customer feedback to ensure that your USP remains relevant. As time passes, you might need to change it to address changing customer needs and market dynamics.
Unique Selling Proposition Examples
Here are some examples of popular apps and their unique selling propositions:
"Where work happens."
Slack positions itself as a central hub for workplace communication and collaboration. It highlights the idea that work can be more efficient and productive when teams use Slack.
"Music for everyone."
Spotify appeals to a wide audience by suggesting that no matter your musical taste, you'll find something you love on Spotify since it has a vast music library for all tastes and preferences.
"Outsmarting traffic, together."
Waze's USP emphasizes crowd-sourced real-time traffic data and collaborative navigation, which is something other map and navigation apps can’t offer to drivers. Waze appeals to drivers who are looking for the most efficient route and hate getting stuck in traffic.
Evernote's USP centers around organization and memory. It suggests that with Evernote, users can effortlessly keep track of and remember all the information, notes, and ideas that matter to them.
"Simple. Reliable. Secure."
WhatsApp's USP is very straightforward, just like the app itself. The USP highlights WhatsApp’s user-friendly design, reliability for messaging, and commitment to user privacy and security.