Businessman happy to have closed a deal due to a fabulous USP.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
what is your USP & how to make one

This takes about 3 minutes to read

What is a USP

All businesses must be able to articulate or explain their Unique Selling Proposition or sometimes called their Unique Selling Point. If you don’t know what it is, how can you explain it to someone else?

Understanding and defining your USP is a fairly straightforward matter, even if it does take some time and understanding of your business. This understanding needs to be from the potential client’s perspective. It must be how they will see your business, how they understand what you do and how you do it. Like so much in sales and by extension marketing, it is always from the client’s perspective.

What Is Not a USP

A USP is not the company slogan or tagline. They both have vastly different goals and purpose. A tagline or slogan will be snappy and help someone to remember the brand.

A USP will tell them what the product and/or service does and what makes it special.

The USP must not be generic or provide common benefits, like “we sell online” or “money back guarantee” as that is a legal requirement.

Why Have a USP

Your business is, of course, unique, it reflects your view of the world, your ethics, your work attitude and a whole host of other factors, all of which go together to make your business. Take any one of them away and you have a different business.

However, just because your business is unique it does not mean that t your product and/or service is unique. Is there another business selling the same product and/or service? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then obviously you are not unique. So, we now need a way of taking the uniqueness of your business and applying it to the selling of your product and/or service. This is where the USP comes into play.

No matter the kind of business, there is going to be more than one, whether they be electricians, supermarkets, computer sellers, baked bean brands, etc., there is always more than one. Your competitors are all the other businesses selling the same or similar product and/or service.

To stand out, you need a unique selling proposition.


Let’s look at some examples to get a feel for what we need.


Because You’re Worth It

The phrase strikes a chord with women, as it speaks to their sense of self-worth. At the time, it was a radical idea, but it transformed the brand and sales. We know today, that 80% of women will respond to a positive message, this was not known back in 1973 when the USP originally conceived.


The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand

The USP of M&Ms might seem strange at first, but when thought about from the consumer’s perspective, it makes perfect sense. They want portable chocolate, and if it gets hot, stays clean and safe. No messy hands, no messy clothes, so the short catchy phrase speaks to a fear that consumers have, i.e. that of a chocolate mess.


Does what it says on the tin

More than just a USP for the product, the saying has become a phrase in general conversation. This is the most powerful USP anything can be, in that it transcends its initial goal and becomes something much wider in society. Originally developed back in 1994 by the advertising agency working with Ronseal on a new ad campaign. The USP helped turn the brand into a market leader.

How to Create a USP

The following steps will help you create your own USP and make it believable, not just to your potential clients, but to yourself.

  1. Understand your client or potential client and create a Client Avatar or persona
  2. Know yourself and your business, write down what you do and how you do it
  3. Analyse your competition, what do they do well and poorly
  4. Identify weaknesses or mistakes in your competitors’ offerings
  5. Create a sense of belonging or aspiration
  6. Target your niche directly

Take each of the items above and write them out, complete any worksheets, such as the Client Avatar Worksheet, the Value Proposition Canvas, etc. The better you understand yourself and your business, the better your can explain it. Then understand the world from the potential client’s perspective, what are their wants, needs, pains and fears, how does that work into your USP. What are you doing for them? When you know this, you will only need to craft the words in the correct order. It should almost write itself.

Next Steps

Getting the USP is only the first step in getting a product to market. Now, you need to work on the marketing plan and all the supporting items.

Next determine how this integrates into the sales pipeline and how you can effectively get new clients for the product and/or service.

Katherine Says

Finding your Unique Selling Point (USP) enables you to stand out from your competition. I believe that most business are unique. There exist unique factors that set them apart from other businesses which superficially seem the same. In practice, it takes more than just being unique, you also must tell your potential clients about your uniqueness.

This means that being unique is more than being different, it entails showing the potential or actual client that your uniqueness is of value to them. When your find this uniqueness, it becomes a valuable differentiation. Which in turn means that you can either attract more business or more likely attract a higher price for the business you are already doing.

Contact me today and see how your business can take full advantage of this uniqueness. Better you than your competition.