Definition: Unique Selling Proposition, abbreviated as USP, is a one-line statement that businesses choose to stand for. It makes your business beat the competition and build a distinct identity in front of the customers. The distinct benefits the company promotes that the customers derive from consuming the product or service. It could be related to the product quality, price, service, delivery, warranty, etc., attached to the product.
Therefore, USP is something that makes it unique from the rest of the competitors in the market. It is the reason why a person chooses your product out of all the products available in the market. It is a way of informing customers about how your brand is better than others.
A company uses USP to promote its product through advertising, which attracts the audience and persuades them to buy the product. By highlighting the company’s USP, the company can skyrocket its sales.
Do You Know?
The concept of a Unique Selling Proposition was coined at the Ted Bates Ad Agency in the 1940s. However, the credit for its popularity goes to Rosser Reeves. This is because he was the one who developed this idea. He was the most successful copywriter of his time. He suggested that businesses should identify what is important about their product, which makes it different from the rest.
Characteristics of USP, by Rosser Reeves
- It creates a unique brand position in the mind of the consumer.
- The differentiator of the product comes out as the brand differentiator.
- Each ad must make a promise in the form of a statement to the consumer. For example:
- Horlicks: ‘Taller, Stronger, Sharper’.
- Apple: ‘Think Different.’
- The competing brands should not have made such a promise or statements.
What do you remember when you hear the term ‘2-minute noodle‘? Of course ‘Maggi‘
This is what a USP does; it makes customers identify your brand with a special benefit which they derive from consuming the product. So, it connects the user with the benefit, which is nothing but what exactly a customer needs. It is related to product positioning. The concept of a unique selling proposition is a combination of three words:
- Unique: Unique means a special characteristic that the product or brand claims, and no other brand or product is making such a claim presently.
- Selling: It means sales value. This means the claim made by the product or brand has to be effective, desirable and believable enough to persuade customers. This will ensure that the product or brand will help in adding value to the lives of the customers, and it is absolutely in their interest.
- Proposition: The statement or promises the business makes about the product or brand. With this statement, the company assures customers that their needs will be satisfied by consuming the product.
- L’Oréal Paris: ‘Because You’re Worth It.’
- KFC: ‘It’s finger-lickin’ good.’
- Canva: ‘Empowering the world to design’.
- Starbucks: ‘Expect more than a coffee.’
- IKEA: ‘To create a better everyday life for many people.’
Components of USP
- Benefits: The benefits of the product or service attract people towards it.
- Emotive: It pulls people on an emotional level through relativeness and gives reasons to the customers why they should be buying it.
- Key Difference: A feature which states what makes your business different from its competitors.
- Key Selling Point: It is the most desirable quality or feature which the product possesses which makes people want to buy it.
- Competitive Advantage: It tells the unique attributes, resources and capabilities that help the business outperform the competition.
How to Choose a USP?
From the customer’s point of view, the market has hundreds of products for the same purpose. So, to create a difference, businesses must have to be clear about their USP. It helps them make a better choice.
To develop the USP, complete research on the product and its usefulness to the consumer is necessary. When the company finds out the right USP, it becomes easier to advertise the product.
When companies pick a USP, they stand by it and seek to be known for it.
Different products have different USPs. It is something that is particular to your company. It brags high quality, low cost, and great experience. It is a promise that is a well-articulated benefit to the consumers. It has to be so compelling that it attracts new customers. It matches the customer’s needs with the product offered by the company.
A word from Business Jargons
Unique Selling Proposition is a statement that a marketer makes to his prospective customers. This statement is unique when compared to competing offers and promises. It is to be noted here that a strong USP has the power to make or break the business. Hence, an ideal USP directly addresses a particular need that prospective customers have.