How to create a Unique Selling Point (USP)

What is a unique selling point (USP)?

A USP is something that makes your business unique and helps it stand out from the competition.  It can be the defining factor that will help your customers decide to buy from you rather than your competition.  Spending some time researching and planning to create a USP can make a big difference in the success of your business.

If you run a hairdresser, I am sure there will plenty of others near to you to choose from.  So what will make you stand out so customers choose you?  Think about the services that you currently use and why you choose them and then think about applying these to your own business.  Could it be the location with free parking?  Could it be offering cocktails and cupcakes whilst you have your hair done as my own hairdresser does?  Could it be the free hand massage you get whilst waiting for your hair colour to set?

There are so many things you could be doing differently even if there is copious competition for your product or service.

How to go about creating a USP for your business

Identify your target market.

You can’t sell to someone if you don’t know who they are so first and foremost you need to know who you are selling to.  You need to identify your target market.

Determine their pain point

Once you know your target market and your ideal customer, you need to find their pain point.  What problem do they have that you can solve?  Put yourself in their shoes and find out the problems they have.  Go ask them.  Do surveys.

Why?  Because customers don’t buy products.  They buy a solution to their problem or an improvement to their current situation.  This is what affects their buying decision.  Customers don’t buy a television.  They buy a way of watching movies in the comfort of their own home without having to go out.  They don’t buy a light.  They buy a way of being able to see and carrying out daytime activities in the dark.

Analyse the competition

So once you find out what your ideal customer’s pain point is, it is time to do some competitor analysis.  You need to find out if the pain points you have identified can already be solved by the competition. If the answer is yes it can, then consider if you can solve it more effectively, more quickly or more cost-effectively?

Sometimes it can just come down to your own personality making the difference.  I go to a particular coffee shop not because of the coffee or price but because of the bubbly personality of the owner who never fails to brighten my day.

Market your USP

Write down how your customers will benefit from choosing you rather than the competition.  Tell them how you will help solve their pain point in a more satisfying way.  Let them know how you are going to help them in a way that others can’t.

Put your USP on all your marketing material.  Use it in your elevator pitch.  Put it on your website, business cards and anywhere else people may see it.  Let everyone know why they should choose you.


Example of great USP’s

Domino’s Pizza:  “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less—or it’s free.”

The benefit?  No more waiting around getting frustrated that your pizza still hasn’t arrived.  You are going to get hot food straight to your door within 30 minutes or you don’t have to pay!

M&M’s: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

The benefit?  No more messy hands when eating chocolate.

Skype –   “The whole world for free”

The benefit: Giving access to connect with friends, family and colleagues across the world for free