Discover Your Business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP) 7 Oct 2019


GameStop recently announced that it has to close between 180 and 200 stores by the end of 2019. As the world’s largest video game retailer, it’s surprising that GameStop is struggling to survive. What’s the issue?

Consumers don’t have a compelling reason to shop at GameStop. Digital games and e-commerce sites offer the same services as GameStop does. GameStop doesn’t stand out from its current competitors enough to attract customers.

If major retailers have trouble standing out from their rivals, then small businesses need to fight for recognition. Smaller companies often find themselves in a sea of competitors. How can your small business show it’s different?

Using a unique selling proposition, or USP, grabs your customers’ attention and differentiates you from your competitors. Let’s discover what a USP is and why it’s useful for your business. Finally, we’ll see how you can identify your business’ USP.

A Unique Selling Proposition Differentiates Your Business

A USP makes your products and business different from others in your industry. Instead of a clever marketing tactic that you use for a couple of months and then switch out, a USP is a lasting idea that you build your business on.

Your USP also impacts every aspect of your company. From customer service to what products you add or develop, your entire business is based on your USP. Creating a USP gives you a sure basis for your company’s operations.

Your product or service doesn’t have to be radically different if you have a clear USP. For example, Pipcorn stands out from other snack companies by focusing on healthy snacking. Every part of their business, from their product lineup to their bag design, showcases how their snack is different.

A USP helps your business distinguish itself from the crowd of competitors. The benefits don’t stop there. A unique selling proposition also draws in new clients.

A Unique Selling Proposition Attracts New Customers

Your industry is likely flooded with companies selling the same thing you are. How can you convince customers to choose your company over your competitors’?  A USP shows customers why your products are special and how they will benefit by picking your business.

A compelling USP also reveals how your product solves people’s problems. Bellroy, an accessories brand, understood that people’s wallets often get too bulky to carry comfortably. Consumers wanted a wallet that held everything they needed but was still slim. So, Bellroy designed wallets that are functional and compact.

The right USP can help your company attract customers, but it can be challenging to find a USP that isn’t being used already. How do you find a USP that’s still unique?

Business owner doing research to define their business’ Unique Selling Proposition

Finding Your USP Takes Research

Each new company is searching for its USP. How do you discover an unconventional USP for your business?

  • Research your industry and competitors. Is there an opportunity to reach an underserved market?  For instance, basic playing cards are readily available online. So Ellusionist went one step further by offering cards with attractive designs to appeal to magicians.
  • Identify your target audience. Figure out your target audience’s core issue, complaint, or need. How can your service solve that problem creatively?
  • Examine your product lineup. Your product or service may lend itself to a certain USP. For example, M&M’s candy lent itself to a USP based on being able to eat chocolate without it turning into a melty mess.
  • Make sure your ideas are unique. Your USP needs to stand out. Many businesses focus on being the “best” in the industry. Instead of differentiating themselves, these businesses get lost in a sea of other “best” products. To make your business distinctive, highlight what makes your business novel and unlike anyone else.
  • Once you’ve found your USP, use it. A USP is more than a catchy tagline—it guides your business’ current operations and plans. For instance, if your USP is based on making a dependable product, then your manufacturing process, materials, and design should focus on your product’s dependability.

A USP makes your business distinct from your competitors. It also attracts customers to your business. Are you ready to stand out from the crowd?

Your USP Impacts Your Business’ Outlook

The world’s largest video game retailer had to shut down numerous stores. Why? Because they haven’t shown customers what makes them different from other businesses. Finding your unique selling proposition makes your company stand out from the rest.

A clear USP shows your customers how you’re different from your competitors and why they should pick your company. It also guides every part of your business’ strategy. By using a USP to showcase what’s special about your products, you can win the battle for your customers’ attention.