Three steps to defining your unique selling point
If you had 30 seconds to pitch your business to a stranger, what would you say? What features make it
unique? What makes it memorable or remarkable? This is your unique selling point (or USP). It’s what
makes you stand out from your competitors. And what makes customers choose your business over
others, time and time again.
Here are three simple ways to define your USP.
1: Start with the customer
The key to a building a successful USP is being customer-centric. This means spending some time
learning about the people that buy your products and services, so that you can better meet their needs.
Have you considered conducting your own market research via:
- Social media: take to social channels to investigate what customers are sharing, what brands they follow, and what their likes or dislikes are.
- Industry data: this information is readily available from government sites, trade publications, academic institutions and other third-party sources. It’s a simple way to stay on top changing customer trends and behaviours.
- Surveys, interviews or focus groups: why not get to know your customers by gathering first-hand information? Conduct surveys, ask for feedback or use focus groups.
2: Study your competitors
It's difficult to define what makes you unique without knowing what your competitors are doing. Have
you thought of trying your competitor's products, experiencing their service or investigating how they
Conducting a competitive review allows you to pinpoint your strengths. Is your service offering better? Do you provide a faster, more convenient service? Are your prices more competitive? Do you have value add-ons? The more you compare, the more you can define where your competitive advantage lies (and it can also offer a few handy clues about your unique selling point!).
3: Send your USP to the market
So you've defined your USP – what now? It may sound obvious, but applying the classic marketing mix can help provide a simple framework for attracting customers:
- Product: What is my product/service? Why is it unique?
- Price: Is my price competitive? Do I offer added value beyond my competitors?
- Place: Am I selling in the right places and reaching customers where they are? Have I considered which digital channels are worth exploring?
- People: Do I know who my customer is? Does my marketing/advertising speak their language?
- Promotion: Is my advertising/PR/promotion single minded and does it clearly state my USP?
- Purpose: Am I clearly articulating my purpose in the market? (E.g. 'To be the best flower shop in the area.')
Ready to make your mark in the marketplace? All it takes is a little time spent getting to know your customers, competitors and what you offer that’s truly unique. You’re not like other businesses – so define your value and take it to the right places.