Do I need a USP?

Odd one out

If you want your business to stand out in a crowded marketplace, knowing its Unique Selling Point can get you off to a great start. But it takes time to come up with a USP that encapsulates your core values and the benefits that are important to your target customer.

Read on to discover how to identify your USP and why it’s worth the effort.

Who is my customer?

Building a basic profile of your target customer is a good way to begin. How old are they? How much do they earn and what do they spend their money on? When you’ve done this, move beyond the basics and look at their values and the benefits that influence their buying habits.

People generally love giving their opinion, so surveys and questionnaires are a great way to gather the information you need. You could even arrange a few face to face focus groups.

By researching your target customers thoroughly, you’ll discover that people don’t always prioritise low cost products and services. They’re just as likely to value ethically sourced quality products, reliability and superb customer support. For example, Domino’s Pizza’s famous USP is based on their delivery promise: “Fresh hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less… or it’s free.”

 Get to know the competition

The next step is to find out whether your competitors already offer any of the benefits your target customers want. Visit their websites, read customer reviews, devour their marketing material and follow them on social media to find out what they offer. You could even indulge in a spot of mystery shopping!

Finding out what’s already on offer should reveal gaps in the market that are waiting to be filled by a business like yours. You’ll need to keep a record of these.

Decide on your USP

It’s time to claim your share of the market. Referring to the list of benefits your competitors don’t provide, decide which of the remaining benefits are at the core of your business. One of these will become your USP.

Before you go any further, get those creative juices flowing and distil each benefit you’ve chosen into a short, memorable tag line. Try to come up with snappy phrases that capture your business’s personality and roll off the tongue.

The final step? Test your potential USP tag lines on family, friends and target customers. Their feedback should help you to choose a worthy winner.

Put it to good use

Once you’ve selected your USP, use it to market your products or services. This means including it in your social media marketing, your website content, your blog posts and any other promotional material.

Identifying your business’s Unique Selling Point will help you to pinpoint the benefits that set your business apart from its competitors. If you’ve done your research, customers should respond with enthusiasm.


Published by Anna Whitehouse

Copywriter and journalist with a side serving of poetry

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