Starting a business is never easy; there are always competitors out there who offer similar products or services, and you need to find a way to make your business stand out. This is where having a good unique selling proposition (USP) comes in; it’s what will set your business apart from all the others, and it’s what will convince customers to buy from you instead of your competitors.
A good USP will help set your business apart, giving it an edge over the competition. Five key elements make up a good USP — benefit, differentiation, credibility, emotion, and urgency. Here’s a closer look at each one:
Element #1 Benefit
A good USP tells customers what they can expect to get out of your products or services. This is the “what” that goes into creating a good USP – it’s about telling people what’s in it for them. So, instead of using phrases like “best quality” or “lowest prices,” try to be more specific; give people a reason for buying from you.
For example, instead of simply saying “best quality,” you could say something along the lines of “highest quality metal casing with a 10-year warranty.” You need to give customers a reason to buy from you, not your competitors. That’s why the benefit is the first crucial element of a good USP.
Element #2 Differentiation
Differentiation is all about standing out from the competition. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they need to offer precisely the same products or services as their competitors do because it’ll give them an edge. The truth is, this never works.
What does work is offering something different — you need to find a way of doing things that sets your business apart. For example, perhaps your professional zero-turn mowers are the only ones on the market that use a unique mixture of gasses, or maybe you provide high-quality service with highly trained staff.
Element #3 Credibility
Having a good USP is all well and good, but it won’t be much use if no one believes in what you’re saying. Credibility is all about building trust between your customers and your business, so you must be seen as an authority.
One way of building credibility is by using guarantees, which show customers that you believe in your products and services. For example, if you’re selling books online, it might not be enough to simply say “100% money-back guarantee” if you’re selling an e-book. Instead, you could put together a video showing people that you genuinely believe the product is of the highest quality. This way, they’ll be more likely to believe you too.
Element #4 Emotion
A good USP isn’t just about the facts — it’s also about evoking an emotional response. People buy based on emotions, not logic, and if you’re trying to set yourself apart from the competition, that’s something you need to take into account. Every company tries to reach people emotionally, but doing so isn’t always easy.
You need to find something that will give people a reason to buy other than the benefits of your product or service. For example, perhaps you could create a USP around family values, such as training staff to be polite and helpful when giving back to local communities.
Element #5 Urgency
Urgency is all about creating a sense of urgency; it’s about instilling a sense of immediacy in your prospects so that they feel like they need to buy right now. Many businesses fail at this because there’s often no sense of urgency.
For example, if you’re selling books online, it’s not enough to simply say that the offer is only available “until stocks last;” you need to find a way of highlighting how limited the offer is. You could, for instance, say that there are only 50 copies of your book available or that this is the only time you’ll be publishing it.
This sense of urgency makes people more likely to buy from you. Now that you know what a good USP entails, it’s time to create one for your business.
How to Maximize Your USP
A good USP is about creating a solid brand image that sets you apart from the competition. To do this, make sure you focus on each of the five elements listed above; your product or service needs to offer a benefit, differentiate yourself from others, be trustworthy and credible, evoke an emotional response, and create a sense of urgency.
By doing so, you will give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding in today’s highly competitive marketplace. So, don’t waste any time: come up with a good USP and start getting noticed more by your customers today.