USP or Unique Selling Proposition | 3 Ways to Define a USP

Nicole Georgiev
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    Have you heard of a unique selling proposition, or USP? Every business needs one in order to succeed. 

    Many people refrain from opening a business or starting an eCommerce business because they believe the market is over-saturated. While this is true in many industries, the key is to make your business stand out from the rest. 

    Like ERP for wholesalers and businesses, a USP is essential to have in order to succeed. A unique selling proposition differentiates your business from competitors and makes your business instantly appealing to your most valuable customers. 

    Both a business owner and entrepreneur should always be able to define their unique selling proposition. They should also use it to guide their marketing decisions. This article covers everything from “what is USP?” and “what is a unique selling proposition?” to how to define it for your business. 

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    USP Meaning: What Is Unique Selling Proposition?

    A unique selling proposition (USP), otherwise referred to as a unique selling point, is what sets your product or service apart from the competition. When it comes to eCommerce marketing, clearly communicating your USP is how to turn potential customers into actual customers. 

    Unique selling points make your business different and better from the competition. In most cases, it represents your product or service’s clear and specific benefit. With a USP, businesses have the ability to focus on their eCommerce marketing strategy. It will also influence company branding, content strategy for eCommerce, messaging, and similar marketing decisions. 

    These days, customers have tons of options to choose from for most needs in their life and this is often overwhelming. However, your USP will get them to understand what makes your product or service different from the rest.

    A unique selling point allows you to position your brand and products to stand out instead of blending in. This is why it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of “what is USP?”

    Do you want to learn about what else you need to know when opening a business? Download our The Cost of Opening a Business eBook now!

    Why Is It Important to Have a Unique Selling Point?

    It’s important to have a unique selling point because it’s what defines a company’s position in the marketplace by showcasing its value and how it solves a problem different from other businesses. Solid unique selling propositions clearly convey the specific benefits the company, brand, or product can offer, including benefits like cost savings or a changed life. A legitimate USP is centered on something competitors don’t or can’t offer. 

    It’s common for customers to see many products that appear the same when making a purchase. Given that fact, a clear USP allows them to differentiate your product from the rest. 

    While unique selling points are important to have externally as a company, they also play a crucial role internally. A unique selling point allows companies to consider their mission and values as a business. When you write a business plan, your unique selling proposition should always be included. 

    Key Takeaway: A business’s USP or unique selling proposition is what differentiates it from the competition and convinces prospects to buy from that business. It’s better for a business to establish its USP sooner rather than later. 

    5 Ways to Effectively Communicate Your USP

    Now that you understand “what is USP?” and “what is a unique selling proposition?” it’s time to learn how to communicate it. Your unique selling point should be clear and simple to understand at all times.

    Here are five ways to effectively communicate your USP to your customers: 

    1. Advertising. This is possible through brand marketing campaigns or traditional media advertising. It positions your brand in front of your business’s niche market to communicate its USP. 
    2. Social media. Companies often use social media to drive brand awareness. A strong social media presence and working with social media influencers allow companies to convey their unique selling points. Such campaigns are done through social media marketing for restaurants and other businesses. Be sure to consider social media ROI before you launch a campaign so you don’t squander money.
    3. Digital marketing. eCommerce and online businesses use digital marketing techniques, such as a strong email marketing strategy. The USP will most likely be a tagline on the website or a snappy, single line of copy. 
    4. Content marketing. This marketing technique is used to educate readers, answer their questions, and show them real-world ways of solving their problems. Content marketing is executed through engaging or viral content, such as eCommerce content marketing strategies like email marketing. Such strategies should be included in your B2B marketing, direct to consumer and DTC marketing, or eCommerce business plan
    5. Paid and organic search marketing. eCommerce SEO is beneficial for any website and business. It’s a good way to improve brand visibility and grow your business. Improving your SEO tactics helps your website rank higher on search engines for relevant search terms. Strong SEO efforts improve visibility and allow you to communicate your unique selling proposition through content marketing. Working on eCommerce keyword research, internal linking, and off page SEO for eCommerce is also beneficial. 
    Are you interested in learning about what else you need to know when opening a business? Download our The Cost of Opening a Business eBook now!

    3 Ways to Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

    When starting a business, you have to define your USP. This is true whether your business involves selling wholesale products, a wholesale food distribution business, dropshipping, or another one of the hundreds of eCommerce business ideas out there. 

    To determine your unique value proposition, you must identify the state of your business. Are you an established store or an up-and-coming business? Here’s how to tell the difference:

    • Established store. This kind of business has proven experience in their industry. In turn, they may have an advantage over the competition through more customer reviews and testimonials. These businesses don’t necessarily have to rush to establish their USP. However, it’s still best to have one.
    • New and up-and-coming business. These businesses have to define their unique selling proposition as soon as possible. Then they’ll be able to communicate it to their customers. This creates a solid first impression while showcasing what differentiates your business from the rest as soon as the customer visits your website. 

    These are three ways to define your unique selling proposition:

    1. Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes

    It’s common for businesses to fall in love with the products or services they offer. Due to this, they may forget that the customer’s needs are what matter. As a business owner, put yourself in the customer’s shoes to understand what they want. 

    Imagine that you are opening a coffee shop. Customers will come in to purchase coffee, but is that all they’ll want? As an entrepreneur, you have to think about what will keep them coming back over and over again instead of going to the competition. The answer to that may be the friendly customer service of your staff, the experience, quality of the coffee, or convenience. In that specific case, there are multiple USP examples that can be used.

    Keep in mind that price isn’t the only reason customers make purchases. You should find other sales features, besides price, that will entice customers to purchase your products over the competition. These include quality and taste. Once you do that, build sales and promotional campaigns around that benefit or value. Including a loyalty program increases the likelihood of retaining customers.

    2. Understand Customer Behavior and Buying Decisions

    In order for your business to be successful, you have to understand your ideal customer. This includes their behaviors and buying decisions. Most businesses will collect data, such as customer demographics, to analyze sales trends. These include gender, age, race, geographic location, and income. However, this may not be enough. 

    Let’s go back to the coffee shop example from before. You may discover that more than half of your customers are between the ages of 25 and 45. However, you should look into this data further to understand their coffee buying motives and what they find to be convenient. 

    3. Discover Why Customers Prefer Your Product Over the Competition

    As you grow your business, you’ll have the opportunity to ask your customers about their thoughts regarding your products. It’s possible to do this through reviews and testimonials. 

    This kind of insight will help you improve your offerings, add additional items, and potentially extend working hours. These improvements will help keep your business ahead of the competition. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions About USP and Unique Selling Proposition

    Having an effective USP or unique selling proposition for your business allows you to focus on what helps your business stand out. It’s possible for this thing to be offering the best customer service, including eCommerce customer service, having the lowest prices in the area, or a wide range of products to choose from. 

    If you still have questions about “what is a unique selling proposition?”, how to define it for your business, or communicate it to your customers, keep reading. Here are some commonly asked questions regarding USP: 

    How Does a Unique Selling Proposition Benefit My Business?

    A unique selling proposition will benefit your business by helping it stand out compared to the competitors. The USP establishes what you offer and must be different from what your competitors offer. 

    How Do You Find Your USP?

    To find the USP for your business, start by collecting ideas about what is special about your products or services. This includes the location, the atmosphere of the brick and mortar store, or the overall business style. 

    You may consider asking customers about what they enjoy about your business. Once you gather this information, you have the opportunity to create a riveting USP that adds value to your business.

    What Are the 4 USP Categories?

    The four USP categories include: 

    1. Price structure
    2. Product characteristics
    3. Promotional strategy
    4. Placement strategy, including location and distribution

    These four USP categories are also considered the four Ps of marketing. They provide a market position for the business that distinguishes it from the competition. 

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