March 31, 2023

Sell what customers need. The unique selling proposition

The unique selling proposition is a marketing concept to explain a pattern in successful advertising campaigns.

Theodore Levitt, a professor at Harvard Business School, suggested that “Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.”

A clear USP helps consumers to understand differences between brand offerings in a category, and may also help consumers to form a positive attitude towards the brand and may ultimately contribute to improved levels of brand recall.

USP is not just an interesting copy of your homepage. It’s ultimately how you position your product or even your whole business around the world.

Your product does not need to be unique, in order to have a unique SP. Instead, look for a spot in the market where you can plant your flag that is relatively untouched by the competition. There may be a dozen ways you could sell your products, but your USP is the big idea that best positions your brand according to what your customers care about and what your competitors aren’t.

How to write your own unique selling proposition

Now that we’ve looked at ten examples of strong USPs from other businesses, you might be wondering how you can go about creating, uncovering, or refining your own unique selling proposition.

Every USP is going to be, well, unique but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a process you can follow to put yourself on the right track. Here’s how you can write yours:

  • Make a list of all the potential differentiators of your brand and what you sell. And get specific. Breakout products and compelling marketing messages rely on precision: they solve the exact right problem and communicate that benefit to customers in their own words.
  • Research the competition. Who are your competitors and what are their USPs? Look for gaps where you can potentially introduce your brand differently. Products in the same category can be positioned in wildly different ways—footwear, for example, can emphasize style, comfort, or durability.
  • Compare your most unique angles against your audience’s needs. Are there any customer needs that haven’t been filled? Do you see any pain points that you can appeal to that your competitors haven’t?
  • Compile the data. Take the information that you’ve learned, and sift through it to single out your strongest USP.
  • Think about viable ways to apply it across your business. Applied properly, a USP can be woven into different areas of your business, from your brand name to your return policy to reinforce the idea to your customers.

Once you have a vague idea of what your USP is, it might help to express it as a positioning statement so you can get it down on paper:



This won’t be exactly what you advertise on your website, but it should help you clarify your USP, its audience, and any specific differentiators that might be worth highlighting.

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