What’s so special about you? Defining your USP

Your prospect is in the market for a widget, just like the one you sell. She surfs over to Google (or picks up her Yellow Pages) and looks up “widgets.” She is immediately greeted by 15 different widget companies, including yours. How does she go about making her selection? And what can you do to make her more likely to select you?

This is where your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) comes in. Your USP tells Ms. Prospect what is different about you, and why she should choose your product or service over that of your competitor.

So, how do you determine yours?

First, you need to sit down and make a list of all the benefits of doing business with you, and those of your particular product or service. Be sure they’re really benefits, and not just features. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: What does your widget do for her? How does it make her feel? What is the emotional payoff for her?

Next, you need to have a look at the competition. Is there any way your widget is different from theirs? What benefits are they stressing? What are they not talking about?

If there really is something unique about your product or service, by all means focus on it. But it may be that your competition offers something very similar to you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t stand out. It just means that you have to find something to focus on that isn’t already being talked about.

Go back over your list and cross out the benefits your competition claims. From what’s left, pick out five or six of your strongest entries.

Now, sit down and take a look at your target customer. What are her core beliefs and desires? What keeps her awake at night? Find the benefit that speaks most directly to her.

Boil that benefit down into the shortest sentence possible. Make it tight, use action verbs if you possibly can, and make it catchy.

Congratulations! You now have a USP that can (and should) be used in every marketing communication you issue. And your prospect has a reason to choose you over the competition.

About the author
Lisa Packer, author of “How To Dramatically Increase Your Business… Without A Blockbuster Budget” and “7 Ways To Get A Pay Raise From Your Web Site” is an independent Copywriter and Marketing Consultant. Find out how to get these two reports, plus more helpful articles like the one you just read at Dramatic Copy: Copywriting That Dramatically Increases Your Business.