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What is Your Unique Selling Proposition?

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As Dr. Seuss tells us, “There is no one alive who is you-er than you.” You’re you, and that’s great. For you. Now, why is it great for people visiting your website?  Your unique selling proposition, or USP, tells your visitors why they should be there, why they should stay, and why they should buy/read more/sign up/register, etc. How do you craft a great USP?

A USP:

  • Sets you apart from the competition.
  • Promises value to the customer.
  • It helps branding and reputation-building efforts.

Dominos Pizza has perhaps the most famous and effective USP:  “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.”

It’s very simple, but it also conveys value clearly and effectively. Here’s what you need: food now.  Here’s what we got: hot pizza. Here’s what you get: delivery in 30 minutes. Here’s how we’re different: if we’re not there in 30 minutes, it’s free. The message is, we’re going to try harder, we’re going to deliver on the promise, or it’s on us.

Tips for a Great USP:

  • Convey your biggest benefits. What will the customer get in return for their money? It could be value, price, selection, service, quality, etc.
  • What sets you apart? Do you offer hard-to-find products? Do you offer volume ordering? Do you offer crazy, intensive customer service, free installation, or a free consultant/sample?  What do you do that your competition does not? Or what do you do better?
  • What “pain point” are you addressing? What need in the marketplace are you filling? The “pain” could be aggressive, pressurized sales tactics at auto dealerships. Your USP could contain language around being fair and customer-centric.
  • Be specific as to the benefit. Dominos does this: if your pizza is not there in a half hour, it is free. People know what they’re getting. Do not attach loopholes: if your pizza is not there in a half hour, but traffic was really bad and the moon was full, then the free offer is void. This negates the value of your USP and the integrity of your business.
  • Capture this sentiment in a sentence. Brevity is the soul of wit, so start practicing. Craft several versions of your USP to get your language right.
  • Incorporate your USP in marketing materials, both online and offline.

The most important part of your USP is living up to it. This is the promise you are making your customers and the lien you’re putting against your reputation.

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