What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement that clearly defines the unique benefits and value that a product or service offers to its customers. It is a key differentiator that sets the product or service apart from its competitors and positions it as the best solution for the needs of its target market.

Having a USP can help a business stand out in a crowded market and convince potential customers to choose its product or service over others. It is, therefore, an important part of any marketing strategy and can help a business effectively communicate its value proposition to its target audience.

A unique selling proposition should be something that is unique to the business and cannot be easily replicated by its competitors. It should also be important to their target market and should address a specific need or desire that their customers have. Consequently, the USP sets its products and/or services apart from its competitors and highlights the value it provides to its target market.

A USP can be a product feature, a service, a guarantee, a price point, or any other aspect of a business that sets it apart from others in the same market. By highlighting its USP, a business can effectively communicate the value it offers to its customers and build a strong brand identity.

A USP should be based on a thorough understanding of an organisation’s target market, its competition, and the benefits that its product or service offers. To be effective, it should be specific, relevant, and compelling to the target audience.  It should also highlight the unique features or benefits of the product or service and explain how it meets the needs or solves the problems of the target market.

It is important that the USP should be clearly and consistently communicated by the business across all of its marketing channels and should be consistently reinforced in all of their marketing efforts.

Worked example:

Here are two examples of a USP that have similar selling points but are portrayed in a very different way:

“Our product is made with all natural ingredients.”

This USP highlights the product’s natural ingredients and appeals to consumers who prioritise natural and organic products. It is, however, not very compelling and does not show how it differentiates the product from its competitors.

Compare this example with the following one:

“Our product is the only one on the market that is made from 100% organic, non-GMO ingredients and is free from all artificial preservatives, flavours, and colours. This makes it the healthiest and most natural choice for families who care about what they put in their bodies.”

This USP effectively communicates the unique benefits of the product and positions it as the best choice for health-conscious consumers. It is also specific, relevant, and compelling, which makes it more likely to resonate with the target audience. In addition, it is made up of multiple features:– 100% organic, non-GMO and no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours. It also differentiates the product from its competitors by saying that it is the ‘only one on the market’ that has these features.


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Marketing Strategy

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Competitive Advantage, Definition, FAQ, Marketing