Developing a unique selling proposition for your business

Developing a unique selling proposition is a great way of distinguishing your business from your competitors. This article by Loren Squires explains what a unique selling proposition is and how to develop one for your business.

One of the basics of marketing is to create a unique message that you want your business to communicate. You need to decide on what you want your business is to say to people. This message will be laced throughout everything you do.

The message needs to grab the attention of people and make them want to use your business. The message also has to set you apart from other people.

This is commonly called a USP, a Unique Selling Proposition, and it is essential to your marketing message. You need to set yourself apart from your competition. You need to have a USP.

To completely understand what a USP is let’s quickly breakdown each letter.

  • The “U” stands for unique. This means you set yourself apart from your competition. Not only should you stand apart from your competition, you need to actually stand above your competition. You need to rise above them.
  • The “S” stands for selling. It convinces people to buy what you’re selling. So in this case you are convincing people to buy your businesses product or service.
  • The “P” stands for position or proposition. Position is just where you place yourself in relation to your competition. You want to place yourself above everyone else. Proposition is trying to sell something to others. In this case, you’re trying to sell something that is a cut above everything else.

If you want your marketing plan to be successful then you need to stand out from your competition. This means you have to be unique.Some of the most successful USPs include:

  • Dominoes Pizza promising to deliver your pizza in 30 minutes or the pizza is free.
  • FexEx promising to absolutely deliver a product overnight.
  • The Subway chain positioning itself as a fast food alternative that will help you lose weight.
  • American Express credit cards claiming they are accepted everywhere in the world.

And when you sit down to create your own USP, you should start with one question. That question is:

Why should a person choose my business over any other business?

Your USP should answer that question.

And it should be that question that is always in the back of your mind while you’re coming up with your own USP. Because if you can create a great USP – a great answer to why people should choose your business – it will make a difference.

In order to come-up with your own USP, there are some very specific idea-generating steps you can go through.

Step 1: List all your benefits

Step 2: Make it Unique

Step 3: Solve a Need

Step 4: Be Specific

Step 5: Write Down Your USP and Perfect It

Your USP should be as short as possible but as long as it needs to be. In other words, it should clearly state what you want it to state but there should not even be one extra word in it.

You’ll probably want to write down your USP and then wait a day or so before you begin to edit it. Also, allowing a couple other people to look at it and make suggestions is always a good idea.

Once your USP is all set and ready to go, you should then make sure it’s on all your marketing materials. This needs to include your business card, all your advertisements, invoices, postcards, your Website, letterhead, and everything else. This includes any type of marketing that you might take part in. And remember, everything you do that’s related to your business is and should be considered marketing.

Loren Squires is a small business marketing consultant in Colorado. He specializes in email marketing. More information and a free report may be found at

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