• Mother of Pearl

Do you know your USP?

Be honest now… do you?

Consumers today are overwhelmed by choice, so they need to be able to quickly understand what makes your product different and why it is right for them. That is why having a defined USP is crucial to any business and needs to be reflected in your marketing communications.

But what is a USP?!” I hear you cry. Well, let me explain… a Unique Selling Proposition, or Point (USP) is a specific benefit that makes your product or service different and stand out from its competitors.

Don’t get it confused with your marketing communications though. A USP isn’t an offer or a slogan. Think of your USP as being part of your brand DNA… the heart of what makes your product or service tick. It is a clear statement that encompasses your brand values and defines your point of difference.

Throughout my degree (I studied BA (hons) Marketing at Southbank University, which feels like a lifetime ago now!) I read MANY books and different thesis, but it is a quote from Professor Ted Levitt, Harvard Business School, that comes to mind when I am working to define a brand’s USP, he said: “Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.”

To know what makes your product or service unique you need to know what makes you different.

When I was the Brand Marketing Manager for Grazia magazine it was at a time when the women's magazine market was saturated, so having a point of difference was vital in order to have cut-through. I worked with the team to review the brand strategy which involved us defining the USP. This was a fun brainstorming process involving the key brand stakeholders, A LOT of post-it notes and countless cups of coffee!

After looking in depth at our proposition, target audience, what we were good at and what set us apart from the other magazines, we knew that our USP was our premium fashion and news content delivered in a glossy weekly format. From this, we defined our comms proposition which was at the heart of all our marketing communications going forward at that time - a few simple words that playfully showcased the brand - ‘WHO WHAT WEAR.’

Tips to define your USP

To define your USP, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What differentiates you from your competition? Why do your existing customers choose you over your competitors?

  • Why should your audience buy from you?

  • What are you better at?

  • How can your product/service fulfil the need/desire of your target audience?

Know what makes you different. Own it. And then, SHOUT about it!

***Shameless plug alert*** If you ever need help along the way to define your brand strategy and your USP, do give me a shout, I have a new Brand Diagnostic package which I’m pretty excited about! It involves a deep dive into the heart of your brand and is ideal for businesses that need to grow and stretch their brand and for those that are in need of a refresh or relaunch. This package includes:

A full audit identifying any issues and opportunities; Identifying and/or refining your target audience; Defining the brand essence; Creating and defining your USP; A full review of your marketing channels and tactics; A clearly defined channel strategy and advice on the brand stretch. The end result - a clear brand strategy defining the brand values, USP, comms proposition and core values all reflected in a new channel strategy ready for execution across all marketing activity going forward.

But don’t worry, I won’t just leave you to it! I will schedule a follow-up call to review and discuss your progress and answer any questions that you may have. If you’re interested, book a FREE 15 minute consultation with me and let’s grab a (virtual) coffee (mine’s a black americano) and let’s chat.

I hope that you have found this content useful, I welcome any feedback, and do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

For more marketing tips and advice you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by!


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