Starting a business – How to develop your unique selling proposition?

In a crowded marketplace, simply touting features and benefits is no longer enough to stand out from competitors. To attract your ideal customers, you need a compelling unique selling proposition explaining precisely why your offer is distinctly better than the rest. Your USP sums up the primary value you provide in a way that resonates deeply with who your products or services benefit most. A strong USP conveys differentiation and gets buyers excited when incorporated into messaging and positioning.

Target customer

Start by getting ultra-specific on your ideal buyer persona through market research of their demographics, pain points, goals, and psychographics. Building detailed fictional profiles clarifies your perfect customer. All elements of your business should then cater directly to this well-defined audience. Avoid generic positioning trying to appeal to everyone. Take an objective audit of what you offer, including products, services, experiences, or a combination. Include perspectives from prospects and existing customers collected via surveys, reviews, and interviews. Be fully aware of all tangible elements, intangible benefits, emotions evoked, and total value delivered before determining where your offer is extraordinary compared to alternatives.

Analyze competitors weaknesses

Through competitive analysis, identify weaknesses and gaps in competitor offerings related to quality, uniqueness, convenience, outcomes, and overall customer experience. How are competitors falling short of delivering excellence per the needs of your shared target audience? Their vulnerabilities become your opportunities. Based on the customer’s viewpoint, define the one or two areas where your business delivers superior value compared to competitors. Study emotional and functional benefits. For example, a restaurant may determine its advantage in delivering consistently amazing flavors in a convenient location. Avoid touting generic strengths like “quality” that every business claims. Engaging in continuous and innovative cool training is essential for business growth and success.

Highlight underlying attributes

Connect those competitive differences back to the special attributes only your business possesses. For the restaurant example, it may be a unique chef’s award-winning culinary skills and sought-after location. Shining a spotlight on the distinct attributes that facilitate advantages demonstrates authenticity. Other people should have difficulty replicating your characteristics. Now narrow down the unique benefits and supporting attributes into one compelling overarching the selling point from the ideal customer’s perspective. Should you focus on superior outcomes, special expertise, exceptional service, guaranteed satisfaction, or another angle resonating with your audience? Socialize your proposed USP with prospects, customers, and advisors through surveys and focus groups to gauge reactions. Ask if the USP grabs attention, sparks meaningful interest, and compels engagement. Be open to constructive feedback to help refine your proposition. Continue iterating until you’ve struck on positioning language that provokes the desired response.

Build business messaging around USP

Incorporate your honed USP consistently across your website, sales materials, product packaging, email campaigns, social media, advertising, and anything communicating your offer. The USP becomes ubiquitous with your brand position. Consistency builds awareness while reinforcing differentiation. Educate any team members interfacing with customers to understand and articulate your USP fluently. It should consistently deliver through marketing materials and human interactions. Even passing references to the USP strengthen retention. Customers get immersed in the positioning.

Bruce Reyes

Bruce Reyes