Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
and State Your USP to Increase Revenue
By Victoria Munro
someone choose to do business with you over your competition?
After all, your competitors claim to do what you do,
and with an increasing array of products and services
to choose from, your customers are on advertising overload.
Defining and deploying your
USP (unique selling proposition) is the solution.
A USP is a distinct and engaging statement that sets
you and your business or practice apart from all the
rest by describing the unique value you offer, and that
generates excitement in your potential new customers.
It tells your prospects, “This is why you should
do business with us.” It builds your brand and
helps would-be clients think of your company when they
realize a need for your product or services. There may
be very little difference between your service or product
and your competitors', but if
you intend to succeed in business, you need find a way
to communicate your uniqueness and connect it
to a felt need of your target customer – your
Before You Create Your USP
Before you begin to craft your USP, it’s essential
that you know exactly who your target clients are,
what their specific problems, needs and wants are, how
they make decisions, where they hang out and what they
spend money on. The more clearly you can describe your
ideal client and the narrower your target niche is,
the more effective your marketing will be.
Understand what truly differentiates
you, your company or practice from the competition.
Position yourself as an expert in a specific area. You
may offer many really outstanding services, or sell
a wide variety of excellent products, but to get your
message across in a clear and memorable way, you must
focus on only one thing!
Creating Your USP Statement
You’re going to craft a strong, appealing and
memorable statement that causes you to stand out in
the crowd, which paints a clear picture of what you
want people to think and visualize when they hear about
your company. Your USP must make your service or products
extra special and more valuable than those of your competitors.
Remember: A USP is
all about the customer or the client. It is not about
you. It presents your solution to their need in a way
that clearly answers all of their questions and makes
them jump at the chance to buy from you.
Effective, Fun Exercises to
Help You Establish Your USP
Gather everyone together who is involved in your business.
As a group, brainstorm and make a list of every value
that your company offers and why someone would want
to do business with you. Make it a really long list!
Then, put a line through everything that is also true
about your competitors. What remains is unique about
your company. Use this as a starting place to create
If you’re in business on your own, take
pen and paper and write a one or two paragraph description
of what sets you, your company or your practice apart.
Then, ruthlessly edit away the generalities, until you’re
left with a clean, succinct, specific promise. From
there, rework it, deleting all the excess verbiage and
vague statements until you have a clearly defined Unique
Selling Proposition that your client can immediately
You could answer the following questions to get you
does my business do really well?
is my most important benefit to the client?
can I substantiate this claim – to what do
I attribute this benefit?
will my clients understand this benefit, relative
to those of the competition?
Allow this information to inspire you as you create
Also, discuss this
with your best clients, your raving fans. See yourself
from their perspective and find out why they choose
to do business with you, rather than someone else.
Warning: Be absolutely
sure that you are able to deliver on any promise you
make. If your USP tells clients that you have “A
complete range of widgets in stock at all times,”
and a customer calls to find that their preferred widget
must be ordered and won’t be shipped for a week,
your USP has created a negative relationship.
Deploying Your USP
Use your USP everywhere, on
everything: Marketing tools, print materials,
website, voice greeting, ad copy, in the signature line
of emails, everywhere. Make sure that everyone who works
with you – sales force, customer-service personnel,
office staff and delivery people – understands
and regularly uses your company USP in all their contacts
Most business owners don't have a USP – just
a “me too” message. Their advertising sounds
the same as everyone else’s.
Use your Unique Selling Proposition at every opportunity
to let prospective clients know why they should choose
to do business with you!
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
with tips to help you with your business, sign up for
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