USP: What Sets You Apart From Your Competitors?

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is important to your brand, your audience, and your sales. Without a USP, visitors to your site may compare you to your competitors and say that you’re the same, or even worse, that your competition has a better product. So, how do you come up with a USP and what do you offer that makes your product the best?

Product Confidence


Image via Flickr by Lodeez

If you don’t believe in your product, neither will anyone else. Make sure that you are 100 percent behind what you’re selling. While this doesn’t give you a USP in and of itself, it can help you come up with one. Let’s be honest, it’s unlikely that you’re the only one selling the type of product or service you offer. So, set yourself apart. The best way to start is by believing in what you offer.

The Actual Product


Image via Flickr by Valerie Everett

When you’re trying to come up with a USP, one place you should look is the product itself. Is your product different from other similar products? If so, how? What question does your product answer?

There are some examples you can see today. Consider Dickies pants. These pants have something unique that they offer to those who purchase them. They are stain and wrinkle resistant. This is a benefit of the product itself. Many people search for pants that are easy to take care of, and these pants offer the solution.

Your Company


Image via Flickr by John Fischer

Another way to come up with a USP is by considering your company. Are you willing to go above and beyond for your customers? Remember that if you use a company benefit as a USP, it has to be something that is uncommon. Saying that you offer fast shipping and good customer service simply isn’t going to cut it.

However, some companies are able to offer brand or company USPs that draw attention. For example, Craftsman tools offer a replacement guarantee that allows customers to replace their tools if the tool breaks, dulls, or has other problems. Companies like Craftsman know that some concessions are worth retaining customers.

Other Services


Image via Flickr by Shannon

Sometimes, you may need to come up with something completely different as your USP. This could be free products, expedited shipping, or anything else you can add to make your product or service that much better.

In many cases, other services that are offered do not make as strong of a case for a USP. However, they are good to offer. If you offer free shipping, remember that many other websites do as well. Because of this, you need to be careful about your USP, to ensure that it actually offers value to the customer.

A Constant Flow of New Ideas


Image via Flickr by Marco Arment

When first coming up with a USP, you need to spend some time brainstorming. What about your product, service, or company stands out? Write down everything that comes to mind. Think about the ways your product can help customers. Are there any specific emotions that come to mind with your product? Each of these can help you come up with a USP.

Staying Informed


Image via Flickr by Sean Loyless

Whether you’re just starting out as a new business, or you’ve been around a while, it’s always a good idea to find out what your competition is offering. If they have a service based USP, you may want to consider a company or product based option. This will differentiate you, and can help improve the number of visitors you receive and the number of conversions.

As you’re looking at the competition, have your brainstorming handy. Take a look at what you’ve come up with, and compare it to what others are doing. After you’ve looked at the competition, remember that you may want to do another brainstorming session, if all of your ideas are the same as, or very similar to, your competition.

Ask Your Customers


Image via Flickr by Jeff McNeill

One option you have when deciding on a USP is to ask your customers. Find out exactly what drew them to your product. Why did they purchase from you, and not your competitor? As you ask, you’ll likely receive a number of great reasons. Add these to your brainstorming. If you get the same answer over and over, consider expanding on it. Your customers are the best resource you have when it comes to finding out why they buy.

Promoting Your USP


Image via Flickr by trenttsd

Once you have decided on a USP, you need to make sure to get it out there. Promote it everywhere you can. Write a blog post about why your guarantees are better than the competition. Make sure that your visitors quickly and easily see the USP on your landing page. Offer the information on the home page, as well as product pages.

In some rare cases, you may not need to promote your USP as heavily. If you are selling an idea, you’ll need to come up with varying ways to promote it. For example, if you’re selling luxury, you don’t want to just come out and say that. Instead, use your copy and design to show the customers that your products are top of the line.

Revise When Necessary


Image via Flickr by Matt Hampel

Just because you come up with a USP doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right one for your landing page. Try it out, but if it turns out that it’s not working so well, be willing to change it. Deciding on the perfect USP can take time and energy. As long as you’re willing to work at it, you’ll find a USP that will entice customers.

Without a unique selling proposition, you’ll have a harder time getting customers. The best way to bring in visitors that convert to customers is by standing out from the crowd. This is where your USP comes in handy.

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