unique selling proposition

Why You Lost Your Unique Selling Proposition and How to Get It Back

By Princess Jones

Unique selling proposition is just a fancy name for what your company or business does that no one else does. Why do your customers choose you over all of the other options they have available? What do consumers associate with your brand? What does your business stand for? If you can answer all of these things, then you can clearly articulate what your USP is.

A Good USP

A great example of a USP is with Casper, a mattress company. Most mattresses are sold the same way they’ve been sold for the past hundred years or more. You got to a physical store, try a few sets of varying qualities, and pay to have it delivered to your home. But Casper sells their mattresses online, delivers them in a box that looks like it couldn’t even hold your mattress, and then gives you 100 days to make a decision on whether you’d like to keep it. Delivery and returns are always free.

Casper’s USP is that it sells mattresses in a way that today’s consumers are used to buying things — online. That’s one of the reasons that company attracts its customers. All of its branding is based around this and its other USPs.

How It Changes

As counterintuitive as it is, many businesses don’t ever have a clear idea what their unique selling proposition is when they open their doors. But even the ones that do tend to drift from it as they grow their customer bases. They add new products, services, or terms. They change directions with their leadership or vision. Or maybe they don’t change anything but they realize that what they thought drew their customers was actually something completely different.

It’s all about focus. USPs by nature should be tightly focused. No one does everything better than their competition. No one can be all things to all people. If you’re finding that your USP no longer applies to what you do, it’s time rethink it.

How to Fix It

It’s never too late to refocus your unique selling proposition. Start by talking to your target audience. You can do this by polling current and past customers. Put together a list of benefits they receive from your business. Each of these are potential USPs. Now compare those to your competitors’ USPs. Discard anything that is already being used because whole point is to be unique.

Once you’ve narrowed it down, put together visuals and brand words that convey that USP. Now go back your target audience and get their thoughts on your potential USPs. Choose the strongest one and use that to lead your branding efforts. Repeat this process every three to five years for best results.

Remember that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to realize that you’ve drifted from your USP. It’s just important to make sure you’re refocusing if you do.

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Princess Jones
Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Copy & Design, where she helps food and drink businesses speak the language of their audiences. For more talk about copywriting, design, and the tools to pull them off, follow her on Twitter @imprincessjones.

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