5 essential points to remember, when defining your USP

Written by Finn Taylor on 11th May 2017

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Key to any design briefing will be the agencies ability to understand you, what you do and how you interact with your customers and stakeholders.

With this in mind, a solid set of USP’s and a clearly articulated elevator pitch is essential in the design briefing. Whilst there is a process for writing an elevator pitch, many companies really struggle with defining their unique selling point(s) in a meaningful manner.

This is understandable as many companies exist in a very crowded space, where competitors:

  • offer the same product or service
  • provide this in a similar manner
  • have a similar price point

From a marketing/sales perspective, this is ‘a really tough sell’ – what do you do to differentiate yourself if you do not have a unique selling point?

Note - A point to consider is that your USP's should be far more than marketing…it should be part of the business, and the business should from an operational perspective adapt and evolve so that it has a unique selling point. With this in mind, developing your USP’s can be far more than a simple marketing message….they can act as a driving force to develop the product/service to ensure it has relevance and distinction in the market.

So the question is, what do you do if your business does not have a strong definable USP?

You could shrug your shoulders and accept this, but as a marketer you have the responsibility to define these and to drive them back into the business.

So what are the key points to remember when defining your USP’s?

  1. It should be simple and focused
    Do not fall into the trap of including everything into this as you only end up saying too much and therefore nothing! - it is essential to stay focused, even if a committee is working through this.
  2. It does not actually (despite the name) have to be unique to you
    Remember this is simply a message(s) you are going to focus on owning….if you keep saying it, then it will stick.
  3. Be bold, confident and ideally have an edge...something a bit prickly.
    Being safe and conservative may be counter productive as people will simply not remember this….being a disrupter can be a strong position in a crowded market.
  4. Keep this customer benefit focused - It is easy to fall into the trap of defining a USP that is internally important, but ultimately not very relevant to your customers. Remember to keep focused on what they care about…what is the benefit to them?
  5. Finally remember that successful companies often adapt their product/service to fulfill a USP…here your marketing roll can have a profound effect on shaping the business.

Ultimately your USP’s should be a few simple strong messages that are meaningful to visitors…..keep saying it, until people believe it!

Finally it is worth noting that a well defined USP is a core aspect of your brand, and if you can distil your USP’s down to a few choice items and then re-word this nicely, you then have a strong strap line or mission statement.

This article was posted in Musings, Design by Finn Taylor

  • Finn Taylor

    Finn Taylor

    Finn is a founding director of Liquid Light, and he still (after 22 years of web design) likes to get involved in projects. When he is not worrying about the clients, he is studying Chinese medicine, working with young criminals and doing spartan challenges.

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