According to TheEntrepreneur.com encyclopedia a unique selling proposition is described as:
The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.
But we need just a little more clarification, right? I think what's “unique” about a unique selling proposition is that it really needs some swag to go with it in order for you to fully grasp what it means.
So here is more information on what a unique selling proposition is and why your business needs one
Basically, a unique selling proposition is what your business stands for that sets it APART from the same business next door.
It’s not only the product or service you offer, but the benefits or even features that sets your business apart from others because of what you have defined for yourself as being your go-to “thing”. That means that instead of attempting to be known for everything, businesses with a strong unique selling proposition stand for something specific that they are best known for. You could offer other things, but there has to be ONE THING (product, service or even concept) that you are DEFINITELY about, and it is super uber clear to your audience.
It is really easy at the beginning to fall into the trap of identifying with too many things. Sometimes this is because you are totally multi-passionate (as Marie Forleo would say), or because you are not yet clear yourself on what you want to focus on. And I think it is ok to be multi-passionate, I am too, but you have to be CLEAR on what you want to stand for FIRST AND FOREMOST. You don't need to do everything well and be all things to all people to be successful. In fact, this approach will likely end in potential disaster.
To give you some reference point, try to stay away from having the highest quality products AND the lowest prices. Or best coffee AND the cheapest prices. Or the best desserts AND the most delicious salads PLUS the coolest checkout process. You see what I mean? Focus on ONE or the other and try to be awesome at branding THAT first.
Jack of all trades, master of none is NOT what you want when it comes to branding specifically
By making a clear choice of what unique thing you want your business to be known for, you’ll become known for that unique quality and stand out from the competition.
Two major brand's' unique selling propositions that come to mind are Starbucks and Zappos. I have personally experienced both and I bet I am not the only designer who uses them as examples. They have the most clear USP (unique selling proposition) that one can use to illustrate the concept. Do you know what they are?
STARBUCKS USP: Premium coffee beverages, and they’re known for the same.
Their USP is NOT premium coffee beverages AND the lowest prices, or pastries, or even their tea selection. If instead they added “at lowest prices” then it would not only defeat their premium coffee (for which they can charge more) and they would have a hard time competing with all other low priced alternatives head on. In other words, they wouldn't stand out.
ZAPPOS USP: The most convenient, customer-friendly online shoe store. They accomplish this by offering free shipping and free return shipping to all. They aren’t known as the most convenient store for purchasing shoes AND clothes AND at the lowest prices. If they offered the lowest prices, it would be difficult to offer free shipping and return shipping for everyone. Ain't this the truth in life as well: “you want convenience or savings”?
So what will your unique selling proposition be? What are you going to focus on and how will you make sure it is reflected in your day to day activities and branding strategy? Do you have a blog yet? You can start one today in less than 30 minutes! Click here to get started!