When you Google 'how do I find my unique selling proposition' the first results will probably tell you to 'list all the features of your company that makes you unique'.
What if I told you that there is a better way of getting to your USP?
I can imagine you spend countless of hours trying to find the thing that makes you unique. But everything has been done before and frankly, there's nothing special about you.
What you understood is wrong.
Having a unique selling point does not mean that your company needs to be unique. It means what you're selling needs to be unique in the mind of your audience.
If that is a unique feature of your product, one that competitors lack, great! But what if such an advantage does not exist for you? Does that mean you can pack up and go home?
Take a look at what the big companies came up with:
- "Coca Cola invites people to create their positive reality. Coke is the happiness in the bottle." Is that unique? Probably not. But it is theirs. And everyone knows it.
- Samsung's their USP is "quality high technology products at a reasonable price". Is that unique? No, there are thousands of technology companies that claim exactly the same thing.
- Apple's USP has probably something to do with their experience and lifestyle. They own it. They're a world-wide phenomenon because of it. But is it unique? Eh. Not really.
How do you determine your own USP?
Here's the secret: your unique selling point is a claim that has not been made yet! Competitors might have the same benefit. The difference is that they haven't told their consumers about it!
That's where you differentiate your company, product, or service.
Here are your options to your USP, really.
- Analyse a list of your product's features. Then look at your competitor's advertisment. Find a real benefit of the product that they have overlooked. Use it as a differentiator.
- Look at your product's name or packaging. Find something creative to wrap your mundane product in. Think of the candy brand Pez. It's just candy.
- Dramatize the benefit of your product. Skittles do not really make you taste the rainbow. But they ARE colourful sugary sweets.
- Create a long-term brand personality. Differentiate yourself from the competition with a personality. Think Media Markt their 'crazy guy' or Old Spice their viral 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like'.
I hope that made you go 'aha'! It took a while for me to figure this out. Do let me know on Linkedin what you think. Is coming up with a unique selling proposition something you struggled with?