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How to Find Your USP (Unique Selling Point)

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Very few businesses are entirely unique. The vast majority of small businesses do something that other businesses around the world also do.

But you don’t want to be just another “fill-in-the-blank” business.

Unless your business is totally original, you will need to find a way to distinguish yourself from the competition. This is known as your unique selling point (USP), value add, or simply your “secret sauce.”

Determine Your Competitive Advantage

The key to finding your secret sauce is knowing what makes your business different from everyone else in a way that has a positive impact on your customers. Very few businesses can compete on price alone, so unless you have a unique situation, stay away from price as a competitive advantage.

If you’re not sure where to start, turn to your customers. You may be surprised by what you hear. Ask your customers why they like working with you and where you have made the biggest impact for them. If you see a common trend, you may have found the answer.

Being the best at something is not easy. If the answer doesn’t jump right out at you, it may require some soul searching.

Think about why your business exists in the first place. What are you passionate about? Why do you get up in the morning and come in to work? What difference are you trying to make for your customers, and how are you doing it?

Make It Your Focus

Before you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Claiming a competitive advantage isn’t going to do much for you if it’s not true. Make it a priority at all levels of your business. If you deliver consistently, you’ll distinguish yourself from the competition and keep customers coming back.

Once you feel that your company is truly living up to your USP, include it in all of your messaging. This includes web copy, emails, brochures, and sales pitches.

Make sure that everyone is on the same page and that you’re using the same language to describe your unique selling point and why it should matter to prospects. This is commonly referred to as the “so what” factor.

Consider offering a guarantee to your customers based on this advantage. Showing that you believe in and stand by what you say will make it more likely that prospects will give you a chance to prove yourself.

Eventually, your company will become synonymous with your message. It will be ingrained in your culture and your best customers will evangelize your products or services. This is the key to transitioning from a company to a brand.