What is your USP?

USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is simply the answer to the following question:

Why should I buy stuff from you instead of others?

The answer to this question determine how do you make money in the market.  In any market you have 3 ways to make yourself unique:

  • Price leader: Your business can become price leader, which means you price is the lowest among other competitors.  While price leader is very powerful, their are only one price leader in every market.  And there is only very few successful cases (like Walmart) when your business become price leader.  Most important of all, low price often imply low profit margin.  Unless you have an economic scale that can lower your cost to create any product, business hardly survive when become price leader.
  • Differenciation: This is much easier to be different in terms of product and service among your competitors in order to survive in a competitive market.  Be different from your competitors, and give a reason to prospects why they should buy from you or use your services.  If you want to survive in business, create something different and provide more value to your customers.  For example, if you are an ear phone manufacturer and your competitors create similar ear phone, try to add a volumn control and a mini-radio receiver to add more feature to the ear phone.  If you are selling gold rings, not only can you sell different styles, but also you can bundle a set of gold-related services that no other competitors can offer.
  • Getting deeper in your niche: it is a combination of the first and second point.  It means that you can differenciate in terms of market.  For example, if you are selling elderly health product, try to target a niche of “elderly over 75 with serious illness” and sell products to help those people.  Or simply become the price leader on that niche.

Mission statement is not USP

Some businesses would mix up their mission statement with USP, but they are actually different thing.  According to wikipedia, a mission statement is: a formal, short, written statement of the purpose of a company or organization.  While you can show to your company that how will you do business, it doesn’t matter to your prospects.  For example, your company may have a mission statement of: “Providing top customers service and best quality products to our dearest customers and ensure great customer satisfaction.”.  However, it doesn’t mean anything to your customer.  But if you change it to “The only jewelry store with the most wide range of product collections at an affordable price in London.”  This is a USP.  This give the reason why you are so unique in your market.

So what is your USP?  Why should I buy from you?  What are the things that your competitors are doing but you don’t?  Think about those questions and you will get a much clear understanding and longer survival time of your business.  Think about your USP if you don’t have one, or refine your USP if it is not a USP among your industry any more.

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