Virtually every business has at least one competitor. Some have hundreds or even hundreds of thousands. To compete in a competitive market, you need to stand out. That’s why your business needs a strong USP (unique selling proposition) – something people instantly recognize and associate with your brand. It should be easily identifiable, fascinating, and, of course, one of a kind.
How do you craft such a strong statement encompassing everything from who you are, who you help, and why you’re the best choice available?
We’ll cover these essential points in today’s article. By the end, you should have a blueprint for crafting a powerful USP that helps you attract and retain clients and increase product value.
- Every business needs a strong USP – something people instantly recognize and associate with your brand. It should be easily identifiable, fascinating, and, of course, one of a kind.
- A unique selling proposition is a statement that concisely presents how your business is different from others and why your offerings are better than the competition.
- By crafting a powerful selling point, you can increase the value of your products.
- To develop your USP, define your target audience and pinpoint the problem you want to help them solve.
- To stand out from competitors, you must communicate what makes you unique and focus on how you can significantly benefit consumers. Convince your audience that they can’t live without your product or service.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
We’ll start with basics, covering the what before diving into the why and how.
A unique selling proposition (also called a selling point or value proposition) is a statement you can craft as a seller to present how your business differs from those offering similar products or services. It helps you communicate why your brand or offerings are better than the competition. Your USP should be:
- One of a kind
In sales and marketing, it’s essential to communicate your USP quickly and effectively. Doing so can help you reach prospects and convert leads into customers. You can craft a USP for your business as a whole and for individual products you sell.
How Does a Strong USP Increase Product Value?
One of your goals should be to offer something so valuable that your clients want to purchase from you – regardless of how much your product costs. Your USP should give you leverage to charge what you decide is right for your business. By crafting a powerful selling proposition, you can even increase the value of your products.
If you’re selling a product on its own – without explaining why and showing how you can solve your buyers’ problems, your product will be less valuable. On the other hand, if you explain how your product solves an undeniable problem and the many benefits it provides, you increase product value.
The answers lie in your target audience. What problem can you help them solve? How can you make their lives easier? Don’t focus on price. Focus on the value that you bring to the table. While price will always play a role, it should never be the focal point.
This video outlines basic approaches to developing a unique selling proposition.
How to Create a Powerful USP in 7 Straightforward Steps
Follow these steps to develop a USP that offers value and sets you apart from competitors.
1. Understand Who You’re Speaking to and Why
One of the first questions you should address is “who are your target clients?” Who makes up your most extensive target audience or consumer base? Look at who is already buying from you. Your USP should speak to them directly.
If you aren’t sure who you should target or have a new business, you can do market research to find potential customers. Creating buyer personas helps you pinpoint the type of person looking for the solution you provide. Create a profile of your ideal client by filling in information like:
- Annual household income
- Interests and hobbies
- Education level
- Married or single
- Male or female
- Career track
- Industry and company size
- Job role
- Skill Sets
- Where they spend time online
- Preferred methods of communication
- Pain points
- Solutions you can provide
2. Know What Problem You Need to Solve
Now that you know precisely who you’re targeting with your USP, it’s time to hone in on more of the problem. How can your business solve a common pain point your customers face? Step into their shoes to see things from their perspective. If you can do that, you can get their attention.
Maybe your product saves people a lot of time. Perhaps it makes a challenging task a lot easier or makes a process much more efficient. Whatever it is, you need to convince people why they can no longer live without your offering. Explain how it meets their needs in a way that no other product on the market does.
3. Know What Makes You Unique
Your USP shouldn’t look like your competitors’. If it does (or if it could), you might need to start over. There must be something that makes your company unlike any other business out there. It may take some brainstorming to decide what differentiates you and your products, but you probably wouldn’t be in business without it.
You don’t have to overcomplicate this part of the process. Pinpoint your “uniqueness” by studying your competitors. By getting to know them, their offerings, and their audience better, you can identify what’s lacking or what you do better. What do you have that they don’t? How does their mission differ from yours?
Maybe it’s your people, customer service, or personality. Perhaps you specialize in a specific niche or offer cutting-edge technology that’s almost unheard of in your industry. Whatever it is that sets you apart, leverage it in your USP. It’s why someone will choose to work with your company instead of the one across town offering the same products and services.
4. Be Clear, Concise, and Confident
Use confident language that builds trust and comes across as authentic. Show enthusiasm to get people excited to work with you. Choose your words carefully, staying focused and only saying what you absolutely must communicate to get your point across clearly.
5. Exaggerate a Little (or Even a Lot)
If you work in marketing, you’ve probably been told (or told your team) to under-promise and overdeliver, but when it comes to your USP, don’t hold back. Make a pledge containing hyperbole (exaggeration) that gets people’s attention. It may be one of your only chances to really go overboard here. So have some fun and take full advantage.
To describe your product or service, you can – and should – use words like:
In a USP, this shows confidence and will get your audience excited about what you have to offer. It shows you believe in yourself and your company or product. Just make sure you can stand by your promise and deliver.
6. Focus on the Benefits
What are the top three to five benefits your business or product offers your clients? Again, focus on what sets your business apart rather than jotting down all the benefits every business in your industry provides. Remember to look through the lens of your clients. That way, you hit the nail right on the head. It will help you connect more easily with your audience when marketing and selling to them.
7. Put It All Together
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. Crafting a compelling USP isn’t easy. You’ve gathered the information you need to write your statement. Now, combine each of the critical pieces we’ve discussed and merge them into a single paragraph.
As if that wasn’t tough enough, next, you need to break it down even further. Condense your paragraph into one robust and powerful sentence. This will be your USP.
You may need to test a few different versions and mull over them for a while. Choose the best one, solidify it, and start using it in marketing, conversations, presentations, and networking. You can review and revise it as your business evolves.
Examples of USPs from some well-known manufacturing and industrial companies.
- Bermad – Helping to manage the world’s most precious resource.
- Caterpillar – Our solutions help our customers build a better world.
- Cornell Pumps – Efficient by design.
- Cummins – Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.
- Damen Shipyards – Harnessing oceans of possibilities.
- Eaton – We make what matters work.
- GE – Building a world that works.
- Generac – We protect the things that power your life by providing quality, affordable power solutions.
- Grundfos – We pioneer solutions to the world’s water and climate challenges and improve the quality of life for people.
- Halliburton – Charting a new course for a brighter tomorrow.
- John Deere – We run so life can leap forward.
- Kubota – We engineer a more rewarding ownership experience to help you accomplish more.
- Lincoln Electric – Build a better world.
- Mammoet – Together, we move the world towards a brighter future.
- Miller Electric – Together, we can build your future — and the future of welding.
- Netafim – Grow more with less.
- Parker Hannifin – Enabling engineering breakthroughs that lead to a better tomorrow.
- Raytheon – Our people and capabilities form an innovation powerhouse.
- Siemens AG – Technology to transform the everyday.
- Vermeer – Together, we’re equipped to do more.
- Wastequip – Your one-stop-shop solution for all your waste equipment needs.
- Yetter Manufacturing – Time-tested reputation for value, service, and effectiveness.
Content Marketing for Manufacturers
Crafting a strong USP is challenging. If you need help with any of your online marketing initiatives, Shanahan would love to step in and help. We take care of tasks and projects that take precious time away from you and your team. Our full-service marketing team offers digital marketing, SEO, website design and development, content creation, consulting, and coaching services.
We specialize in the manufacturing, distribution, and dealer groups industries. We know that industrial marketing can be challenging – with the intricate and rapidly changing sales and marketing landscape. But we proudly help industrial marketers manage complex teams, channels, and technology to appeal to their target buyers. If this sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you and help you solve the challenges you face daily.