Unique Selling Proposition
Start A Business | Marketing

How To Write A Unique Selling Proposition [With An Example]

How To Write A Powerful Unique Selling Proposition [3 Awesome Examples]

Watch the video, listen to the podcast, or read the article below.

 Let’s talk about your unique selling proposition and how it will help you to increase revenue in your business.

 

The first thing we need to do is to clarify that a unique value proposition is the same as unique selling proposition. Some people say that they’re not the same. That debate is theoretical and academic and I have no interest in it and neither should you.

I prefer to use Unique Selling Proposition instead of Unique Value Proposition because including the word “selling” makes it easier to understand what we’re really trying to achieve. In the end, we need to figure out how to sell something. 

 
And, as usual, when I say the word product I also mean service or app or whatever you’re selling. 
 
  • What is a unique selling proposition (or unique value proposition)?
  • How do you create a USP or UVP?
  • Example of a unique selling proposition (or UVP).

(A real example of a USP. Not a theoretical example. Not an academic example. A real example.)

 

Now, let’s get into it.

 

What Is A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

 You can find a formal definition of USP on Wikipedia but if you want to build a business rather than review some theory we need a better approach.

 

Your unique selling proposition is what makes your product different from everyone else in your market. In simple terms, a strong USP helps you attract and retain customers.

 

It’s a pretty simple concept in the sense that it’s easy to understand but it might take some time for you to create a good USP. This will be time well spent because, in case you need a reminder of you’re really doing here, you’re creating an answer to this question – “Why should I choose you and not one of your competitors?” If you create a business without having a “compelling answer” to that question, you will fail.

 

How do you create a Unique Selling Proposition?

 
Your Unique Selling Proposition usually consists of these three components:
  • What do you sell?
  • What is the key benefit?
  • Who do you sell it to?

For example, We offer video production services [what you sell] to real estate agents [who you sell it to] that need high-end videos with fast turn around times [the key benefit and it also makes you unique].

 

Creating a Unique Selling Proposition can be very easy if you’ve done your research. In order to create a USP, you need to have a detailed understanding of:

 

  • What your prospective customers’ value
  • What your competitors are already offering
So let’s make sure we understand this. 
 
What do your prospective customers value?
 

The value we’re talking about is the thing that the customer thinks is valuable. Not the thing that you think that the customer thinks is valuable.

 

What are your competitors are already offering?
 

At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s physically impossible for you to know if you’re offering anything unique if you haven’t researched your competitors.

 

So let’s back up a step. When you develop an idea for a product or a business the first thing you need to do is some customer research, competitor research, and market research. Then you need to adjust your product based on that research.

 

For example, your business idea is to sell a tent that has solar panels built into it, you do some research and discover that there’s another business that’s already created a tent with solar panels, you read the reviews and find out that everyone’s complaining about the solar panels making the tent bulky and difficult to fit into small spaces when it’s folded up, you realize that you can solve the problem by creating a tent with a large number of small solar panels instead of a small number of large solar panels and that will make it easier to fold up the tent and fit in into a smaller space.

So the USP for your product will be something like: “We sell tents with solar panels that can be folded up and fit into small spaces to campers that need electrical power when they’re off the grid.”

 

If you haven’t done your research, your Unique Selling Proposition will just be a guess. In the meantime, your potential customers will know if your product offers anything that is genuinely valuable or genuinely unique so guessing should never be an option.

 

I know research is tedious and annoying but, when you’re at an early stage of development, you simply have to do it. There’s no way around it. If you haven’t done your research and adjusted your product based on your research then this is the step where you run into a brick wall.

 

As I said earlier, the question you’re trying to answer here is: “Why should I choose you and not one of your competitors?” If you create a business without having a “compelling answer” to that question, you will fail.

 

If you just realized that you’ve run into a brick wall, relax – check out my videos about the Problem/solution framework, customer research, competitor research, and market research in the description.

 

Creating Value

I need to make one final point. At the risk of stating the obvious, you cannot make your product unique by creating a USP. The only thing you can do with a USP is to find different ways of communicating the message to your customers.

 

I remember one person asking me to help them create a Unique Selling Proposition. They said: I really need your help with this because I’m just a reseller and there’s nothing unique about my product so how can I create a really good Unique Selling Proposition? I hope you’re not one of those people.

 

If you’re struggling to come up with a Unique Selling Proposition it probably means that you’re not offering anything unique. If you’re in this position, stop moving forward and go back and review your business idea through the problem-solution framework. There’s a link in the description.

 

If you have an idea for a new business or you have an existing business, go ahead and take a shot at creating a Unique Selling Proposition and put it in the comments, and maybe we can all give each other some feedback about our USP’s.

 

[Real-Life] Example Of A Unique Selling Proposition

I promised you a real-life example so here it is. This is the most recent version of the USP for imagine.
  • iimagine allows entrepreneurs to develop ideas, create a team, raise capital and promote their product – all on one platform.

Who is the target market? Entrepreneurs.

 

What are we offering to them? The ability to develop ideas, create a team, raise capital, and promote their product. 

 

What is unique about it? It’s the only platform that allows entrepreneurs to do all of this in one place.

 

If you have done a good job with your Unique Selling Proposition, you should be able to simply copy it and put it on the home page of your website or in the bio of any social media platform you use for your business.

 

Now, I need to mention an important practical point that consultants and academics never get right. Some of you know that iimagine includes features benefits that I didn’t mention in my USP.

 

The first point to make is that you don’t have to include every feature and benefit in your Unique Selling Proposition. So, the obvious question is, which benefits should you include?

And the answer is that you should take a minute to ask yourself who will be reading the USP then mention the benefits that are most important to them. I’m sure a lot of you will create products that have multiple benefits that are more valuable or less valuable to specific subsets within your overall target market.

 

For example, the Unique Selling Proposition I mentioned above is the USP for the overall platform and will appeal to people that want to build a startup and are at an early stage. If I wanted to appeal to owners of legal and accounting firms then I know that they don’t care about developing ideas, raising money or creating a team.

The only part of the iimagine platform that they’re interested in is using it to promote their business so I would only mention the “promotion” part of the platform and elaborate on it a little. So, in this case, the USP would be something like:

 

  • iimagine allows business owners to promote their business for free and get quick results by partnering up with other business owners and cross-promoting their products to each others’ customers and followers.

Who are we selling to? Existing business owners.

 

What are we selling? The ability to promote their business.

 

What’s unique about it? It produces quick results – as opposed SEO, organic social, etc), it’s free – as opposed to advertising – and it takes very little effort because the algorithm finds business owners that match your criteria and send them to you – as opposed to you doing a lot of networking which takes a lot of personal effort, is time consuming and really fucking annoying.

 

So, if I am targeting early-stage startups, I would use USP 1. If I’m targeting existing businesses I would use USP 2. If I want to target Product Managers that want and advanced way to develop ideas then I would use the USP for the Ideas section of imagine.

 

Here are three more examples of USP’s (Avis, Fedex, M&M’s).

 

If you’re new to iimagine, it’s a platform for entrepreneurs that want to develop ideas, create a team, raise capital, and promote their business all in one place. 
 

It’s mostly set up for business owners that want to aggressively grow their business by partnering up with other businesses to cross-promote their products within a few days and grow quickly without spending any money. 
 

It’s free and just one new partnership could skyrocket your business so there’s no reason for you not to use it.
 

How To Write A Unique Selling Proposition [With An Example]

Adam Radly

Founder of 'I Imagine'

> $100 Million raised for his businesses

> 1 Million views for his Tedx Talk about passion

Founder of World Reconciliation Day with Nelson Mandela

Learn more about Adam

How To Write A Unique Selling Proposition [With An Example] How To Write A Unique Selling Proposition [With An Example] How To Write A Unique Selling Proposition [With An Example] How To Write A Unique Selling Proposition [With An Example] How To Write A Unique Selling Proposition [With An Example]

Adam Radly

Adam Radly

Founder of 'I Imagine'

> $100 Million raised for his businesses

> 1 Million views for his Tedx Talk about passion

Founder of World Reconciliation Day with Nelson Mandela

Learn more about Adam

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