USP: Why you need one and how to nail it


So you’ve run a small business quite successfully for a number of years and you love your brand, but you’re not sure why the marketing agencies you appoint keep on asking you about your  unique selling point (USP).

Why are they so obsessed with it?

You’re frustrated because you think your mission ‘we strive to provide our clients with the perfect candidates for their vacant job roles’ is more than enough.

The truth is that, to grow your business, whatever sector you’re in, you need a USP.


unique selling point is a factor that differentiates a product or business from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. A USP could be thought of as “what you have that competitors don't.”

  Wheres Wally


Not many businesses are truly unique today. Look around you - there are many other companies offering the same kind of products or services you do. And many claim to have exactly the same USP as you.

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Consumers are spoiled for choice.

This means you need to truly differentiate yourself. You need a very good reason for people to choose you over your competitors.

It’s not just your products or services you need to sell; it’s your business too - its personality, its values, its mission...

Think of the big brands out there. They don’t just sell things.

Revlon sell hope, not makeup.

Toms don’t just make comfortable shoes. For every pair they sell, they give a pair of shoes to a child in need.

 One for one

Domino’s don’t just offer fast food pizza. They deliver hot pizza to your door within 30 minutes, otherwise it’s free.

What is your USP? What makes you stand out from the crowd? You need to figure it out, now.

An easy way to come up with a USP is to build it around the four Ps of marketing:

  • Product characteristics
  • Price structure
  • Placement strategy (location and distribution)
  • Promotional strategy


Pick one or more of these and decide what is unique about your business for each. Is it that your product is made of the best materials on the market? Can you offer a best price guarantee? Is your customer experience outstanding? Do you have a great CSR strategy in place?

Then look at your competitors and check they don’t promote the same USP themselves. If they do, try to make yours even more unique. For example, not only do you provide a highly personalised customer service just like competitor X, but you also provide great perks for loyal clients.

It’s easier to come up with a good USP if you know your audience well.

If you have the budget, invest in some research to uncover consumers’ buying behaviours and decisions for your sector. This will allow you to know exactly why your customers pick a brand over another.

For example, if you sell insurance, ask your typical customer how they picked their home insurance package. Was it the 24/7 helpline? Was it the hassle free claim process? Why did they change their insurance provider last year?

This key information is invaluable and will help you shape your USP.

Whatever direction you want your brand to take, don’t give up on your USP. Take time to find one that will help you stand out. It’s worth it.

What's your unique selling point?

We want to hear all about what makes your brand unique. You can let us know on our Twitter or Facebook pages, or come and visit us in person at one of our regular free training sessions.

See you next time!