411 Blog

Creating A Powerful & Unique Selling Proposition To Build Your Business



A unique selling proposition (USP), not to be confused with a slogan or tagline, is a statement that tells everyone – prospects and customers – what you do and how you’re different.

Typically, a USP is more matter-of-fact or forthright than a slogan or tagline, more descriptive, and sometimes longer. Your USP should be featured on your homepage so everyone coming to your site instantly understands what your business is about.

For some rare businesses, say a fictional “hospital” in Edmonton that repairs antique dolls, it’s easy to write a unique selling proposition. But for most, it’s difficult. Developing your USP is a useful marketing exercise and it pays off. You’ll be using your USP often once you establish it. In conversations, in marketing materials, at meetings, in sales situations, the list goes on.


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Here are 5 steps to help you create a powerful and unique selling proposition:


1: Understand your customer

You must first understand your ideal customer or buyer persona before drafting a unique selling proposition. Your business likely has 1 or 2 different buyer personas – imaginary people whose traits match the people who buy from you. Utilize your sales and customer service team to build a profile of your most common customers.


2: Determine what customer problems you can solve

Now that you know who your customers are, spend some time understanding what problems you help them with. Get your sales associates to try and log the most common questions or concerns people have when on a call, and you’ll get a good idea of what they need from your product.

Hubspot uses a great USP. It sells marketing software that combines a number of marketing tools into a convenient dashboard. In the USP, rather than focusing on the myriad features of their product, they focus on the benefits to their customers: helping them generate more traffic, leads, and sales.



3: Make it powerful

Your USP should be compelling to your ideal customer, make them want to learn more about what you offer and how you can help them. In the Hubspot example above, what business doesn’t want more traffic and sales?

Another example is Dollar Shave Club. The California company sells razors and other personal grooming products for men online, positioning itself as a convenient and cost effective alternative to traditional retailers.

There are lots of companies that manufacture and market razors – and even more retailers selling them. Dollar Shave Club carved out its niche by offering a great shave for a few bucks a month. They also infused their brand with a unique and unmistakable sense of humour to hook the hearts of their target audience.


You don’t have to be as innovative as Mike. You just have to think of why your customers buy from you, and how you help them. Your USP can be as simple as “Fresh flowers in the heart of Halifax.” The key is understanding why your customers come to you and communicating it clearly.


4: Write your elevator pitch

When you meet someone, you only have a few seconds to make a first impression. You must communicate your personal unique selling proposition in a few short sentences. No one wants to listen to a speech about what your business does, so summarizing what you do and how you’re different is critical to attracting new customers.

Below is an example using a fictional company called The Edmonton Doll Hospital. You can start building your USP using this format.


For [antique collectors]

Who [need a doll repaired]

Your company name [The Edmonton Doll Hospital]

Is [Edmonton’s only doll repair service dedicated to restoring antiques]

That [ensures your treasured heirlooms find new life]

Unlike [other antique repair services]

[The Doll Hospital] is [Edmonton’s only doll repair service totally focused on bringing antique dolls back to life]


5: Use the s*** out of it

Now that you have a USP, incorporate it into all your marketing and sales collateral. Use it in your social media bios to quickly communicate what your business does and how it helps its customers.

Jon Loomer has successfully established himself as someone who helps businesses with advanced Facebook marketing. If you’re not interested in advanced Facebook marketing, you won’t hire Jon. But if you are, he’s definitely your man.

Here’s a screenshot of his Facebook cover photo that clearly communicates his USP:

Jon Loomer Facebook Page


If you’re an online business (or have an online presence), put your USP front and centre on your website’s home page so when visitors arrive they quickly understand what you do and how you can help. And if you’re using pay-per-click ads, incorporate your USP right into the copy of your ads. Having a clear sense of what your product or service does, how it helps customers, and what makes it different is critical to running a successful business.

Take the time to understand your customers and their problems, then craft a statement you can use in your marketing efforts to draw the right people into your customer base. Get input from others in your company – and even from your customers. Edit and polish that statement until you’re totally happy with it – you’ll be glad you did!