wardell books

Unique Selling Proposition

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a short and memorable way of making your Target Market aware of your Market Position. It reflects your Market Position in much the same way your Vision Statement reflects your Strategic Objectives.

A good USP will be:

  1. Short — Try to keep it no longer than one or two phrases.
  2. Memorable — Make it simple and easily recognizable. Make it clever or creative.
  3. Positive — Focus on the solutions you provide, rather than on the problems you help eliminate.
  4. Emotional — Most buying decisions are emotionally based. Try to strike an emotional chord with your audience.

Read through the following examples before writing your own.

  • FedEx — “When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight”
  • Hallmark — “When you care to send the very best”
  • State Farm Insurance — “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”
  • Ford — “At Ford, quality is job one”
  • Outward Bound — “Where born leaders are born”
  • IBM — “Solutions for a small planet”
  • Xerox — “The document company”
  • Coca-Cola — “It's the real thing”

As straightforward as this sounds, this is ultimately a creative process. Once you find an idea that works, play around with the phrasing until it flows. Then, live with it for a while before integrating it into your marketing systems.

Write your ideas for your company's Unique Selling Proposition in the space below. Once you've settled on two or three you like, invite input from your employees. You can include your customers in this process as well. Have them read over your Positioning Statement and USP ideas, and have them submit their ideas. You can conduct a brainstorming session or even make a contest out of it. If you're not coming up with a natural fit, it can be worth hiring a marketing professional for help.