Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Need for a Unique Selling Proposition and How to Create It

The unique selling proposition, generally known as USP, is a unique proposition to the clients, which differentiates the businesses from their competitors. It actually convinces the prospects to switch the brands. This term was first proposed by Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates and Co. when he had been working as the vice-president and copy chief for six years. According to the legendary marketing specialist Rosser Reeves, the characteristics of a good selling proposition are:
  1. It must make a commitment to the clients; “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit”.
  2. It must be unique, i.e. the competitors either do not or cannot offer in the market.
  3. It must grab the attention of the prospects, possibly in huge number. 

Today I will be discussing why it is mandatory to have a unique selling proposition and how you should create and use it in your marketing campaign.

Why Is It Necessary?
Customers always seek for the value from the purchase decisions they take. There are hundreds of alternatives in the market to fulfill their needs. As a marketer, you must show something unique for which they will buy from you instead of buying from your competitors. A good USP can help you grab the prospects’ attention to your offers. You know this is the era of information technology; people can easily find out related information from the internet before taking the buying decision. For example, one of your prospective customers might make a Google search to collect information to find out the alternatives to the product or service he or she is going to purchase. Google shows thousands of search results. The prospect will only go through the results which seem to be relevant. If you don’t have a unique selling proposition, you will lose your prospects at that initial stage.  

How to Create the USP?

Defining the Benefits and Customers’ Needs:
Define one or more benefits your product or service has; identify your prospects’ needs. Then analyze how the product or service benefit can fulfill the customers’ needs. If you find the correlation, it will help you later create the USP.

Analyzing the Competitors:
Analyze the benefits your competitors offer in the market; evaluate their unique selling propositions; finally find out the customer response to those benefits. These tasks are necessary to avoid duplication, i.e. to maintain uniqueness.  

Identifying the Market Opportunity:
Always there is an opportunity to do business. You just identify it. Find out the unfulfilled areas you think you can fulfill. Also figure out how uniquely you can address those unmet needs.

Creating the Unique Selling Proposition:
After doing the aforesaid three steps, now you should develop your USP. First develop a draft, and then refine it. Possibly highlight the most important customer need. Make it clear, concise and unique, as the definition says.

Don’t create any USP like:
“The Best Offer”
“The Best Ever Offer for You” or
“Service Never Ends”

Here are some good examples of good USPs:
Rolex“Quality Takes Time”
Head & Shoulders: “You Get Rid of Dandruff”
Walmart: “Always Low Prices. Always”
John Lewis (London based departmental store): “Never Knowingly Under-sold”.

Incorporating the USP:
After developing your unique selling proposition, you should incorporate it in all the marketing efforts you take, including your advertising campaign. Always remember that USP is not the advertising slogan, this is the basis for your every marketing efforts.  

Your success largely depends on how you make yourself unique in the marketplace. Creating a unique selling proposition might take your valued time and effort but you will enjoy the outcome for sure. 

Please share your ideas below whether you like this post or not.


  1. Hmmmm Nice!Are you some sort of e marketer?

  2. No friend! About Shiful page says it all about me. Thanks Umar!

  3. Shiful,

    This is a great even if you aren't marketing anything yet. I will be curious about your plans with this blog.

    1. Hey friend! Only time can say what will happen. Thanks for your curiosity.

  4. This is a crucial point to build successful small business. Your selling & value proposition need to be directed at your target audience as well.

  5. Great article. Nurture your niche too, it will pay off handsomely.

    1. Hi Karla, thanks for taking the time to share your views. I will surely nurture it. Thanks again for your generosity.


  6. Great article Shiful. The legendary marketer Dan Kennedy often cites the original Dominos Pizza USP 'Fresh, hot Pizza, delivered in 30 minutes or less' - that always stuck with me

    Keep up the great work :)