Finding your USP – Unique Selling Proposition

Taken from my book ‘How To Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into A Reality’ – Chapter 3

Rosser ReevesSo you have an idea to market a nuclear-powered mouse trap or, like a few of the entrepreneurs mentioned earlier, you are going to market an existing idea better. You need to be able to clearly communicate what sets you apart from your competition. Whether you term it a unique selling proposition, strategic competitive advantage or differentiating statement and there are many more you need to define it.

The concept of having a USP was developed by Rosser Reeves over 60 years ago, in an attempt to distinguish similar products from one another. (Reeves is now in the Marketing Hall of Fame.) What do you stand for and why is your business different? Ask yourself a simple question why will my clients come to me, and not my competitors? If you can answer this, you have your USP. It is a statement of benefit, a consumer’s buying motive, a strategic competitive advantage; whatever you want to call it, you must define it. If you can’t identify it, how will your customers? Your USP can be included in the title of your business, or as a catchphrase or slogan. I know you have probably heard this before, but that is because it’s so important.

Think about what USP means: unique selling proposition. This must be something that only you can offer that is useful to your market. Good service is not a USP. The best service is. Cheap prices are not a USP. The cheapest prices are. A pizza shop that delivers has no USP. A nursery that delivers might. Phone help available 24 hours is not a good USP for a furniture store, but it might be for a vet. Find the USP that suits your business and your market, and incorporate it into EVERYTHING your company does, from changing the lining of the rubbish bin to issuing gift vouchers to advertising. Make it succinct and memorable, so that your clients will remember it and instantly recognise your business.

The areas you can base your USP on are:

  • Selection: The average widget store carries 3 to 7 widgets, some even have as many as 15 widgets, but our store always has 27 different types of widgets in stock. For example, Blockbuster’s get it first time or get it free offer. Their USP is that they have more copies of each movie than their competitors.
  • Service: Willy’s Widgets has 12 expert widget staff to assist you with your every need. Or, We will be at your door within two hours, guaranteed. For example, FedEx absolutely positively be there overnight. This was a FedEx innovation.
  • Price: We always have $50 widgets for sale at $34. Or, We will beat any price by 10%; for example, Bunnings Warehouse. Their USP is that they will always be cheaper.
  • Quality: We simply make the best widgets, regardless of cost. For example, Mercedes Benz sheer driving pleasure. Do you think? We will beat BMW prices by 10% would work for Mercedes? Of course not. Part of what Mercedes sells is prestige, which means they don’t have to concentrate on prices. In fact, being expensive is expected in this market.

Look at the business from the perspective of your customers what will be the most important feature of your business for them? If you wish to portray an upmarket image, you can use words such as exclusive or quality to describe your USP. If your service is fast, use rapid, quick or speedy.

HEY, did you know i’m running a contest while I am away…


Firstly, here is what is up for grabs…

  • A signed copy of my book, which these excerpts come from – ‘How To Turn Your Million Dollar Idea Into A Reality’ [valued at AU$29.95]
  • Unleashing The Power Of Publicity Audio CD – Interview with Pete Williams & Dale Beaumont [valued at AU$27.95]
  • Business Essentials Audio CD – Interview with Pete Williams (May 07) [valued at AU$27.95]
  • Why We Want You To Be Rich Book – Robert Kiyosaki & Donal Trump [valued at AU$29.95]
  • and… A Hand Crafted Pen Crafted From The Authentic Timber of the Melbourne Cricket Ground[valued at AU$189.95]
  • Total Value: AU$ 305.75

There are two prize packs to be won.

To Enter:

1. Post a ‘review’ of one of these book excert posts, on your blog, with a link back to the relevant post on my blog. Does that make sense ? I’ll see the link or the trackback.

2. Include an email address in your post unless your whois information is correct.

3. Promise to give a review of the entire book on your blog once you have received it and read it.

4. I’ll randonly draw the 2 winners when I get back after April 18 2008.

It’s that easy!

[tags] pete, williams, how to turn your million dollar idea into a reality, how, to, turn, your, million, dollar, idea, into, reality [/tags]

  • Unique selling proposition

    Thanks for giving the valuable information regarding the USP.
    Unique selling proposition tells customer why he should buy from you rather than other folks who are selling. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is your product’s most powerful benefit, combined with unique aspect of your business.

  • Thomasena Scala

    I’m pleased I located this blog page, I couldnt get any info on this subject matter prior to. Also manage a website and in case you are ever serious in doing some guest writing for me please feel free to let me know, i’m always look for people to check out my web page. Please stop by and leave a comment sometime!

Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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