Do you have your USP?

Recently I had a lively discussion on a live call with our EHQ Club members.

We were talking about our USP’s (Unique Selling Propositions), and we all realized that none of us, including myself, were completely on top of this.

I know this issue applies to a lot of business owners outside of the EHQ Club too so I’ll take this opportunity to share some of the learnings from our discussion.

Many of the learnings below are inspired by Todd Brown, one of our expert mentors.

What’s the difference between a unique mechanism of your product and the selling point?

The unique selling point is about making your product interesting to ultimately sell more. Todd Brown shared a great example in relation to a vitamin D supplement recommended by NASA to help with bone density for astronauts.

For this product, Todd says the USP should be along the lines of “The astronauts nutrient.”

Not something mundane like “Vitamin D Supplement.”

We can all agree what sounds more exciting, and what stands out. I mean, if it’s good enough for the people flying to the moon, it’s good enough for me.


Sorry, but you’re not unique

The hard truth is that your product most likely isn’t as unique as you might think.

And that’s fine!

Consider how many restaurants, clothing shops, gyms and other retailers there are in your city alone! Are they all unique? Most likely not.

Their success will be based on how they manage to market themselves as unique, by highlighting how they bring something new into the mix.

You need something that differentiates the way you do business from everyone else selling the same or similar product. If you can’t, how can you expect customers to know why they should choose you instead of someone else?

Do your research

I find that entrepreneurs often don’t spend enough time researching their market. Not even before launching, and definitely not once they’ve started their business.

If you’re one of them, it’s never too late to start.

Firstly, spend some time carefully analyzing the marketing of your competitors. Examine what specific characteristics, or services they push to win customers over.

Consider what features of your business can’t be duplicated, reproduced, or copied?

If you’re a consultant: do you have qualifications and experience that no one else in your field does? If you’re selling a product you designed and produced: do you have a patent on your product making it unique?

If your business is up and running, with a number of customers, ask them! What do they like about your business, why did they choose you, and what is it you could do better?

These are golden nuggets of information when it comes to creating a marketing message that will work and attract the right customers.

Focus on emotions and needs

Next, establish how you are fulfilling a need with your product or service? Are you serving busy parents, or people who are looking to retire?

You need to craft a message speaking directly to the pain point you’re solving!

Now’s the time to call on your inner psychologist and look beyond the normal demographics to instead focus on what emotions are important to your customers. What motivates their buying decisions?

“What’s in it for me?”

This is the question customers and clients will always ask – so you’ll need to have an answer.

As a small business, you don’t have the reach that your bigger competitors do, and you might not be able to afford their fancy websites and low prices.

But the good thing is: price is never the only reason people buy!

People buy from people, so focus on amazing customer service, one-on-one phone calls, quick delivery or beautiful gift-wrapping.

A lot of people prefer the attention and customer service they get with a small company, but you have to push that message across to make sure your customer knows you’re doing things differently.

I am often shocked when people think we’re running some massive company with EHQ when in fact we’re a small team. Once people understand that, they often like us more.

When marketed right, being small can be an asset!

Keep it concise and clear

When coming up with your USP you should write, rewrite and ask for feedback. Try different USP’s with split-tests to remove the guesswork.

I’ll leave you with a few famous examples of successful USP’s:

Domino’s (pizza): “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.”

Avis (car rental): “We’re number two. We try harder.”

Revlon (cosmetics): “In our factory we make cosmetics, in the store we sell hope.”

I hope I’ve inspired you to highlight for your customers, and maybe even yourself, the benefits of your company and in doing so, relieved you of some of the stress you might’ve had about competing with the big guys.


Action Steps

  1. Research what specific characteristics, or services your competitors push to win customers over. Take note.
  2. Identify what features and benefits you have that they don’t? Find an angle and write it down.
  3. Consider how you are fulfilling a need, who you’re serving and what their pain points are. What emotions drive your customers? Write this down. If you’re not sure, but have customers already, send them a short survey asking for feedback.
  4. Take the steps above and start writing! Ask for feedback and once you have two top options – do a split test in your marketing such as Facebook ads or as an email subject line.


Result You Will Achieve

A unique selling proposition based on research, consideration of your prospects needs and emotions that’s been tested to convert.

Mentor: Liam Austin

Co-founder of Entrepreneurs HQ, a community of 150,000+ small business owners. Liam delivers one marketing tactic each morning via his email newsletter EHQ Daily, and runs live training and masterminds inside EHQ Club.

This article is based on a live mastermind training call inside EHQ Club.