What Is Your Small Business’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

unique selling proposition (USP)

Imagine two competing restaurants. One has a menu the size of a newspaper that includes everything from prime rib to pizza to pancakes. The other only serves fried chicken.

Each restaurant has a unique selling proposition (USP). The first restaurant’s USP says: “Something for everyone — a picky eater’s paradise!” The second restaurant’s USP says: “Fried chicken so good, we don’t need to serve anything else!”

The unique selling propositions for both establishments are on point, and they both make it easy for a potential diner to make an informed choice. Are you headed to dinner with a big group full of people with differing tastes? Restaurant A is your best bet. Craving some expertly cooked fried chicken? Restaurant B it is!

A unique selling proposition briefly spells out what sets your small business apart from the competition. In Restaurant A’s case, it’s the wide variety of offerings. In restaurant B’s case, it’s the care they put into making their sole offering.

Every small business needs a USP. Here’s how to create yours.

Paint a Picture of Your Ideal Customer

If you had to describe your perfect customer, what would they look like? Where do they live, work and play?Are they baby boomers or Gen Xers? What problems do they have, and more importantly, how can your product or service provide a solution?

Until you know the characteristics of your perfect customer, it’s impossible to create a USP that speaks directly to them in their own language.

Describe What You Do Differently

When Enterprise Rent-a-Car needed a USP, they decided on “We’ll pick you up.” At the time, no other national car rental brand offered this service. It was the perfect proposition: clear, concise and to the point.

Take a look at your competition. What sets you apart? What do you offer that they don’t? What can you do that they can’t?

Make a list of all these things. Do you only use locally sourced ingredients in your salads? Do you offer lifetime belt replacements on your vacuums? Are you the only clown in town that will bring your very own elephant to the birthday party? Anything that sets you apart is fair game.

Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition

Now that you know who your ideal customer is and what you have to offer them, it’s time to create your USP. Ideally, this will be no more than a sentence or two, although you might consider drafting a longer version for things like your “about us” section on your website or social media pages.

Start by describing the customer and their needs, then introduce your business and describe why you’re the best choice. “For parents who want to give their kiddo a birthday to remember, choose Sideshow Bob’s Birthday Party Bonanza, featuring Elmwood’s only traveling elephant, Ellie!”

That’s pretty unique in our books!

Does Your USP Deliver?

There’s nothing new under the sun, and that includes your small business. No matter how niche you are, there’s surely someone out there peddling the same wares — and when it comes to the competition, your unique sales proposition can make or break you. Don’t leave it to chance!

Need some help putting the pieces together and coming up with a USP that gets you some real results? Mischa Communications can help! Get in touch today.