How to Craft a Differentiated USP
Written by Sue Mysko on Feb 28th 2021
What is a USP and why is it important? USP is your Unique Selling Proposition. The term was coined by advertising executive Rosser Reeves back in 1961 and in today’s crowded marketplace it's probably even more relevant than it's ever been.

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the answer to the question, why should I buy your product? How is your product going to solve my problem? How does your product stand out from the competition? Not having a strong USP can be a complete deal breaker especially in competitive markets. Your USP needs to be at the cornerstone of your marketing activities otherwise you having your business drown in a sea of sameness. More importantly, it helps customers decide who deserves their time, money and loyalty.

So why then do so many companies not have a USP? Because it's HARD! It requires a business to take a step back, really examine their products and services, and then ask themselves how does their product solve their customers biggest pain point?

If you have a weak USP you will constantly be in the same boat with your competitors, drowning in a sea of sameness. You will be forced to compete on price because that’s the only leverage that you have. If your ads and messages sound the same as everyone else… if your customers are able to accurately research your product and put a value on it… if you want to buy advertising but the clicks are expensive because of high competition, then you have a weak USP.

Now that we have established the importance of a strong USP, I’m going to walk through the steps to build one.

Step 1: Get clear on your target audience

As discussed in yesterday’s email, knowing who you are targeting is critical when developing your content marketing strategy and it's equally critical when crafting your USP. Getting crystal clear on who you are targeting will allow you to figure out what matters most to them, and then in turn craft a compelling USP.

Step 2: Get clear on the problem you solve

Define the problem you solve through the eyes of the customer. If your ideal customer was talking to a friend over coffee, what would they be complaining about? What does your customer really want? By understanding the problem you are solving from your customers perspective, you will be describing it in words that will resonate with them. By having a clear understanding of the voice of your customer you will be able to write marketing content that makes them feel like you are speaking directly to them.

Step 3: Understand the Solution and Benefits

If we defined the problem in the last step, we now need to define the solution and benefits. Make a list of the 3-5 things that a customer will receive by choosing your product. How can your product or service solve their problem? What factors influence and motivate their buying decisions? These are the things that make your product or service different from your competition.

Step 4: Define your Guarantee

The last ingredient is to define your guarantee. What promise are you making to your customer? Standing behind your product or service will give your customers more reason to trust and buy from you. Potential customers see value in a company that will back up their work with a promise to make things right when a customer has a complaint about your product or service.

Step 5: Put it all together

Now you are ready to put your USP together with the information you have gathered in the previous steps. You will start to see some consistent themes emerge. Look for the red thread and put it all together. It will likely be too long to start, so once you have collected all your ideas, work to streamline it into 1-2 sentences. You’ll want to be specific as possible. This might take a few days so its ok if you need to revisit it a number of times to get it to where you are happy with it.

Step 6: Test it

Now that you have your USP drafted, its important to test it on your audience. Post it on your Facebook page or send a survey to your current clients asking for feedback. Remember, you will get many negative comments but don't let that dissuade you. You will receive a lot of useful feedback as well. The bonus is this: your customers will be happy you reached out and they will feel like you are really listening to them! Win-win!

However you define your USP, you’ll find that working through this process will provide you with incredibly valuable information about your business and your customer. It will help you stand out in a sea of sameness and clearly articulate the value you bring to your customers.

The good news is that with time and experience, content marketing becomes easier. I’ve spent the past 20+ years developing content marketing strategies for both small and large service-based businesses, so I’ve had first-hand experience learning what works and what doesn't.

I hope that this list has resonated with you and has helped you put another brick in your content strategy foundation. When you have a solid content marketing plan - a real foundation - you will be able to create content that drives demand, much faster and with less stress.
However, if it's left you more overwhelmed about your content strategy and the gaps in your content plan, click this link and we can get on the phone and do a 20 minute content audit to help get you on track for success.

About the Author: Sue Mysko

Sue takes a practical and no-nonsense approach to marketing strategy and content generation. As founder of StudioSBX, she has more than two decades helping organizations build and deliver strategic marketing plans that deliver results. A life-long competitive athlete and coach, Sue is no stranger to hard work, and understands balancing multiple priorities. High energy and highly engaged, she has a passion for helping clients fast track business results.
Sue Mysko
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