One of the best ways for a company—old or new—to brand its business is to create a unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is a sentence or two that tells how a company, its product or its service differs from that of its competition. To be effective, it should show why the company, product, or service is the best choice. A USP should therefore show why a company’s potential customers should choose it over all the rest.
Once a company has its USP, it can use it to hone in on those qualities to create memorable advertising, marketing literature, and promotional items. But that’s down the road. The first step is to write the USP itself.
First, Review the Company’s Goals, Mission, and Business Plan
Ask what the company is trying to sell or promote: If the company sells real estate, state that. If it provides foreign language lessons, state that. If it’s a non-profit that rescues stray dogs, state that.
Identify the target client, customer, or recipient: In the case of the real estate agent, she might state that her target client is someone who wants to list their home for sale. For the language teacher, his target students may be high school students in need of a tutor. For the non-profit rescue group, they would probably want to reach people who want to adopt a dog.
State what the organization does well: The real estate agent may say that she provides her clients with the tools to sell their homes for more money; the tutor might state that his method can get students fluent within a year, and the non-profit may state that it has placed 100 percent of its rescued dogs in loving homes.
Identify the most important thing the company accomplishes for its customers: Our real estate agent would probably say that she sells her clients’ homes for maximum dollar–quickly and with minimum hassle. The tutor could say that he raises his students’ grade point average by one letter grade, and the rescue group may say that it matches owners with the perfect dog for their needs.
Secondly, Explain How the Company Solves Its Customers’ Main Problem
The real estate agent would say that her clients’ major problem is finding a buyer who will buy their homes at a fair price. She solves that problem by staging the home to appeal to higher-end buyers. The tutor’s students’ problem is that they will fail the class unless they understand the language. He solves that problem by helping them raise their grade by at least one letter. The rescue group’s customers are looking for a good dog without paying premium prices. The group rescues dogs, trains them, and provides dogs that are better trained than their pedigreed peers.
Thirdly, Set the Company Apart from Its Competition
How is the company’s solution different from others in its field? In our examples, the real estate agent may say that only she will stage your home—and do it for less than what you’d pay a professional stager yourself. The teacher might say that he studies his students’ textbooks and class notes, talks to the teacher, and gets a feel for what the student needs to know to pass the class. The rescue group will probably point out that no other rescue groups take the time and effort to train their adoptable dogs.
Finally, Create a Powerful Promise to the Customers
Now, a company can combine all of those assets to come up with a short statement that tells what it promises to do for its customers—a slogan—but one with a pledge. The real estate agent might choose “We Make Home Buyers Fall in Love.” The tutor may say, “Fluent French Within a Year.” The rescue non-profit may choose “Own an Obedient Dog for Less.”
With our custom printing company, Nova Custom Label Printing, our USP is “Always done RIGHT on time”. This is because we want to highlight the fact that we serve our clients with high quality product that meets their deadlines.
Once the company has its USP, it can test it, tweak it, and adjust it as the company grows. When people start to respond to the USP, a company knows it has a winner. That’s the final USP that the company needs to run with. Once it reaches that point, it’s time to get out and market it.