What does USP stand for? What is your USP? USP is Unique Selling Point and is not just another acronym beloved by consultants and blog post writers! Your USP makes you the green duck in your sector, makes you stand out from the crowd of your competitors.

How can you define your Unique Selling Point?

There are three steps to follow to find your USP.

  • Function – what the product/service does for your customer
  • Emotion – how it makes your customer look and feel
  • Identify – what makes your business unique

Function – what the product or service does for your customer

Get into the head of your customer. Find out exactly what your customer wants. To do this you may need to do some market research, you may already be able to define this. Create a persona of an ideal customer, give them a name and put yourself in their shoes. Here’s an example.

My ideal customer is called Fiona, she runs a shop in a town in Ireland/UK/USA/anywhere. She has been running her shop for few years now and is feeling a bit fed up with the business. It is hard work, there is lots of competition both locally and online. She has no time for expensive consultants who will only tell her what she already knows but wants to get the mojo back into her business. She wants an accessible way of developing her skills and her business from an informed and experienced expert.

In case you hadn’t guessed that’s my ideal customer for Retail Renewal! Think about what your product or service will deliver to your ideal customer. This is the selling part of the unique selling point.  The wants of your ideal customer are met by your unique product or service.

Emotion – how it makes your customer look and feel

Your Unique Selling Point should connect to your customer at an emotional level. This is where branding comes in. As discussed in last month’s blog, Brand of the Wonderful Everyday, my definition of brand is:

The emotional connection between your business/organisation, your product or service and your customer

Brand is more than a logo, a name or a good social media presence. It is embodied in everything you do and what your business represents to your customer.

How do you find this emotional connection? Go back to your ideal customer and think about how your product or service will make them feel. Are they more positive, empowered or looking better? Are they more knowledgeable, better informed or more skilled? I hope that my ideal customer, Fiona, feels empowered and gains more skills to grow her business.

Identify – what makes your business unique

What can you deliver to your customers that your competition can’t? What is special about you, the product/service you sell or how you sell it? If you can’t define this unique quality in your business then you can’t expect your customers to find it either! It must be something specific and measurable. It could be the range of goods you sell, or the service you provide, or a specific skill set you have built up in your business. Or it could be a combination of some or all of these attributes. Once you have defined your USP then it becomes the essence of you, your business and your brand.

Here are a few examples:
NIKE, Inc.— Inspiration and Innovation for Every Athlete in the World.
Apple iPhone X – Say hello to the future
Stripe – the new standard in online payments. Stripe is the best software platform for running an internet business. We handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world.
Volvo – Truly global, proudly Scandinavian

Is your USP just a slogan?

These examples show how large corporations see themselves but your USP is not just a slogan. It concentrates your attention on what is unique about your business and contains the essence of your brand. A good, well-crafted slogan will capture the attention of your potential customers. It identifies the function, emotion and special quality that IS your business. My own slogan is Retail Renewal – savvy retail expertise for your shop. This took time and many attempts to develop but is my USP.

Be brave, find your USP and be the green duck in a world full of yellow ducks.

Happy retailing!
© Retail Renewal 23/03/18

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