Unique selling point: The ultimate guide on how to find your USP
The success of a company depends on many factors: A right product or useful service, a perfect online presence, and numerous marketing measures – but none of this is as important as a clear “Unique Selling Proposition (USP)”. Companies that stand out from the competition can increase – but the path to unique status is no easy one.
Almost every entrepreneur has a vision of how their own company should develop in the next few years — the explicit goal: rapid growth. But in the first few years, this dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.
The problem is not the lack of attention to the product or the service, but the lack of interest. Decisive for this is often missing unique selling points :
- If the entrepreneur does not know why his product is better (compared to the competition), the customer will not know that either – and perhaps decide on a competitor product.
- If the entrepreneur does not know what distinguishes their product from the competition, the customer cannot know that either.
- When the entrepreneur develops an all-round product that is already in abundance, it is difficult to enter the market – especially the “big ones” of the business are too strong here for a smaller company to take up the fight and get some of the cake,
Determining the USP of your product and promoting it is, therefore, crucial for the company’s success. However, the entrepreneur should not tense up because: A unique selling proposition must make sense – otherwise, the customers also fail to appear.
Be unique: But only if it makes sense
A unique selling proposition can mean many things. The entrepreneur should offer potential customers a product that makes sense and, at the same time, fulfills a specific need that has so far been unsatisfied. The wheel does not necessarily have to be reinvented. Improvements to existing products or services are also conceivable. A market analysis is, therefore, very crucial; this is the only way for the entrepreneur to find out what customers want:
- What similar products or services are there already?
- What can existing products do, and where is there a need for optimization?
- Is there a market for optimization?
Ideally, you are so unique that the problem of the competition is eliminated. Entrepreneurs entering a completely new market must ask themselves whether there is a group of buyers for their (new) product. Anyone wishing to sell a refrigerator to Eskimos is unique – but the company is therefore far from being successful.
In three ways to a real unique selling point
To find your own USP, a market analysis is crucial. This is an essential step towards a unique selling point. Now it is time to develop the actual USP.
In particular, over-motivated entrepreneurs tend to think of themselves or the company as high-flyers, as those who are the best – this may be a USP to enforce this (especially against the big competition) is often impossible. It is, therefore, crucial to going other ways. Three of them are the following:
Variant # 1: If your company is not unique, you should be unique
Sometimes it does not have to be the company, the product, or the service itself that is “used” as a USP – often, you, as an entrepreneur, can also be a unique selling proposition. Your work, your efforts, or even your personality can give your company a very individual and unique touch – a touch that cannot be found anywhere else.
The decisive factor in this approach is, of course, a captivating personality that convinces potential customers and partners. Whoever does this will develop a USP with which no other company in the world can compete, because you are unique. Steve Jobs, for example, is someone who used this form of USP to make Apple as big as it is today, especially in the early days.
Variant # 2: Mix it up – take the familiar and add something new
As mentioned earlier: Sometimes, the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented to develop a USP. There are often well-designed products that only lack specific fine-tuning.
This fine-tuning can often be developed using a mix of different approaches. Think about what your core product is aiming for and expand it with useful additions, for example, the integration of a “social media component” to increase brand awareness and reach.
Variant # 3: Discover the niche market – become a specialist
A big problem for many companies: The product is too general. Not only is the target group huge, but so is the competition – small and medium-sized companies, in particular, can get lost very quickly here. The development of an expert position on a specific issue is, therefore, an excellent way to develop their USP.
To this end, the topic should be narrowed as narrowly as possible. The same also applies to the group of buyers and customers. Entrepreneurs who become specialists in their field have much less competition and, therefore, better chances of success.
Each of these three variations is ideal for developing a USP – it doesn’t always have to be the best product; it’s more important to be unique. Nevertheless, the quality must, of course, be right, because: A lousy product with USP is by no means a guarantee of success.
Success even without a USP?
The USP is a crucial success factor – but what if the company, product, or service does not have a USP? Its success, therefore, impossible? The answer: progress is still possible, but the big breakthrough is difficult.
If the product is already “finished,” subsequent implementation may be conceivable. Especially variant # 1 or variant # 2 is an option afterward. Of course, it depends on the respective performance, whether modifications are possible. However, what must be avoided:
Many entrepreneurs spend weeks or months studying the USP, only to find that the competition has meanwhile introduced exactly the USP (s) you have been thinking about. Speed is, therefore, also crucial when developing a USP.
By the way, here you will find ten good examples. Some will surprise you, but they all work in their way. Particularly noteworthy: Every branch can be made exciting.
Die USP highlighted a product of the mass of providers and put them on a pedestal, which is beyond the reach of competition. That is precisely the goal: to stand out, to offer something that does not exist in the form, to satisfy needs that have so far been unsatisfied – that makes potential customers and ultimately the entrepreneur happy. For this reason, founders and company owners achieve the goal of a successful company primarily by developing the USP – the cornerstone of success.