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Unique Selling Proposition

In todays world, competition can be really tough to beat. Whether you are an entrepreneur, marketer or own a company, theres a high chance that youre selling something. It can be anything from ideas and products to services. So, in order to sell these, youll most definitely need something to differentiate your product from all the others on the market. And, thats certainly not easy. However, there is one thing that can help you with that! Its a unique selling proposition (USP). To find out what it is and how you can use it to be unique, stick around. And, make sure to take notes!

What Is a Unique Selling Proposition?

To start with, here is an official definition of a unique selling proposition by the encyclopedia:

The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.

Now, lets get to the definition that is a bit easier to understand. Simply put, a unique selling proposition is a thing that makes you different from your competitors. A powerful USP can make or break you. Moreover, it determines whether youll be able to attract customers and beat the competition. In order to target your sales effectively, you need to define what makes your business unique. Having a unique selling point is a tremendous advantage that enables you to avoid a very common trap of pleasing everyone!

Unique Selling Proposition

Why Do You Need a Unique Selling Proposition?

Theodore Levitt, author, and professor at Harvard Business School says:

Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.

And, that pretty much answers the question why you need a unique selling proposition. In order to be remembered and recognized by the target audience you want to attract, its crucial to have a trait that no one else has. You need to make your business idea stand out. Differentiation is key to your business prosperity. If you know how to use it, of course!

How Should A Strong Unique Selling Proposition Be Formulated?

  • Focused - your USP needs to be truly focused on what your loyal customers value. It needs to represent the core of your business product or idea. When focused matches unique - youll get a strong unique selling point.
  • More than a catchphrase - its great to have an amazing catchphrase. But, it gets 10 times better when you add a deeper meaning to it. Furthermore, if you connect it to your product, youll hit a jackpot with your USP.
  • Unique - This one might seem like a cliche, but we cannot emphasize enough how important this is for your unique selling point. You may have all the other necessary elements to make your business successful. BUT, what makes it truly stand out is uniqueness. And, nothing can beat that! People will pay to get your unique product.

Best Unique Selling Proposition Examples

Over the years, millions of businesses have made a name for themselves. However, only some of them have set the highest standards with successful advertising and management. And they have done it with a compelling unique selling proposition. So, here are some of the best examples of USP that really worked!

1. FedEx Corporation

When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

When they started using this catchphrase, FedEx Corporation demonstrated what a perfect USP looks like. As you probably know, FedEx is a delivery services company. And, is there a better USP for a delivery services company than the one that promises delivery on time, even overnight? Even though they dont use this slogan anymore, it will definitely be remembered as one of the best!

2. Avis

We're number two. We try harder.

When companies need to turn a negative quality into a positive one, they hire a distinguished ad agency - Doyle Dane Bernbach. And, thats exactly what Avis did. They were #2 car rental company for years, following Hertz. So, they completely changed their game and introduced a new slogan. Interestingly, Avis market share skyrocketed from 11% to 35% in just four years. Thats exactly what a powerful USP can do!

3. DeBeers

A diamond is forever.

This is a very smart use of a unique selling proposition. DeBeers used their most valued product, diamonds, to symbolize eternal love. Diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings and are literally unbreakable. So, mix that with eternal love and youll get their point. Its no surprise that DeBeers has been using this catchphrase ever since 1948 up until present day.

4. Death Wish Coffee

Worlds strongest coffee.

Youll see many coffee shops offering the best or the strongest cup of coffee. But, you wont be able to come across many companies that offer worlds strongest coffee. Well, Death Wish Coffee does exactly that! And, truthfully, they wont cater to every coffee lover out there. But, the ones that try the product are exactly the customers Death Wish Coffee is targeting. So, you wonder how do they attract their coffee lovers? Well - they do it with a great and a pretty effective USP.

5. Beardbrand

Work with your bodys natural chemistry, rather than to disguise or change it.

Beardbrand, a cosmetic company, distinguished itself from the competition by offering only natural oils that work with body chemistry. They emphasize that they dont use harsh and artificial products as many similar companies do. Beardbrand uses this smart positioning strategy with their USP - only to let their customers know that they can have full trust in their unique products.

6. M&Ms

The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

M&Ms showed that a great unique selling proposition can be fun as well and do the job just fine. Moreover, M&Ms simply shared a well-known fact with its customers, made it fun and remarkable. This shows how an eccentric USP can attract customers.

Unique Selling Proposition

Unique Selling Proposition Best Practices (That You Can Actually Use)

  • Define What Your Ideas Customer Wants

Knowing the needs of your perfect customer is the most important starting selling point. Before creating your products, try getting into your ideal customers head. This technique will enable you to start thinking from the standpoint of your products user. So, when you identify your ideal customer, think about the following:

1. What does my ideal customer really want?
2. How can my product solve his/her problems?
3. Why my customers choose me over other businesses that offer the same?

Once you determine who exactly you want to sell your product and why youll be a lot closer to creating your unique selling proposition.

  • Define How Your Product Solves Customers Problems

The easiest way to think about this is - what makes customers buy your products? Well, they usually buy it because they want to solve their problems with it. So, its pretty clear that it is simply not enough to just sell products. Instead, you need to sell the products that will solve customers problems. And, you need to state that in your unique selling proposition. It simply has to emphasize the solution you are offering with your product. So, make your USP short, but informative and effective.

  • Make Your Products Irresistible To Customers

The third step of creating your unique selling proposition is making your products irresistible to customers. You can definitely do this by being unique and making a promise to them. One of the best examples is FedEx that is mentioned above. They made a promise with the slogan When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. This inevitably draws buyers attention and offers some kind of safety as FedEx promises quality delivery, and on time. So, you can follow their example, make your product irresistible and make a promise that you need t keep. Once your customers find the use of your products and start to trust you, theyll keep coming back for more.

  • Make Your USP Transparent

This one is straightforward. Your USP needs to be transparent. It needs to appear on your landing page, in upper case letters where your customers can see it the moment they take a look at your website. Think of this as some kind of clickbait that needs to attract customers and make them buy your product. The more visible and transparent it is, the more attention it will get. A small tip: its even better if it rhymes!

Unique Selling Proposition

Unique Selling Proportion Pattern

Here is a straightforward and clear pattern for creating your unique selling proposition. It is based on an example of the FedEx Company. But, when creating one for yourself, simply change the text and write the pieces that relate to your product or service. Here it goes:

  • For [deliveries on time]
  • Who [need quality delivery on time]
  • [FedEx]
  • Is [multinational delivery services company]
  • That [provides the very delivery, straight to your door, even overnight].
  • Unlike [other services delivery companies],
  • [FedEx] is [the only services delivery company in North America that delivers packages overnight].


Once you determine all elements of your service and put all the pieces together, it will be much easier to come up with your own unique selling proposition that will be a representation of your business. Before getting to work, make sure to take a look at some of the most successful USP examples and follow the USP pattern. So what makes your current business unique? Waiting your comments.

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