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What is a USP?

Your B2B business doesn’t exist in isolation; you must strive to cut through the noise in a market filled with competitors in your industry. For your sales and marketing teams to attain your sales goals and drive revenue growth, you must always think of clever marketing strategies for staying ahead of your competition.

 

Similarly, with so many options to choose from, your B2B customers may sometimes find choosing one brand or product over the other to be overwhelming.

 

Proper positioning of your business will determine whether you’ll merely blend in or stand out. It’s crucial to differentiate your business from your competition through a unique selling proposition (USP).

 

Your company’s USP will make or break your business, especially in the face of a competitive target market as it guides your marketing messages and branding decisions. So, you’ll do well to leverage your unique selling proposition by making it a major pillar of your marketing efforts.

What is a USP in marketing?

In the simplest terms, a unique selling point or unique selling proposition refers to the one thing that sets your business apart from the competition. It’s the very reason your B2B customers will choose you over your competition.

 

It may be a unique benefit, high quality products, or an important concept presented as a bold statement on your landing pages. Remember, your business can’t be known for everything, but something specific.

 

By being deliberate with your unique selling proposition, you’re able to have a focused marketing strategy that will inform your branding, messaging, copywriting, and marketing decisions. At the very least, your unique selling point should answer a potential customer’s questions about why your brand and not the competition.

 

An effective USP will not only increase conversions but also brand loyalty, growth, and sales that translate to a successful business.

Why is a unique selling point important?

Your unique selling point defines and cements your unique position among your competitors by focusing on the problem you’re solving and the value you’re offering that your competition is not.

 

A unique selling proposition is crucial if you want to sell effectively because it helps you to focus on your mission internally by emphasising on competitive differentiators.

 

  • • Your unique selling propositions help to answer the question; what is in it for me/what is your value proposition?
  • • It helps to translate product features to benefits.
  • • USPs give customers a reason to make a first or subsequent purchase.

What are the three unique selling points?

A powerful, unique selling proposition must take the following into account:

 

  1. 1. Focus on what customers desire. It must be something your target audience care about; their pain point.

 

  1. 2. Be assertive. Takes a specific position, letting you make a case against your competitors’ products by making a memorable position.

 

  1. 3. Go beyond a slogan. Although a slogan is one way to communicate your unique selling point, you need to consider other areas of your business, like the supply chain and return policy.

 

A strong unique selling proposition should have the following basic components:

  • • Emotive
  • • Benefits
  • • Competitive advantage
  • • Key selling point
  • • Key difference
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While the benefit will draw people in, your key selling point lets them know what makes your product a better choice than your competitors. Including the emotive component helps in attracting people at an emotional level with the key difference stating why your brand stands out from your competitors. The competitive advantage focuses on your experience and track record.

 

Your unique selling proposition is a good place to start product differentiation. It helps you understand:

·   What your customers want.

·   What delights them?

·   A need that no one else is catering to.

·   What will make them feel better?

Unique selling proposition example

An example of a strong unique selling proposition will be the use of phrases that emphasise superiority, newness or advancement like ‘more advanced’ or ‘new and improved’.

 

Looking at unique selling proposition examples, let’s consider Target. Their simple but powerful, unique selling point; ‘Expect more, pay less’ aptly appears on their landing page. This is their key differentiator that communicates their unique value.

How do you write a unique selling proposition?

Here are 6 steps to writing an effective, unique selling proposition:

 

  1. 1. Define your target audience.

You must know everything about your customer by creating a buyer persona. This will help you understand:

 

  • • What do they want?
  • • How can your product or service solve their problem?
  • • What motivates their buying decision?
  • • Why would they choose your business over your other businesses?
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  1. 2. Spell out the specific problem your product will solve for them.

Your B2B customers don’t buy products or services. They want solutions to their problems. So, you must clearly articulate the problem you’re solving by spelling out the solution.

 

  1. 3. Specify the benefits that set you apart from the competition.

By clearly stating the benefits that potential customers will derive from your product or service, you’re emphasising why they should choose you over your competition. Make a promise you can deliver.

 

  1. 4. Define your promise clearly.

Now that you have the perfect prospective customers figured out and have clearly defined your solution, you need to package this information into a pitch that captures attention instantly.

 

  1. 5. Phrase all the above in a single paragraph.

You can start by phrasing all the about information into a single paragraph, so you don’t leave out important information.

 

  1. 6. Condense the paragraph into one sentence.

The last step is condensing the paragraph into a simple but powerful statement.

 

Your unique selling proposition can focus on product functionality or features, positioning, pricing, and design.

 

Unique selling proposition is often used interchangeably with product differentiation. Even then, product differentiation is synonymous with sales and marketing.

What are the 3 main types of product differentiation?

When creating your unique selling proposition, it’s important to understand how new customers use differentiation to distinguish your company’s products when making buying decisions.

 

Here are the 3 main types of differentiation:

 

  1. 1. Horizontal differentiation

This is where customers make a choice between services or products subjectively, as they lack an objective measurement to distinguish between the worst or the best. When services or products have a similar cost with many qualities or features, the purchase decision will be subjective.

 

  1. 2. Vertical differentiation

Customers settle on a product after ranking their options from the worst to the best, with an objective measure like quality or price. However, the value every customer puts on a service or product will vary.

 

  1. 3. Mixed differentiation

Businesses that must make complex purchases will use both horizontal and vertical differentiation in their decision making. This means they’ll value a combination of factors independently.

What are the 5 differentiation strategies?

A good differentiation strategy must show a product possesses all features of competing choices. However, it also has additional benefits that are exclusive. Here are the 5 main differentiation strategies:

 

  • • Service differentiation that focuses on customer service and delivery and their supporting elements like installation, training and ease of ordering.

 

  • Product differentiation which revolves around creating products with better performance, features or efficacy.

 

  • Distribution differentiation, where your choice of distribution channels should be ideal in providing the coverage or ensuring product availability, ease of ordering, and an advanced level of customer service.

 

  • Price differentiation. To compete on price successfully, you must recognise the fact that each customer has a price they’re willing to pay. Differentiation and segmentation let your B2B business to maximise potential revenue by offering different prices for different segments.

 

  • Relationship differentiation. Although often overlooked, this differentiation is mainly through personnel, especially sales and marketing teams that interact with prospects and customers as they must show courtesy, competence, reliability, credibility and responsiveness.

 

Business differentiation is crucial if you want to succeed with your USP.

Advantages of unique selling proposition

Your company’s USP is not only an imperative for surviving in a competitive market. Having a unique selling proposition also presents the following advantages:

 

  1. 1. Your unique selling proposition helps to justify high prices for your products or services.

 

  1. 2. Your USP creates value by highlighting a specific benefit, so prospects and existing customers choose your product or service over other brands.

 

  1. 3. USPs establish loyalty for your brand among your B2B customers.

 

  1. 4. Helps in creating a perception of your product or service having unmatched substitutes.

How to communicate your unique selling point

You can communicate your USP to your prospects and customers in several ways, that include:

 

  • • Social media. This is particularly a significant driver of brand awareness.

 

  • Advertising. Combining traditional media advertising with brand marketing campaigns will certainly get your brand in front of your target audience and communicate your unique selling proposition.

 

  • Digital marketing. A strong USP may be as a tagline or a list on your product page.

 

  • •  Content marketing. Creating viral and interesting content that talks about why and how your company stands out from your competition is a terrific way to communicate your own USP.
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• Search marketing</