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Universal Selling Point

USP

stands for

Universal Selling Point

Universal selling point or Unique selling proposition are the key factors that will tilt the target audience towards your and not your competitors.

Validate & Launch
 — 
8
 Min read
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Last updated on
November 26, 2022

USP, Universal Selling Point, Unique Selling Proposition. What does it all mean?

The meaning of USP is quite simple, as this item refers to a "Unique Selling Point" or "Unique Selling Proposition." This factor is the main one that helps you make your business better than the competitors. The precise nature and uniqueness of your unique selling points result in a successful business.

Developing captivating and defendable USPs will help increase your company's unique position to compete and attract clients. It will help define your marketing messages and core strategies simultaneously. Moreover, it attracts potential customers and refines your communication, branding, and other marketing aspects.

As a principal, unique selling propositions should answer customers' most burning needs and questions when they check out for your brand and compare you against your competitors.

Launchr early USP acid test framework
Consider your USP from day 1 to ensure a clear competitive advantage

What is the meaning of a USP in a product strategy?

One of the critical ways that good products stand out in the market is through their mix of USPs. These unique features, benefits, or value propositions help a product set itself apart from its competitors and appeal to prospective customers. Some common examples of strong USPs include:

  • Superior quality or materials that will ensure durability or feelings toward the product
  • Innovative design that captivates
  • Competitive pricing, which is hard to compete with
  • A unique talent that is hard to find elsewhere
  • Better inventory and faster delivery, so customers receive the goods faster
  • Better guarantees, payment terms, or general terms and conditions.
  • Stellar customer support, which is easy to reach and responds fast.

To create a strong USP, it is essential first to understand what your customers are looking for in a product or service. This may involve:

  • Conducting market research
  • Surveying potential customers
  • Identifying different segments of your target audience and understanding their needs and options
  • Paying close attention to trends and emerging market needs in the market.
  • Researching competitors and understanding how you can improve in comparison.

Once you have identified these critical customer needs and desires, you can develop unique features, benefits, or value propositions to help your product stand out.

Additionally, consistently communicating your unique selling point to new customers is essential to adhere to your strategy across your company's board. This may involve developing a clear marketing strategy that is easy to understand quickly for people without prior experience or context, highlighting your product's unique selling points, and implementing effective advertising and promotional tactics that help convey these extraordinary benefits and features. With the right combination of factors, your unique selling proposition will help your product stand out from the competition and attract more customers.

USP and competitive advantage

A robust mix of USPs provides significant competitive advantages in ways few other marketing strategies can, as it will ensure that your product and service delights your customers over your competition. When you use this information to speak directly to your customer's needs and interests while simultaneously differentiating yourself from other businesses in your industry, you are likely to experience a range of competitive advantages. Like:

Benefits of strong USPs
  • Rank in the top lists when you are compared to your competitors. 
  • Lower marketing spending, as customers will naturally recommend your product.
  • Experience fast or hockey stick growth along with high sales among target customers.
  • Be perceived as an innovative company. 
  • A hyper-loyal customer base which would be sad should your business close.
  • Attract better talent and staff; great people love working with great products.
  • Solid branding, which is hard to challenge.

However, remember that to catch up with these many potential competitive benefits, you need ways to measure success and failure, so you can quickly adapt or double down when the market is responding well to your USPs. Common ways to measure if your mix of unique selling points are working are:

  • Churn - Measure the speed at which customers are leaving your business
  • Referrals - Measure the speed at which your customers are recommending your company organically
  • NPS rating - Measure how satisfied customers are with your product
  • Product Market Fit - Get a general ongoing sense-check of the fit of your product in the market.

To achieve these factors, you must research and monitor competitors and quantify their statistics and other opportunities, as you must always assume that they will do the same to you.

Examples of companies with strong USPs

Let's quickly look over the companies that have adopted unique selling propositions over time and amazed the market with their strategies. So,

Death Wish Coffee

Many brands and markets are present in the market, claiming to deliver you the perfect strongest decadent cup of coffee. But Death Wish Coffee took coffee to another level. Those craving that perfect coffee cup can always rely on Death Wish. 

This company is the perfect example of creating a product based on previously unseen USPs unknown by the vast coffee market.

The coffee in this company is in the form of segments for purchasers and is hard to copy for competitors. The unique selling point that this firm adopted appears in terms of packaging and data on its site. In addition, they have also broken down the process of making the coffee.

You can also get a refund if you don't love this boldest cup. 

Taylor Stitch 

Taylor Stitch is a brand clothing company that depends on crowdfunding to develop and launch new products. This is the main unique selling point of this excellent brand. However, some might be concerned about why a developed brand depends on crowdfunding. 

Through the idea of crowdfunding, Taylor Stitch turned its product roadmap into a competition. They say, "We design new products. You crowdfund them". 

Customers are ready to crowdfund their products as Taylor Stitch has ensured and outlined clear and transparent advantages over the conventional competition. So, they offer customers the following:

  • A saving of 20% upon preordering.
  • Less footprint on the environment.

Ultimately their self-funded business model has turned their product roadmap into an asset instead of a liability. So, Taylor Stitch caught the benefits of crowdfunding and took it to the edge while adding value to its target audience. Who doesn't like saving money, being environmentally friendly, and being part of a hip movement simultaneously?

By giving a chape to an uncommon business model, Taylor Stitch turned the feared preorder into a perfect marketing strategy and strong USP.

Nike

Nike is an excellent company with a solid mix of universal selling points. Nike’s "Just Do It." slogan has become synonymous with the brand and is a rallying cry for athletes of all kinds. It speaks to the idea of going beyond one’s potential and highlights the importance of pushing oneself to reach the next level.

Nike's slogan encapsulates Nike’s core USPs, universal quality appeal at affordable prices, as it can help to motivate and inspire athletes at all stages.

The timeless message has been successfully implemented in many of Nike’s marketing campaigns, and customers tend to stay loyal to the brand and its USPs. The power of this universal message is undeniable and has helped to make Nike one of the world’s most beloved sportswear brands.

Examples of failed companies or weak USPs

In the field where established successful are moving things fast, some companies have adopted the worst set of USPs and got left behind by the competition while doing so. Some examples are:

Nokia

Nokia was the first company to pay attention to cellular networks and started creating them in the late 1990s and 2000s. By that time, it was considered a global leader in the mobile field. We probably all remember their flagship models, the 3210 and the 3310.

Failure: Nokia overestimated its power and position and believed it could come up to the race of smartphones late and could still rock the market. However, there were already big established companies when Nokia entered the smartphone market. Companies like Apple and other android companies were too far ahead and virtually unbeatable. So, they failed to adopt any meaningful unique selling propositions and got stuck in the dumbphone market, which was rapidly dwindling in popularity.

Yahoo

Yahoo was the top firm in the field of online advertising market in the early 20s. However, Yahoo overlooked the importance of the Search in the appearance of other traditional media companies. Hence the most important unique selling proposition of its sector went overlooked.

Failure: Yahoo failed to adopt a search as a unique selling proposition and focused more on the media and B2B. They failed to enhance issues of user experience and abandoned user trends. Also, at that time, Google came up in the competition and started giving meaning to monetization, valuable content, and user experience. 

IBM

International Business Machines, also named Big Blue, is an American technology company. IBM was there in the market in 1960 with the IBM system/360. This system was considered a group of computers that wrap the full range of applications.

Failure: In 1943, Thomas Watson, then president of IBM, became famous for the obscure prediction:

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

In the 1990s, IBM still failed to grasp the concept of a personal computer and failed to ride the market of PCs in time. There came the failure of their USPs, as IBM was in a unique position to dominate the PC market, but instead changed it's focus to hardware and software solutions. The market, as a whole, instead went to other companies. After many failures, though, IBM is still considered one of the strongest names in IT. But it could have been much stronger had it listened to the market and adopted the right unique selling proposition.

BlackBerry Motion

Blackberry motion was a well-known company in the field of tablets and smartphones. It was ahead of the curve and was already on the market with a smartphone in 1998. Blackberry at that time brought a unique selling proposition of an arched keyboard as so rocked in the field of mobile phones. 

Failure: Blackberry failed when seeing the need for touchscreens in time, and then so got completely out-innovated on its UPS. As innovation was one of their main USP's, this naturally resulted in its demise. At that time, the company was more focused on protecting its last items and never adapted to changes. In 2017, the CEO of blackberry motion announced that the company was out of the smartphone race.  

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