Does your conversion rate decrease due to competitive prices? Are you wondering how to manage your company to accentuate its strong points and elements that make it stand out from the crowd? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is something you need!
Table of contents:
- What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
- How to create a product USP?
- Why is USP important for business?
- Product USP and SEO
- Look at USPs from a different perspective
Some industries are already so competitive that properly constructed offers and high visibility aren’t enough to convince potential customers to finalize transactions – after all, why should they choose your offer if thousands of online stores sell similar products? What can make people remember your brand for longer if they encounter an ad online?
Perhaps, you’ve heard about USPs (which stands for a Unique Product Proposition). Using it in marketing (e.g. in e-commerce or when creating your personal brand) will allow you to gain a competitive edge over your market rivals. USPs are appreciated by both users and Google robots.
Contrary to what you may think, SEO and USP have a lot in common. Keep reading to discover this mysterious connection!
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
Let’s start with the definition. A Unique Selling Proposition (sometimes also Point) most often translates as a unique feature of an offer or something that makes you stand out from the crowd.
When thinking about USPs, we can think about product USPs(features that distinguish the sales object itself), offer USPs (additional services such as flexible delivery, convenient forms of payment, or loyalty programs), or brand mission which can also make the company stand out from the crowd. A Unique Selling Proposition is the cornerstone of a broader marketing strategy and brand communication – Therefore, it should be visible throughout the entire communication with the customer.
What is not a USP?
It’s worth noting that not every small feature that differentiates you from your competitors can be called a USP. Only after discovering elements particularly valuable from the customer’s point of view, you can plan effective and long-term activities.
What to avoid? First and foremost, empty promises like:
- “Low prices guaranteed!” – if you e.g. don’t cover refunds
- “The best coffee machine” – if you don’t explain why (what specific parameters make it “the best”? And for whom? For a family of five or a coffee freak?)
- “We’re better than the competition! 💪” – if you don’t provide any arguments
- “High quality” – what do you actually mean by that? The manufacturing method, the materials used, or maybe the place of production?
Apart from that, it’s important to:
- Promote temporary discounts like free shipping
- Avoid vague marketing slogans that don’t differentiate you from your market rivals (too repetitive)
Remember, it’s not about being “the …”: the best, the fastest, the cheapest. Everything has to respond to the real needs of your customers. Therefore, product USPs should be truly unique, and consistent with the company’s mission and communication.
Where to communicate your product USP?
Where can you publish your USPs and how to do it right?
Make sure that your Unique Selling Proposition uses benefit-driven language and is placed in a number of visible locations. Below you can see exemplary places for your USP:
- Website headers
- Landing page banners
- Email (newsletter) titles
- Advertisements (Google Ads, Facebook)
- Shopping cart (when placing an order)
- Pop-ups (if you use them – do it right!)
- SEO elements (e.g. SEO Title, meta description – more about this in the USP and SEO section)
How to come up with your USP?
You have no idea how to create your product USP? Use our inspirations:
- Low price – while this in itself isn’t enough to effectively attract customers, it can be useful when combined with other product features, e.g. extremely inexpensive language learning books
- Selling a particular lifestyle that comes with owning the products (just look at Apple)
- Creating a sense of uniqueness – especially in the case of luxury goods unique product packaging – ecological or handmade products are usually exceptionally aesthetic; it’s worth mentioning such a feature on the website. Show pictures of the packaging next to the product photo – this can be a great product USP
- Product personalization – e.g. customized dog suspenders or a planner with your customer’s name will make your products stand out from mass-produced goods
- Brand ambassadors confirming the quality and encouraging people to buy (experts, influencers)
- Unique features of the product or service (e.g. waterproof electronics, 100% vegan wedding catering)
- Unique additional services (e.g. next business day delivery)
- Loyalty programs (that actually bring benefits to customers)
Product USP – how to do it well?
There’s no one perfect recipe for creating a quality Unique Selling Proposition – this frequently depends on the industry you’re in and your competitors. However, there are certain tips that we’re happy to share with you to help you begin on a good note.
- There is no product USP without a customer needs analysis! Determine expectations of your target group and concerns that you can address. What can it look like in real life?
- Do you offer delicate, fragile products? Emphasize information related to the shipment (solid, accurate packaging).
- Is it the pre-Christmas period? Promise that all shipments will arrive on time (and make sure they will!).
- Your products are more expensive because they’re made locally? Mention that!
- Learn your audience’s preferences, including those that aren’t related to shopping. For this purpose, you can benefit from tools like Google Analytics. Refer to people’s hobbies, as well as to things they are particularly emotional about (e.g. their values).
- Do they take care of the environment? Emphasize that your packaging is plastic-free and that your products are vegan and not tested on animals (especially important in the cosmetics industry).
- Do you work for a specific community? Donate a percentage of your sales to a selected, thematically related foundation.
- Show how you work – be authentic, honest, and transparent, also when it comes to your product prices.
- Consistently build a unique brand. Make the Unique Selling Propositions of your offer visible. Ideally, they should be consistent with your customers’ values. Tailor the communication to the recipient (depending on their needs e.g. by using inclusive language, specialist terminology, or by positioning yourself as an expert).
- Your USP should resemble an advertising slogan, which means that it needs to be relevant, short, concise, and specific – ideally one sentence long and catchy.
Using these tips think about what is the USP of your product and how to present it in the most attractive way.
How to create a product USP?
If you haven’t done it yet, go back to the basics – get to know your customers, create their user personas, and define your brand communication. The entire process should take into account your business goals, mission, brand values, as well as your market analysis (including your competitors). Answer the questions: what, how, and – most importantly – why you want to sell.
5 questions you should answer
Below you can see a concise checklist with a few elements you should take into account when developing your USPs:
- What services do you provide / what products do you sell?
- What is your target audience?
- What makes your company stand out? What do you do really great?
- How do you want to help your customers? Why do you offer a given product/service?
- What can you add to your offer (and what isn’t offered by your market rivals)?
Why is USP important for business?
USPs determine the real and unique qualities of your offer. They describe elements that make you stand out from market rivals. Why should people invest in your services? Accentuate your benefits and solutions to problems that will make customers trust you.
Identifying the reasons to choose a particular offer is the key to finalizing the transaction and guiding the customer through the sales funnel. Apart from that, the need to develop a relevant USP will force you to think about what you really have to offer and clearly communicate the reason for running your business.
Product USP and SEO
How can SEO support USPs? And what can a USP do for SEO? Just keep the basics in mind and both elements of your marketing strategy will work together.
Include USPs in the meta description
Do you offer products of brands that aren’t available elsewhere? Or maybe you cooperate with extraordinary specialists? Show it off right in the SERPs! By including your USP in the meta description, you’ll attract the user’s attention once you appear in the search results, narrowing the gap between the number of impressions and the number of clicks.
Use USPs in your content
USP, like cornerstone content, allows you to create a kind of framework or foundation, based on which you can develop your content marketing plan. After all, USPs are not just slogans – yes, you should be able to summarize the essence of your Unique Selling Proposition in one sentence, but you can build an entire narrative around it, and this can be used in articles, posts, and on social media.
Remember about your distinctive features when analyzing keywords
What is your product like? What unique brands are in the category? Are there niche keywords your service is displayed for? Don’t forget about your product USP when selecting keywords for your homepage and individual subpages.
For example, if all your cosmetics are vegan – remember about relevant phrases during your keyword research. If you manufacture all the products in your country, don’t be afraid to mention it.
Look at USPs from a different perspective
When you communicate your product USP to a potential customer, you highlight your company’s key values and build a compelling, consistent image – which is exactly what you do when you optimize your website for relevant keywords according to SEO principles.
USP marketing is part of a larger marketing strategy that allows you to properly target your activities and show consumers what they can gain by using your services or products. Sensibly and holistically (that is, looking through the prism of other activities and brand needs) conducted USP marketing will help you prove to customers that your products or services can bring them real benefits, such as improving their standard of living or solving a specific problem. So think what is unique selling proposition of your products and incorporate it into your website.