A colleague recently suggested in a blog post that a Unique Selling Proposition was quite difficult to achieve under some circumstances.
A USP or unique selling proposition isn’t a magnetic magical business attractor, of course. It’s just an assertion that you or your product or service is a “best fit” for a particular class of problems or needs.
I believe that it’s possible to get hung up too much on a literal interpretation of a word like “unique.”
I think a much better criteria for a successful selling proposition is this:
What is a useful unique selling proposition for your business?
What is Truly Unique? Not Sales Propositions.
There are common things that we can list that are really and truly unique – one of a kind – no other like them in the universe or the world (or whatever space you prefer):
- Any creature’s DNA.
- The constellations in the night sky.
And many other random and naturally occurring things in our universe.
Let’s get real.
When we state something like “we are the only provider who works with clients in the ABCD business to XXXX by using YYYY to improve their ZZZZ” it is entirely possible that somewhere, someone is making exactly the same claim (or very close to it – so close that your prospect will now get really confused.)
Take my own services. Some other “clown” 🙂 may also be claiming to be a “software tech copywriter.” Oh, heck, they are. They’re out there.
Your business also has many “evil twins,” I surmise.
Seeking absolute uniqueness is a fool’s errand.
Proposing a Useful – Good Enough – Sales Proposition
Let’s face it. The phrase (and accompanying concept) “USP” is conditional.
In marketing we should be thinking in terms of unique enough to matter to our customers.
Of course I’m not the only writer for my niche in the entire world. I can use Google to easily find more than a few dozen writers who also claim to specialize in writing for software technology.
But the following proposition is quite sound:
Of all the writers that you can find on your own, I can support your marketing more successfully than any of them because of my deep industry knowledge and ability to understand and communicate how you help your customers.
It’s not hedging, and it’s absolutely truthful. It’s something I can state with pride and confidence.
I believe that is my USP. And it’s not absolutely unique.
Just relax and figure out how you make the world of your customers better. That’s your “USP.”
The Takeaway: Don’t Be Shy About Your Relative Uniqueness. Market Away.
USP is a marketing concept that is relative, and not absolute.
Meaning, in your case – compared to all of the providers that your prospect is likely to run into, you or your product are uniquely valuable for their purposes.
But this is a real world. For all practical purposes, you may strike the weasel words like “compared to” and “likely to.”
You’re right back to the core of a unique selling proposition:
You or your product are uniquely valuable for your clientele’s purposes.
Aren’t you? Yes!