10 Examples Of USP Best Practices (Plus A Definition)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 8 September 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Organisations use many practices to help themselves compete with similar organisations within their markets and industries. One practice many organisations use is finding their unique selling propositions, which are the factors that make them different from every other organisation in their industry and markets. Understanding what USPs are and how they can affect customers can help you create effective marketing materials and increase the trust in the organisation and its products. In this article, we list 10 examples of USP best practices, including descriptions of how those practices can benefit an organisation.
10 Examples Of USP Best Practices
A USP, or unique selling proposition, is a way that businesses have unique effects in their respective markets and reviewing examples of USP best practices can help you successfully market a business or product.
There are many ways a business can show its unique elements. USP is very specific, so instead of using generalised statements such as having the lowest prices, it focuses on something specific to the organisation. USPs also help organisations that have no competitors in similar markets, since many organisations create products people have lived without for centuries. Below are descriptions of different ways organisations can use USP to market to specific parts of the organisation:
1. Focus on value
The value of the products an organisation creates varies according to the needs and desires of its customers. One way that an organisation can maximise its USP is to note what products its customers want the most frequently and the reasons those products are valuable to the customers. The value of products varies, even if a lot of customers want the same product. For example, an organisation that sells food to people may have customers that see any product within the organisation as low-value because they are not hungry. Meanwhile, a hungry customer sees every product as highly valuable.
2. Embody the brand's unique qualities
The unique qualities of a brand or product can motivate a customer to purchase more products from an organisation. For example, a business that focuses on creating environmentally friendly products can also encourage being environmentally friendly within its business locations. This can include using practices, such as using recycling centres, composting and saving electricity by shutting off the lights within a building or using energy-efficient appliances and machines. Using the unique qualities of a business throughout an organisation creates more trust with customers because the organisation practices its goals throughout its processes and not just with its products and services.
3. Do your research
When you consider the unique nature of an organisation, it is important to research other organisations in the same market and across multiple industries. This is to ensure your USPs are actually unique. Many organisations may use similar USPs which can devalue the USP for an organisation, while finding a truly unique method or practice can increase the value of the organisation's products and services. For example, many organisations may encourage being environmentally friendly, but an organisation that does not use plastics and organises community cleaning efforts to help the environment has a strong and unique relationship with its community.
4. Increase SEO
If the organisation uses a website and publishes articles and other information about its products, services and efforts in the communities it is part of, then search engine optimisation, or SEO, can be important to its success. SEO is the ability of an organisation to understand the customers it wants to communicate with so it can market its products. In SEO, the organisation ensures its website appears near the top of search results for its products or similar services. For example, a shop that sells semi-precious gemstones online can use SEO to market to more online customers through its keywords.
5. Define an ideal customer
When an organisation prepares to use USP to increase its marketing efforts and sales, then a good practice is to define an ideal customer. This is a profile that explains a customer's behaviour and why that behaviour is important to the organisation. For example, a technology company may focus on customers that understand technologies and want to improve the technology they already have. Understanding an ideal customer can help an organisation create better marketing materials, find what makes it unique and search for locations where their ideal customers and closely related customers can find their materials.
6. Use the customers' languages
Understanding the language of your ideal customers can help you create better materials for the product's branding. For example, an expert in technology may find detailed product descriptions to be helpful if they have expert-level language in the marketing material. This can increase sales of the product or service. The same language for entry-level customers may encourage them to seek other products that have understandable language. This also applies to marketing material in other countries. For example, selling products in Canada and Spain requires different languages so those markets can understand the materials and how the product meets their needs.
7. Use unique language
Try to use unique language to describe the products. For example, customers may overlook restaurants that market their food as 'fresh' because many organisations use that phrase to describe their food. A restaurant can use another phrase to describe the unique quality of its foods. For example, a restaurant can explain that every ingredient they use comes from local farms, connecting that restaurant to the community it serves and helping people understand from where their food comes. This connection can help the farmers spread information about the restaurant.
8. Use active voice
Using an active voice is an important practice for many organisations. Active voice allows readers and listeners of marketing materials to understand the unique selling propositions that an organisation is doing actively. This differs from both the past and present tense in that an active voice shows consumers that the organisation is an active agent in its community, while the present tense just shows consumers that actions occur now, rather than in the past or in the future. Active voice can also help an organisation create shorter, more direct messages to its consumers because it supports shorter word structures.
9. Solve the customer's challenges
A major way to connect a customer's needs to the benefits of the product is to research the customers and discover what challenges they have. Many customers have specific challenges that encourage them to buy or avoid specific products. For example, a customer that is hungry wants to solve their hunger by buying food. That same customer may avoid products that do not solve their hunger challenges such as technology or non-food products. Finding a product that solves challenges the customers have helps you attract more customers. For example, having products that reduce pain is a motivator for many customers.
10. Increase product and brand trust
Increasing the trust customers have in the product and brand is an important part of using an organisation's USPs. Brand trust is the ability of customers to recognise the brand and prefer its products over those of competitors in the same market. You can increase this trust by following through on promises in your advertisements. For example, if an organisation promotes its environmentally friendly practices and customers can see these practices when they visit the organisation's locations, then they are more likely to trust the organisation. More trust can create more sales for products and services the organisation offers.
Product trust is like brand trust, but specific to products. Product trust often comes from someone purchasing a product and using it to gain the benefits the organisation advertises it has. For example, a product that reduces pain for its users can build trust by helping ease the pain customers feel, making them want to continue buying the product in the future. Customers may also increase product trust by writing testimonials about the quality of the product and recommending it to people they know. Both practices can help an organisation increase its sales.
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