What Is Your Brand’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

Your brand stands out from the crowd, right? You don’t just sell shoes or handbags or oil changes. At least, you shouldn’t.

In digital marketing, identifying your brand’s Unique Selling Point or Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the key to creating a product identity that is recognizable, differentiated from the competition, and effectively targeted at your audience.

Just selling a product or service is not going to be enough in today’s expansive digital marketplace. The same problem occurs in even a small, local market. You might be the only business in town doing what you’re doing, but it isn’t difficult for someone else to swoop in with flash and flare to attract your customer base.

What Does An Effective USP Look Like?

Your brand USP could include your primary service or product in its brand identity, but it should also describe what makes it stand out.

For example, Target’s famous tagline is “Expect more. Pay less.” It is a department store, so it has a large variety of merchandise. But they also want to emphasize that they offer lower prices than their competitors.

Let’s look at a more niche business to find a little more focus. FedEx is a major shipping company that is known around the world. There are a lot of competitors for that market, including local postal services and other major international carriers such as UPS and DHL among many others. However, FedEx wanted to emphasize speed and reliability, so their USP is “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

Other brands offer similar services, but FedEx made it their top priority to focus on their speed and the reliability of that overnight shipping service. Each USP should be something that is not only a tagline in your business, but something with demonstrable results!

What Should I Consider When Forming My Brand’s USP?

The first thing you should have locked in before forming your USP is exactly what your product is. It is difficult to sell the quality of something if people can’t even tell what your company is selling!

Once you have that solidly locked in place, start considering what you already have on the table. Then ask yourself these questions:

  • What specific need does your business fulfill for your target market?
  • How does your business solve your market’s needs differently from others?
  • What subset of your market are you weakest in?

Let’s take FedEx from earlier as an example. FedEx started as Federal Express in 1971, and was the brainchild of Frederick Smith. He knew what he wanted to do from the beginning with his delivery company – focus on fast shipping. The world was becoming more interconnected, and international business was increasing exponentially, so he knew that he could get in that market and make an impact with that niche.

Over fifty years later, Federal Express has shortened their name to FedEx, and maintained their status as one of the top shipping companies in the world. Their brand has become so synonymous with fast shipping that when someone needs to get something delivered quickly, it is often used as a verb: “I had better FedEx this so it gets there fast!”

FedEx’s brand USP is still an important part of their company culture, and still a driving factor in how they run their business because the world has only become more interconnected. Even though most work today is digital, there are still many things that have to be shipped physically, and their branding has not had to change to keep up with the times. It was well-thought-out from the get-go.

I Don’t Know Where To Start!

Forming a USP is not something that should be done lightly. Your brand will include it on all of your media, digital marketing, business cards if possible, and more. Ultimately, building (or rebuilding) a brand should include developing a USP as close to the beginning of the process as possible after research, product development, and consumer identification.

It can be a difficult process to tackle on your own, and it is important to get an outside perspective on your brand and the market you are entering. It’s easy to get pulled into group-think if you are only asking friends, family, and other like-minded people.

If you would like to find out more about developing a digital marketing strategy, you can schedule a consultation with PixelPop Marketing to see what our team can do to help make sure your brand is relevant, growing, and reaching its fullest potential.