The key to business success? Develop a USP

Standing out in a crowded market is hard. What is your USP?

Standing out in a crowded market is hard. What is your USP?

By Henry Brown

Before we think about how to develop a USP for your small business, we need to discuss what it is. A USP is a marketing term that is defined as a unique selling point or unique selling proposition. It’s a way to show that your business offers your customers something more than they would get from other sellers. By doing this, you can beat your competition and may even claim part of their customer base. You will usually find that the company’s USP is a focal point of their promotional campaign. It will appear on the homepage of their business website and in advertisements that they produce. Used correctly, a USP could be your greatest business advantage. As such, it is in your best interest to develop one, if you can.

Fast turnaround

One possibility for your USP could be a fast turnaround time. This is particularly important if you are working with a B2B model. If your clients are other businesses, you should understand that they will want a quick delivery of any products or services. If you can guarantee this, you will win their support.

Of course, it’s not enough to just be fast. For this to be your USP, you need to be faster than all your competition as well. That’s not always easy, particularly when other companies may be making their USP a fast turnaround as well. The best way to do this is to look at areas of your business model where time is being wasted and cut it out. For instance, you might be able to deliver a faster digital service using a cloud network.

Unique items or products

Alternatively, you can ensure that you are delivering something completely unique to the market. It needs to be something that no one else has and the best way to do this is to create an original product. For instance, you might be running a small online clothing store. If you’re buying wholesale clothing, there will be other people selling the same items as you. However, if you buy wholesale fabric online, you can create the clothing designs yourself. Then, you will certainly be bringing something new to the market. When you create something original, you immediately establish your own market. You’re selling something that customers can only buy from you. It’s important to use the right marketing terms here as well. For instance, your products are now bespoke and completely original.

Exclusive offers

Last but not least, you need to think about how to get your customers to trust you as a business owner. One possibility that you may want to look into is offering a money back guarantee. A money back guarantee can be given to customers who are not completely satisfied with their product. Generally speaking, it is usually larger companies that offer this possibility because they can afford it. But there is a dirty secret here. It’s often an empty promise because very few people are going to return the product due to dissatisfaction unless it is poorly made. Therefore as long as you trust that your product is of high quality, you won’t have to worry about making such an offer.

The key point here is that your business stands out while bringing something new to the market.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.



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