If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ve heard of USP (Unique Selling Proposition) but aren’t sure what it is.
The USP is a brief, memorable phrase that describes the primary benefit that makes a product or service different from others in its category. The problem with USP is that it is flawed – the concept is too focused on the person offering the USP, rather than the person receiving the value.
While your unique selling proposition helps define how you’re different from the competition and focus your marketing strategy, it’s not the thing that’ll make customers flock to your store or website to buy your product or service.
If you want people to remember you — to the point where they can’t imagine living without your brand — what you actually need is an irresistible value statement. The irresistible value statement is about the prospect and their needs, rather than you and what you do.
To understand why, let’s first walk through what a unique sales proposition is — and then take a closer look at how an irresistible value statement will get you the loyal customers you’re after.
So, What Is a Unique Selling Proposition?
Your USP is a short, concise statement that conveys why your products or services are superior to those offered by your competitors. A well-defined unique selling proposition helps consumers quickly identify the benefits of your product or service. You might also have a USP if your product or service offers something that no one else can match — such as an exclusive range of products or a better price than anyone else.
A USP is not something you can create overnight. It requires careful thought and research into what makes your business unique from both an operational and customer point of view. A good USP should be:
- Simple enough for customers to understand quickly
- Reflective of how you want customers to perceive your brand and differentiate it in their minds from competitors’ offerings
- Compelling enough for customers to choose your product over others
- Specific to your audience and tailored toward the exact groups of people who will benefit most from what you offer
And while some companies use the term “USP” interchangeably with “value proposition,” they are not the same thing. An irresistible value statement focuses on the transformation buyers experience as a result of using your product or service — and not necessarily on the areas where you’re different from competitors. If you really want your customers to remember you and buy your products or services again and again, you need an irresistible value statement to pick up where your USP drops the ball.
First off, let’s talk about what an irresistible value statement isn’t: It’s not a tagline or a slogan, like “the fastest delivery in the industry” or “the lowest prices.”
These types of statements, which companies may position as their unique sales proposition, are not enough to hook your customer — because anyone can claim to have the fastest delivery or lowest prices. If a company doesn’t deliver on those promises, then customers may feel cheated, even if the products are excellent in other ways. The Unique Selling Proposition also doesn’t tell a customer why they should buy from you; that is, even if your Unique Selling Proposition is true if it doesn’t actually solve their problems, then who cares?
An irresistible value statement goes beyond mere claims about your brand to speak to customers’ pain points. It’s about delivering real value to your customers — solving problems for them, making their lives easier, giving them more free time, or otherwise improving their lives. In short, an irresistible value statement is a promise to solve your buyer’s problem.
Here’s why an irresistible value statement is superior to a USP and why it should be the driver of your sales conversations:
- The irresistible value statement focuses on the customer experience. It explains how your offerings will leave them transformed in some way.
- It speaks to how people will feel when they use your product, not just what they do with it. For example, “We help people who struggle with their finances get control of their money so they can stop worrying about it.”
- Instead of focusing on what you do, the irresistible value statement focuses on what customers get. To put it another way, as Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
The key point to remember is that the differentiating factors defined in your USP do not matter as much as the difference you can make in your ideal customers’ lives. Because it addresses a customer’s needs and wants, a well-written irresistible value statement is much more engaging and more likely to draw in your ideal customer base than a USP.