Convince with USP – how the Unique Selling Point becomes an Argument for Success!
Everyone that goes shopping from time time knows it: the agony of choosing what to buy. You wrote down mild detergent on your shopping list. But there isn’t just one detergent in the grocery store you have come to. There is multiple brands and kinds of detergent. Which one to choose? The one your grandmother has always used? The cheapest one? Or maybe the one that is good for the environment?
You often face such decisions in the business sector as well as many companies offer the same service. As management, it is your duty to make your company stand out. So make sure you convey your USP.
USP- what even is it?
USP is a term that derived from marketing and stands for Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Selling Point. So, a USP is supposed to convey, what makes a product more unique compared to others, thus generating the decisive selling point for your company or idea.
The unique selling proposition can refer to special quality and features, a special benefit, or a particularly good offer. Defining the USP and using it skillfully can be one – if not the – decisive factor for success. It always applies when it comes to convincing people – for example in presentations.
How to define your USP and further tips are given further down in this article.
Why you need a USP for your company
When there is a lot on offer, we need arguments that can convince us to buy a certain product. If you want to market something, it is important to find a point that makes your product, service, or idea special and attractive for prospective customers. Make your product stand out from the others on the market.
Markets with numerous choices, mean a USP as a value proposition can be the decisive factor in outshining your competition. Let your target audience see why your offer is special and thus influence their buying decision in your favor.
What are the advantages of a clearly defined USP?
A suitably expressed USP not only helps you outshine your competitors but also gives you these advantages:
- Acquiring new customers
- Retention of existing customers through fulfilled USP promises
- Reduction of the churn rate of customers
- Reducing the cost of acquiring new customers
- Creation of a perfectly tailored customer profile
- Recognition value: Your brand stays in your head
- More revenue: Higher prices are justified by the clearly defined added value
- More attention: uniqueness makes customers aware of you
- Incomparability: your offer stands out from the rest
- Facilitated purchase decision: Your customers get a clear sales argument
USP: more than a slogan
A USP is not just an advertising slogan or a typical sales argument – it’s THE sales argument. It’s what makes the product or service truly “unique”. This is an important distinction for marketing as not every feature brings the same marketing benefits.
The following categories help distinguish these benefits:
- Basic benefits:
The basic benefit or purpose of the product or service. It can also be found in all similar products and offers.
Example: Accounting software that helps with accounting activities.
- Added value:
Other useful features of the product or service, but which can also be found among competitors.
For example: The accounting software has a review function that detects errors.
A unique feature not offered by any other competitor.
For example: the accounting software is easier to use than any other yet offers all the important functions.
What characteristics should your USP contain?
Are you looking for your USP? Then you should use the following categories as a benchmark for your argumentation. But a good USP has other qualities than mere uniqueness. These give it its long-term and sustainable impact.
- Importance to yout target group:
The unique selling proposition should appeal to a specific target group and meet their needs.
The promise of the USP should be unique, but also credible and achievable, otherwise its integrity will suffer. Only a legitimate promise comes across as trustworthy.
A USP that can be claimed by many other companies is no longer unique and will soon lose its impact. Ideally, it should be difficult to copy allowing it to be used continuously.
To keep your product on the market constantly and at the same time outshine the competition with the price, you have to think through your prices carefully. Note that there is a balance between the cost of production and the purchase price.
This is the only way to guarantee that you will receive a good margin for your company in the long term. If your USP is linked to high costs, this is therefore only conditionally effective.
A feature that is not always easy to define: your customer proposition should be as unrivaled as possible. The less your unique selling proposition resembles the USPs of your competitors, the greater your lead in the market.
How to develop a USP and use it effectively
In order to skillfully develop and use your USP, we have developed seven helpful steps for you below.
- What does the market look like?
To develop a decisive sales argument, you need to fully understand your market. What other products, solutions, services, suggestions, ideas are already available? What kind of demand is there? What does our target audience want? What are the current developments and what opportunities could they lead to? Analyzing the market situation can reveal a crucial gap that could be filled with your USP.
- What can the competition do?
To stand out, you need to understand exactly what you want to stand out from. What kind of competition is out there? Which ideas and messages have been and are still being used and how well do they perform? What shortcomings or weaknesses are present that your own offer doesn’t possess?
- What can I do?
Now the task is to define what your own assets are. What are your strengths? What makes your offer attractive? These points need to be compared with the competitors’ products or services to identify your offer’s distinguishing features. External feedback, such as from customers, can be very insightful.
- What does our target group want?
Whether something can be successfully marketed depends on demand. You need to seriously consider what your potential customers could find interesting and desirable and why. This isn’t always about objective qualities, but also about subjective perceptions. Here’s an example: Not only is buying an eco-friendly laundry detergent good for the environment, it also gives us a feeling of doing something good and right. Potential emotional and psychological drivers are important considerations.
Define your target audience precisely to answer the above questions. Feel free to use slides designed by PresentationLoad for this!
- Explore and optimize opportunities
Now that you have a good overall picture of the market situation, the target group’s wishes, your own qualities and those of the competition, it’s time to see what can be done with this.
- What market gaps does your product or idea fill and what target group needs have not yet been satisfied?
- What weaknesses do your competitors have that you yourself do not?
- Which strengths and special features can be promoted and emphasized further?
- What changes need to be made to your offer to make it unique?
- Define and word your USP
Once you’ve identified key selling points, you need to assess them and decide what you want to focus on. A brainstorming session can help you create an overview of features and figure out how to work them into your USP. You don’t have to focus on just one point. A combination of several features can also be a viable and marketable option.
Once a strategy has been chosen, it’s time to formulate it. The USP has to be worded in such a way that it hits home with your target group. A USP must be clear and memorable. In a presentation, a USP takes on the key responsibility of communicating its own advantages.
- Be believable
The USP is there to support the profile and image of your company product or service; it should always represent what you’re offering. When new and additional features are continually added, the USP becomes diffuse and loses impact. The same is true if your USP is too similar to that of your competitors. It’s important to regularly review your USP and make sure it’s representing what you’re offering.
Also, the promise that the USP inherently makes needs to be realistic and realizable. A USP that isn’t true to its word can do more harm than good.
Features of an effective USP
What makes a good USP?
There’s no one way to write a USP. It can address a wide range of concerns, problems, conscious or unconscious desires and emotions of a target group. So, where does one begin? Here are some things to consider.
- Offer quality
Outstanding qualities, expertise or attributes are all unique features that can be highlighted. These should, ideally, set your company, product or service apart from the competition.
“Our training concept was developed specifically for this industry and can be easily tailored to meet your needs.”
“This is the only software compatible with all standard operating systems.”
“I worked in this field for many years and offer specialized experience and expertise.”
- Offer something exclusive
Exclusivity and individuality can be excellent distinguishing features, which are also often difficult to copy. Products of services that can be customized to the needs and wishes of the target group are garner a lot of interest. Limited editions, high prices and exclusive access are attractive to many people.
“Our credit card offer is available to a select group of customers only.”
“We customize our software to your exact needs.”
“I have specialized in consulting for family-owned companies and am fully competent in handling the particular challenges that arise in this sector.”
- Offer an extensive range
A particularly wide-ranging offer or large selection can be very attractive.
“Our offer includes all services. They can be combined according to your needs.”
“I offer a particularly wide range of consulting services that covers all your interests.”
- Offer the best price
Price is often the deciding factor. Especially when there are many offers of equal value; prospective customers like to choose the cheapest one.
But something doesn’t have to be cheap to score in this category. There are other ways to provide savings. For example, a slightly more expensive product that renders others obsolete can be extremely attractive to potential customers. Offering a wide range of services and expertise is another way to market the cost-effectiveness of your offer. An additional service or feature at no extra cost is always well received.
“This software provides the capabilities of five different programs combined.”
” When you choose our services, you’ll receive free maintenance for two years.”
“Our online support will help your employees install the software themselves. You’ll save the costs of an on-site service partner.”
- Offer efficiency
In many sectors, speed and efficiency are more in demand than ever before. Those who can claim to provide a service faster than others can score points.
“We can develop the right software in record time.”
“In just three months, my method will have you working more efficiently than ever before.”
“Thanks to the innovative use of artificial intelligence, we can perform analyses faster than any other provider.”
- Offer simplicity
Not every prospective customer is looking for everything and lots of it. Minimalism is a new trend that can be marketed. Offering a smaller number of options can also appeal to a target group.
“With us, you simply select between three straightforward service packages”.
“We provide just one, multi-purpose cleaning agent.”
- Offer several benefits
It’s the right combination of different characteristics that target groups really find attractive. This combination can be decisive in especially competitive markets.
“Our product concept offers long-term benefits at one low price.”
“Or method ensures an efficient workflow and increased employee satisfaction.”
- Offer exceptional service
Unique services can also make an offer stand out. Exceptional service can be used to create offers that are not just attractive, but also stand out.
“Our dedicated service hotline is available 24/7.”
” We will organize and manage your entire project. Sit back and let us do the work.”
- Offer a good feeling
Emotions often influence or decisions. That’s why it’s a good idea to touch upon the emotional aspect of your product/service in your USP. The emotional aspect of a product or service. It simply feels better to choose an offer that contributes to a greater good. Developing such an image can pay off, but only if it’s credible and followed through on.
The emotional level can be approached in many ways: — the environment, sustainability, tradition, family or social commitment are popular choices. Sometimes it makes sense to address more than one issue, such as environmental protection and social commitment.
“For every euro you invest with us, we will donate 2 cents to organization ABC.”
“Our company believes in inclusivity.”
“Our family-run company manufactures entirely in Germany.”
“My coaching encourages a balanced and healthy work environment in your company.”
In the context of a USP, the emotional level is often called “ESP” (Emotional Selling Point). In the following image you will find some tips on how to create an ESP for your purposes.
There are many suitable topics to address your audiences’ emotions: the environment, sustainability, tradition, family, or social engagement are topics that get used a lot. Often, certain target groups also feel addressed by related topics, so combinations can be useful (e.g., environmental protection and social engagement).
- Offer guarantees
Security is important to many customers; guarantees and promises are appealing. Again, credibility is particularly important. A promise that can’ t be kept causes more damage than it’s worth.
“My program will increase your efficiency by at least 10% in just three months – guaranteed!
“We guarantee to make you the best offer!”
- Offer personality
Although it’s difficult to define and even harder to create, personality is also an appealing factor. The personality factor applies to companies and individuals. A company can define specific characteristics and behaviors that underline its image and recognition value. A genuine and charismatic person can act as the face of a company and be the focus of advertising activities. An impressive example of this was Steve Jobs.
“We get to know our customers and greet them personally.”
“Our well-known CEO embodies our values and goals.”
The USP presentation: communicating your USP, strengths and uniqueness using PowerPoint
Wherever something needs to be marketed, the USP is of crucial importance. Defining it and communicating it clearly is worthwhile. This applies not only to marketing in general, but also when you give a PowerPoint presentation. Every company or sales presentation needs a focus, a salient added value, in order to stand out. The definition of a USP helps with this.
Why? Because it is the USP that makes the difference. Your detergent cleans the laundry? Great, but what brand doesn’t claim that? Your software makes accounting easier? Many programmes can do that. You have an idea to improve the processes in your department? You are not the first. Why should your idea be better than the others’?
If you succeed in communicating this through a successful USP presentation, you have done a crucial part of the convincing. Especially if you use a PowerPoint presentation for your argumentation, it is important that you clearly highlight your USP and the associated advantage for your prospects.
Every presentation that conveys an argument should be geared towards this. Of course, basic benefits and additional benefits are also important for the prospects, but these can also be obtained elsewhere – only you have your USP to offer. You can also read our article on the topic of “benefit argumentation”.
So use Microsoft Office PowerPoint to communicate your USP! Thanks to the many possibilities PowerPoint offers, you can create convincing presentations in a simple and fast way and convince people with your USP.
Feel free to use slides from PresentationLoad around the topic of USP!
Conlcusion: The USP: an investment that pays off
Used correctly, the unique selling proposition is a valuable and profitable tool. It sets the tone in every marketing and sales presentation and can be the decisive success factor. Carefully choosing, shaping and cultivating your USP will ensure that your product or service resonates with your target group. This can demand ingenuity — nowadays it’s difficult to have something that no one else offers. But if it succeeds, it makes things a lot easier. I provides guidelines for marketing, company presentations, sales presentations and their effect on the target group. Putting time and effort into a clever USP pays off in the end.
Do you have questions about USP or PowerPoint in general? Do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. We are always happy to help!
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