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How to Write a Unique Selling Proposition

When someone asks what your business does, do you stumble when you answer? Do you have trouble coming up with focused, compelling marketing messages? If you’re nodding your head to these questions, we’ve got an assignment for you: Develop your unique selling proposition. Also known as an “elevator pitch,” your USP is a business essential. Today, we’ll tell you how to write a unique selling proposition that gives you focus and clarity about your business, guides your decisions and helps you connect with customers.

What Is a USP?

A unique selling proposition is a concise and memorable statement that conveys why a customer would want to do business with you. The keywords here are with you. Your USP doesn’t just explain what you do. It clarifies your uniqueness, your value and what makes you stand out from the competition.

The 3 Big Questions Behind Your USP

In talking you through how to write a unique selling proposition, we’ll share some examples from our own experiences creating DesignGood’s USP.

To craft your own, you’ll need to reflect on three big questions about your business.

1. What do you do and what value do you create?

In answering this question, think about not just the work you do in itself, but also the results or the value your work creates for your customers or clients.

At DesignGood, our work is design, storytelling and business-building. The result of our work is that our clients captivate customers, enhances credibility, accelerate their success and gain confidence and pride in their brand.

2. Who are your customers or clients?

You have to get super-clear on your target audience. Who are they? What are their needs? Their likes and dislikes? Their pain points and their aspirations?

For us, the common thread among our clients is a serious passion for and commitment to their business. They’re ready to go for it!

3. What makes you different?

Why do you stand out from other businesses that do what you do? Why would a customer choose to buy from you instead of from someone else?

There are many possible answers to this question. We don’t want you to think you have to “reinvent the wheel” in order to be a unique business. Your differentiator could be you. That’s what we discovered when we wrote our own USP. We’re not the only firm that creates websites for businesses — far from it. But we realized that we really stand apart because of our team. We have more experience than you’ll typically find in comparable firms. And we have a wider range of skills — design, copywriting, business building — than many firms have in-house.

Refine Your USP and Put It To Use

Don’t rush your way through these questions. The deeper you dig, the clearer you’ll get about your business — and the more effective your unique selling proposition will be.

These are some of the most important words you’ll ever write for your business.

And don’t stop after one draft of your USP, either. These are some of the most important words you’ll ever write for your business. Take the time to refine your USP — to make it brief, memorable and distinctively you. You never know when you’ll have the chance to share it!

The USP process is easier if you don’t go it alone. You’re so deep in the day-to-day details of your business that it’s hard to pull back and see the big picture. You and an entrepreneurial friend could team up and work on your USPs together. You may even want the insight and perspective of a professional. In our Brand Discovery Method, we ask our clients questions like the ones above (plus many others). This exercise gives us the information we need to do great work for them.

When you have your finished USP, keep referring back to it. You might want to put it on a whiteboard or bulletin board in your office, or review it each time you do planning for your business. These words have a lot of power. Your USP can give you a quick boost by reminding you why you do what you do — and why you’re pretty damn amazing at it. It can guide all kind of decisions, from whom to hire to what your marketing strategy should be. And when you share your USP, it resonates with the kind of customers you want to attract. It accelerates their decision to buy from you because you’ve quickly made clear to them that they’re in the right place.

We hope you’ll put our overview of how to write a unique selling proposition to use in your own business. We can tell you from our own experience that the work of creating a USP pays off many times over in greater clarity and ease. We’d love to be your partner in this process and in translating your USP to a vibrant brand that grows your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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