How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) For Your Business

by Josh Grillo

Let me start by asking you a question:

Why should I do business with you?

Think for a second before you answer.  Now, let me rephrase that question: 

Why should I do business with you versus your competitor?

These questions are being asked everyday by our customers and if there not asking them, there thinking them.

As a business owner, you must empower your customers with a USP or unique selling proposition that makes them choose to do business with you every single time.

You have that power!

You just need to sit down, go through the exercises and make sure your USP is the right USP for your business.

When I say right USP, what I mean is that in one phrase I know why I should do business with you.  The USP is so compelling that I wouldn’t dare look at a competitor.  The USP is so convincing that I’m already sold on your product or service by just hearing it.

Let’s look at a few famous USP examples:

  • “Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.” Domino’s Pizza
  • “The breakfast of champions” Wheaties
  • “The thirst quencher” Gatorade
  • “The quicker, picker upper” Bounty Paper Towels
  • “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight” FedEx
  • “The Greatest Show on Earth” Barnum and Bailey Circus
  • “It’s the real thing” Coca-Cola
  • “Diamonds are forever …” DeBeers
  • “The ultimate driving machine” BMW
  • “The best a man can get” Gillette
  • “We’re Number Two. We Try Harder” Avis
  • “The chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand” M&Ms

Here are a few online examples, that aren’t as famous, but just as good:

  • – Worry Free Retirement. Do what you want. When you want. Where you want.
  • – Welcome to North America’s #1 Place for Safety Conscious Investors In Search of High Yields.
  • – Straightforward, No BS Ways to Become a Big Money Speaker!

Your unique selling proposition can be based off anything:  price, product, guarantee, color, ingredient, time frame, positioning, benefit, etc…

Here’s an exercise you can do right now that will dust off the cobwebs and get you thinking about your USP:

Step 1: Research 10 Competitors In Your Niche

You always want to know what you’re up against.  Study their website, yellow page ad, or direct mail piece. 

Write down their USP if they have one.  Is there a way you can improve their USP?  Any ideas here you can swipe for your own USP?

Step 2: Look At Unique Selling Propositions Examples from Other Businesses

I’ve found that by looking at other business USP’s it helps jog the brain and get ideas for my own. I would never start with a clean slate.  Instead, I would swipe USP’s in other categories of businesses that with a little tweaking could be my own.

Step 3: Get a Big Stack of 3×5 Cards & Start Writing

I got this tip from Dan Kennedy’s book “The Ultimate Marketing Plan.”  This one really helped me and I’m sure you’ll benefit as well. 

Get out your 3×5 cards.  On each card, write down just one fact, feature, benefit, promise, or idea: one per card, until you’ve exhausted the process.  This should include your business as well as your competitor’s. Then prioritize the cards in order of importance to your customers. 

This exercise can help you create a possible USP along with other supporting sales material.

Step 4: Filling Out Your W9

You’ve got less than one minute to prove your business is worth trying and buying from.  This W9 questionnaire created by Sam Horn, author of the book “Pop”, is brilliant.

It will help you create a possible USP. It will also help you communicate your business/product more effectively to your customers.

  • What am I offering?
  • What problem does my idea or offering solve?
  • Why is it worth trying and buying?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • Who am I and what are my credentials?
  • Who are my competitors and how am I different from them?
  • What resistance or objections will people have to this?
  • What is the purpose of my pitch?
  • When, where, and how do I want people to take action?

Step 5: Fill In The Blanks

Here’s another exercise which you might find beneficial. Just fill in the blanks.

I help/teach: ___________ (specific market)
Get/help: ____________ (specific high valued benefits)
Even if: ___________ (believe worst case scenario)

Example: I help chiropractors get customers from Yelp even if they have a 1 star rating.

Step 6: Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

Your USP does not have to be a difficult task.  Keep it simple.  Once you come up with a few samples, bounce them off people that are going to give you their honest opinion.  I can be one of those people.  Just shoot me an email.


Some times it can take years to come up with the right unique selling proposition for your business. Understand it’s a work of art that’s constantly being constructed and changes with your business. 

Think of Subway.  They were never in the weight loss business.  Here comes Jarrod and his weight loss story to propel Subway into a new, unique selling proposition.  Google “Eat Fresh” and look at whose number 1.

Take the time and find a USP that works for you.

It can build your business into an empire so it’s worth making the effort.  Always remember Domino’s “Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less”.  They built their empire off that USP. Well, let’s not forget they also positioned store locations next to college campuses.  I’m sure that added to it, just a teeny, weenie bit.

Now it’s your turn to take action.  I love spilling my guts, but I need feedback from you.  Does this help you?  What problems are you encountering when coming up with a USP?  Leave your comments below.  Thank you.

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Marc Belardo February 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Great stuff! I gotta work on this and would love your feedback when im done.. I will be done by Sunday!

Thanks again m8. =)

Josh Grillo February 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm

You bet Marc. Send it my way for some feedback…

Talk soon!


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