Work out your brand promise: How to write a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

How to write a Unique Selling Proposition or USP - a statement that identifies the one thing that sets your business apart from your competition.
First published on September 1, 2021
Last updated on September 17, 2021

A Unique Selling Proposition or USP for short, is a statement that identifies the one thing that sets your business apart from your competition. A USP can also be referred to as a brand promise as it should summarise the promise that you make to your customers. It should communicate the unique benefits that your product or service offers to them.

This article explains how to write a unique selling proposition that succinctly answers the question, “Why should I buy from you?”.

How to write a Unique Selling Proposition

Step 1

Consider your target market. After all, this is who you are communicating to. What problem do they have that your business solves? What need or desire does your product meet? And what is it about your product that keeps them coming back for more?

Step 2

Next, consider your business values. If you don’t already have these written down somewhere already, now is the time to work out the most important values that you hold for your business. Consider why you started your business in the first place, why you operate the way you do and why you developed your products/services. What is special about your business? Below is an exercise to help you work out your values if you’re not already clear on them.

Complete these sentences and try to generate as many different answers as you can.
“I am in this business because ……”
e.g. I am in this business because I want to create high quality products. I am in this business because I love this location and want to share it with others.
“We are …….”
e.g. We are family focused. We are environmentally conscious.
“We are not …….”
e.g. We are not arrogant. We are not inaccessible.

Step 3

Think of your USP as the crossover between what your target market wants and what your business does well. With that in mind, bring together the desires of your customers and the most important elements of your business values.

Ideally you want to be able to dilute this down into one sentence (although two sentences can also be acceptable if need be). You can employ the assistance of online writing tools such as Quillbot, a paraphrasing tool, or Copy.ai, which uses artificial intelligence to generate useful ideas and sentences, to help you.

Draft, redraft and redraft again until you come up with a USP that you can be proud of.

USP examples

Below are some examples of USP’s that we have generated for fictional businesses.

Food tour operator
We offer Australia’s most iconic food tours, facilitating guests to experience seasonal native foods and foraged local produce from North Queensland’s pristine rainforests.

Accommodation provider
Luxurious and private 3-bedroom beachfront villas in Noosa Heads within walking distance of Hastings Street.

What to do with your USP?

Consider your USP to be your new, favourite catchphrase! Whenever anyone asks you, “What do you do?” your USP is the answer!

Here are a few practical places to use your USP:

  • Front and centre on your website’s home page – it should be the first thing that people see when they come to your website and are scrolling through the contents of your home page
  • Your Facebook ‘about’ section
  • In the caption of your Facebook cover image
  • Your Instagram bio
  • Your Google My Business listing business description
  • Your email signature
  • In a digital brochure
  • Shout it from the rooftops!

Essentially, your USP should appear everywhere your business does online. Think of it like the sidekick for your logo.

In the digital world, consumers are swimming in a sea of options and as a small business owner, you need to quickly and effectively communicate who you are, what you offer and why your audience should choose you.

This article originally appears on Navii.com.au on the 25th of August 2021.

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