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What’s your USP?

In the college business courses I took years ago they called it an ďadvertising slogan.Ē† Today itís described, with a more academically-acceptable label, as a ďUSP.Ē Many businesses make great use of their USP Ė thatís their Unique Selling Proposition. A USP usually embodies a philosophy of the business and, once determined, is consistently used just above or below the name and/or logo of the business. It will eventually become implanted in the customerís mind and itís a powerful reminder about the business.

A USP is really simple. It can point to something that makes your business special. Or, it might reflect something special the organization does for its customers. More specifically, it can zero in on who the business is or what it does best. Itís also often intended to distinguish the business from others.

Here are some USPís youíll recognize: When it absolutely has to be there overnight Ė thatís FedEx, of course. It spells out what Fed Ex does best and its value to its customers.

How about: Youíll always know the Score Ė Itís the CNN Headline News Sports Ticker. Who wonít recognize Burger Kingís famous: Have it your way!

How about Marine Max Ė Delivering the Boating Dream. Or, Lakeside Marine, The Pleasure Boat People. Russo Marine is New Englandís Leading Powerboat Dealer while customers know Wyzata Marine Ė The Boat Place. You get the idea.

All these sample USPís convey either what they do, what makes them different or why someone should buy from them. Itís printed on everything from signs and brochures to business cards and Web sites.

Selecting and using a good USP can be an important part of a marketing program. A good USP is the kind of thing people easily remember ó and isnít that the point?

If youíre using a good USP, or if youíve seen one in some other business that impressed you, how about sharing it with all of us here.† Good ones can stimulate or inspire other good ones.


3 comments on “What’s your USP?

  1. Reginald Gustafson

    Boats with Gusto is located on Lake Oconee which is known for it’s private communities and great golf. We were new to the Marine industry in 2001 and wanted to create a UPS that embodied the “Fun” on the water but also convey a positive message to everyone regardless of age. We wanted to be more than a boat store we wanted to be a full boating experience.

    Our main UPS for Boats with Gusto is: Boats with Gusto, Forever Young & Fun.

    Our UPS for our Hobie Kayak sales are: Hobie Mirage Kayaks, Any Age Any Ability.

    We are known for selling the “more fun” 175-225hp tri-toons and having all the toys to make a weekend great.

  2. Jim Sabia

    With 2 stores in Florida and plans for more we decided to take a more statewide approach so we changed our USP from “Our reputation means… a great deal!” to “Florida’s favorite boat dealer”. We also back up our USP with a consistant company culture founded in delighting each and every client. There is almost nothing we won’t do to thrill our customers. I truly believe this concept is one of the major reasons we are consistantly growing, commanding market share and enjoying doing business every day!

  3. George Horwatt

    USP is old thinking that came from Jay Abraham. Slogans are everywhere but studies show that not many people today remember them. Boat dealers are not Fed-Ex or Burger King and don’t spend that kind of money to get people to recognize them. Anyone know Wal-Mart’s slogan? Advertising for the most part is a big waste unless there’s a tremendous amount of marketing research behind it. Rather than a 3 word blurb that paints no picture of draw some conclusion, it would be better to concentrate on an articulated sales argument that builds a case by engaging, educating, bringing down resistance, and making a legitimate free offer which you can do with your existing customer base.

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