What is a unique selling proposition?
First of all, what in the world is a USP? A USP is a unique selling proposition (unique selling point) or how you describe your product or company that makes it different (and better) than another company. Some small businesses use their USP as a slogan and plaster it all over their marketing paraphernalia. Other small business owners use their USP in their business plan or to quickly answer potential customer questions. What will I use my USP for? I plan on using my USP to answer customer questions about my products and about my brand.
Upon researching the importance of a USP, I discovered that there are several questions to answer before making your decision. Shopify offered these tips: Make a list of all the variants your brand offers, research your competition, compare your products to your needs, compile the data, and make your USP visible across your business.
American Express tells us to list the features and benefits of our products, decide an emotional need that is being met by your product, figure out what your competitors cannot imitate, create phrases about your unique (an overused term) product or service that are short, clear and concise, and answer the question: "What's in it for me?'
So, what does it all mean?
In my opinion, if you aren't meeting your audience's needs then missing a USP is not your biggest problem, but I digress. Back to Shopify's tips... Again, I'm a jewelry designer not a data analyst but the simple way to look at this is to basically keep an eye on trends. As a small business owner, this is something you already do. The difference here is you need to compare what you offer your target audience to what your competitors offer.
What I believe a USP boils down to is how is your product better than your competition at providing a solution to your target audience's main problem to solve. Your customer's needs require your attention and need to be met. When a baby cries from hunger, you feed them. When your car needs gas, you fill the tank. How do you determine how and what you will feed your baby or what type of gas you will use in your car? Cost? Quality? Both? This is when a customer looks to your USP to answer their question, "how will this product meet my needs and how is it better than another brand's?"
My Small Business USP
Analisa's Cositas: Where quality is high, but our prices are low! Hmm... too cheesy and way too much like a slogan... Let's try again.
How's this one?
Analisa, why do your jewelry pieces have names? Oh, that's easy.
Every piece of jewelry I make is like my child, loved, valued, individual and handled with care.
Create something every day, even if it's just a cosita.