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How to Determine Your Unique Selling Point

Susan L Reid

If you're like most new business owners, what you don't want to do is waste money on expensive marketing campaigns, trying to capture your market share or customer's attention.

You need a unique selling position (USP). And you need it quick!

woman thinking

One of my clients wanted to get her business up and running quickly. However, she hadn't found that one aspect of her start-up that differentiated it from other similar businesses. She knew she needed to determine her unique selling point, yet, she wasn't sure how to go about it.

This is a common dilemma. Many new business owners don't know how to determine their USP. Or they may already be suffering from the results of not having one: getting lost in the crowd and dying a slow death because they aren't able to attract enough customers.

Here are the steps my client took to determine her USP. They  worked for her, and they'll work for you, too. Stop getting lost in the crowd. Follow these five steps to determine your USP:

Five Quick and Easy Steps to Determine Your USP

Step 1: Take out a piece of paper and make a list of the features and benefits that are unique about your product or service. Then do a Google search and compare your features and benefits with those of your direct competitors. Draw a circle around the benefits and features that set you apart.

Step 2: Thinking from your customer's perspective, decide what emotional need is being met by your product or service specifically. Add this to your list.

Step 3: Write down anything about your product or service that your competitors cannot easily imitate. Put a star beside anything that cannot be easily duplicated, reproduced, or copied by your competitors.

Step 4: Combining words from steps 1-3, write down phrases about your unique product or service that are short, clear, and concise. Write them in such a way that they can be easily communicated to and understood by your customers.

Step 5: Construct a memorable USP statement by answering your customer's primary question about your product or service: "What's in it for me?" Make it to the point and state it as a benefit to the customer. Some well-known examples include:

  • Domino's Pizza: "You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30-minutes... or it's free."
  • Target: "Expect more. Pay less."
  • U.S. Peace Corp: "The toughest job you'll ever love."
  • M&M's: "Melt in your mouth, not in your hand."
  • FedEx: "When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight."

lost in crowdSo what's your unique selling point? What's memorable and unique about your company? Don't know? Do what my client did. Stop putting your business at risk. Gain the advantage as a new business start-up by standing out in the mind of your customers.

Follow these five quick and easy steps and discover your USP today. You'll be glad you did!

Copyright © 2011 by Susan L. Reid

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Copyright ©2011 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Dr. Susan L. Reid is a Small Business Expert and Business Catalyst for spiritually conscious women starting up businesses. She is the award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success.

If you're interested in finding out more about what steps you can take to ensure your lasting business success, then get instant access to your own free copy of Turn Your Business Dreams Into Reality Toolkit at

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