Home > Unique Selling Points: Death to the USP

Unique Selling Points: Death to the USP

I’ve been spending some time considering the changes in marketing. When I was training, we had it drummed into us to find a USP (Unique Selling Point). But then when you hear the quote “There is nothing new under the sun” (which comes from Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”) it makes you wonder.

If you grew up in the 80s you’ll probably be more likely to know the quote from the cult classic film Pump up the Volume “Everything decent’s been done. All the great themes have been used up. Turned into theme parks.”
We live in a world where ‘unique’ is pretty rare. And chances are, unless you have patents and copyrights to back you up, your unique idea will get copied pretty quickly.

So is unique possible?

In my opinion, it depends in what area. If you’re looking to be truly unique in your service, or your delivery of that service, you may struggle (industry depending of course). If you have a unique product – get shouting about it! ‘Unusual’ however, is totally possible. Doing something in a new and better way or with an unusual twist can get you noticed… and let’s face it that’s what we’re after.

Should we give up on USPs all together?

Personally, I think all businesses are unique. Understanding your uniqueness and putting that across is something else. For most people, starting with the unusual aspects of your business will help you get the message across.

Do our customers care about USPs

Here’s the real crux of the matter. What’s the point in a USP that your clients don’t care about!? If you already have a unique selling point, is it really unique and does it matter to your customers? I’d love to hear from you if you have.

At the end of it all, if you can manage to find a USP – great. But basing an entire marketing strategy on shouting about it might not be the answer. Customer engagement is king – and customers are pretty fickle right now. If you can’t find a USP, how about being ‘unusual’ instead? What’s unusual about your business – and you for that matter?