What is a unique selling proposition or USP? You may be new to sales and looking for unique selling proposition examples.
A well-developed USP will generate more sales, and more sales will generate motivation to find more customers.
If this sounds ideal to you, let’s get started!
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
A unique selling proposition, or unique selling point, is a series of positioning statements or sound bites that identify how your products or services are unique in the marketplace.
Most often used during prospect discussions, a USP is different than a unique value proposition which is a broader claim referring to the value your company, its product, services, employees, and stakeholders bring to the market.
In sales, a USP is something you will regularly use. In contrast, a UVP, although similar (and wrongfully considered the same thing as a USP), is a broader statement, often developed as part of a company’s strategy or marketing campaign.
3 Common Elements of Effective USPs
A compelling USP in sales has a series of elements to consider. These elements ensure that the USP application gains your prospect’s attention and interest.
1. It’s Attention Grabbing
Your USP must be something that gains the attention of your prospect. The selling points are phrases or statements that provoke your prospect into considering how they might use your product or service.
Some unique selling proposition examples might include any (or all) of the following:
- “Our life insurance coverage costs less than a cup of coffee.”
- “We manufacture our bearings to specifications that exceed the requirements of the space program.”
To have the most significant impact, your USP should be followed up with an open-ended question to drive the prospect to reflect.
2. It’s Realistic (No B.S.)
Unique selling points should always be honest and relevant. Our goal is to drive attention and dialogue, not to increase confusion or doubt. For this reason, never make claims that aren’t truthful or supported by customer examples. Doing so will result in your prospect dismissing it (and you!).
An example USP that is NOT realistic might be:
- “We will triple your revenue in the first 60 days” (unless you have multiple relevant client examples demonstrating this).
3. Your (Target) Customer Gets It
A sales USP speaks to your ideal customer. Therefore, it must be something your ideal or target customer understands and can relate to.
To achieve this, state how your product or service benefits the customer or is different from your competition’s. A unique selling point example that demonstrates this is:
- “We help insurance brokers sell more policies in less time.”
If you were an insurance broker, this speaks to something you are constantly attempting to achieve.
14 Top Unique Selling Proposition Examples
What is the unique selling proposition of your product? Here are some unique selling proposition examples of established businesses for inspiration:
Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.
A few things you’ll notice that set Nike’s USP apart from its competition.
- Their target customer is “every athlete in the world.”
- They define “athlete” to be everyone who has a body.
- They identify their products as bringing inspiration and innovation.
Grow better with HubSpot.
You’ll notice that Hubspot’s USP is short but expansive, which helps to set them apart, for example:
- They don’t just offer software; they help customers grow.
- Growing with Hubspot is “better” than what you might find elsewhere.
3. Coca Cola
Refresh the world. Make a difference.
Like Hubspot, Coca-Cola has chosen to develop a broad scope for its USP, mainly because of the vast number of products they sell to a global consumer.
A few things to notice about Coca-Cola’s USP:
- They define all of their products as “refreshing.”
- Their target market is “the world.”
- They suggest that choosing their products will “make a difference.”
The speed of service.
A few things to notice about McDonald’s USP:
- There is no mention of food (their actual product).
- Speed is their defining value to their ideal customers.
- They “service” customers, which speaks to customer experience.
5. Death Wish Coffee
World’s strongest coffee.
A great USP, it clearly defines what they offer customers as long as they can back up their claim!
A few things to notice about Death Wish’s USP:
- It’s very short.
- They are very clear on who their coffee is for (strong coffee drinkers).
6. Robin Hood
Investing is simple here.
As a stock trading application, Robin Hood focuses on relieving the “pain” that many investors complain about when trying to invest, for example:
- They define what they offer, which is “investing.”
- They suggest using their app keeps things “simple.”
- The focus is on using their app by stating the word “here.”
Welcome to where the future works.
Considering the competition for workplace communication software is strong, slack’s USP suggests they are the only option for users in the future.
Other things to point out include the following:
- A greeting of “welcome” suggests something new or different.
- They describe their application as a tool for “work.”
- Using the word “where” suggests they are a destination for work.
8. Nerd Fitness
We help nerds, misfits, and mutants lose weight, get strong & get healthy, permanently.
Nerd Fitness already stands out because of its name; however, its USP defines the market they serve and how it can offer support.
A few things you’ll notice include:
- They include the word “mutants” for humor.
- “Lose weight, get strong & get healthy” are what they promise.
- Considering weight loss is a challenge for some, they’ve added “permanently.”
9. Panda Doc
Take the work out of your document flow.
They offer sales process software, which I describe as an enablement resource for sales professionals.
A few things to notice about Panda Doc’s USP:
- Making users’ lives easier is a crucial outcome of using their software.
- “Document flow” is the area they support.
- Using “your” suggests a broad target market.
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
The company USP FedEx uses has been around for some time, and it clearly distinguishes them in a very competitive market.
A few observations you might make include the following:
- Starting with “When” defines the best time to use their service.
- Being definitive by using “absolutely, positively” confirms their service levels.
- The word “overnight” distinguishes them from competitors.
11. Domino’s Pizza
We guarantee – fresh hot pizza, delivered in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free!
Like FedEx, the USP for Domino’s has been around for some time, and they make some bold statements that set them apart in a very competitive market.
For example, their USP in business includes the following:
- They offer a guarantee for “fresh hot pizza,” which every consumer seeks.
- “Delivered in 30 minutes or less” sets them apart from most of their competition.
- Making a “guarantee” removes any risk from the consumer.
12. Best Buy
Find a lower price, and we’ll match it.
The USP for Best Buy is an excellent example of a sales USP in that it is specific to how they position themselves and what buyers can expect.
- Their USP suggests that no one will beat their pricing.
- Using the word “find” almost challenges buyers to search for a better price.
15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance.
You’ve likely heard Geico’s advertisements that make this statement in the past. They’ve done a great job in harnessing the power of their USP by using it at every level of their customer interactions.
A few things to notice about Geico’s USP:
- They suggest their buyer needs minimal time.
- “Could save you” allows them flexibility in what they offer.
- “Car Insurance” is their specific area of focus.
Melt in your mouth, not in your hand.
There are some unique points about M&M’s USP that stand out, namely:
- They suggest that all chocolate should melt in your mouth, but many don’t.
- Their USP does not describe the product, just its experience.
Use a Template to Define Your USP
To define your USP in business, let’s begin with some questions to help you determine the critical aspects of your USP are:
1. What makes your product or service unique as compared to your closest competition? List at least five different points.
2. What benefits have your best customers found in using your product or service?
[Hint: If you don’t know, ask them!]
3. Take your two lists and compare them. Identify and prioritize what you believe are the most compelling points that would intrigue your prospective customers.
4. With these points identified, use the templates below to develop your USP.
We offer (UNIQUE SERVICE OR METHOD) to (TYPES OF COMPANIES) resulting in (SIGNIFICANT VALUE).
We create (SIGNIFICANT VALUE) to minimize your (PAIN POINT).
When (PAIN POINT) is too much, we can provide (SIGNIFICANT VALUE).
These should give you some good ideas of where to start, but I’d suggest using the wide variety of structures of the USPs listed above to help.
5. Lastly, decide where to place your USP so that potential customers stumble across it.
Examples include your website, email signature, LinkedIn profile header, business card, etc.
Some points to consider when first test-driving your USP:
Do: Ask existing customers for their feedback on your USP.
Don’t: Expect every customer to be enthused. Remember, the key is to gain attention.
Do: Keep your USP brief and to the point.
Don’t: Get caught up in making it catchy immediately. Let it ride for a bit before you change it.
Do: Put your USP everywhere a potential customer will see it.
Don’t: Include it as an opening in every discussion. Start with building a relationship first.
Your Turn: What’s Your Unique Selling Proposition?
You’ve decided you need a Unique Selling Proposition to help position your product or service with your potential customers.
Don’t get worried about making it perfect. Instead, use the unique selling proposition examples above and the templates to develop a few different USPs and test them on customers to get feedback.
Remember, the goal of a USP is to gain attention, not to create confusion.
© Shawn Casemore 2023. All Rights Reserved.