What does USP mean in marketing terminology?


USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition – a key phrase or sentence that sets a product, service or company apart from its competitors by emphasising the advantages and unique features that it offers. It helps to identify a company or brand and makes them stand out from its competitors. A company’s USP should be unique enough to define the company and to attract the attention of potential customers.

Having a USP is a great way to make your business stand out in the competitive marketplace. It informs potential customers why they should choose your brand over others, and it is often the first thing that a customer notices when considering a purchase. A correctly formulated USP should be memorable and be able to differentiate your business from its competitors.

When creating a USP, it is important to do some market research and analyse the competition. Ask yourself questions such as: what makes your company different from your rivals? What do you offer that others don’t? What does your company do better than your competitors? How does your product or service improve the lives of people? Analysis should also be done to identify potential future and current customer needs.

Once the research is done and conclusions can be made, the USP should be formulated. It is important to keep the USP concise and to the point. The message should be focused on the key benefit of the brand or product. It should also be uniquely relevant to the product or brand – making sure to clearly establish the benefit of the product or service within the sentence.

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The target audience should also be kept in mind when developing the USP. You need to ensure that the sentence is connecting with the intended audience and their needs. The USP should also clearly establish how spending money on the product or service will demonstrate value for money and how it will improve their lives.

When developing a USP, it is important to keep it consistent and up to date. A company, brand or product should not have more than one USP and should not change frequently. It should be used in all marketing materials and communications, as it forms the core of the brand’s identity.

The USP should also be tested and validated. The USP should be trialled in the market and if customer results are not satisfactory, modifications or changes should be made. This process should be done periodically to ensure that the USP remains relevant and up to date.

Having a unique selling proposition is a great way to differentiate a company, brand or a product from its rivals. A well-developed USP should be succinct, relevant to the target audience and precisely focused on the product or service’s main benefit and advantage. Nevertheless, it is important to conduct some market research and test the USP to make sure it is meeting customer requirements and making the desired impact.


Chris Haycock, Digital Marketing Consultant

"Remember, your USP is something that is truly unique to your business, and your business only. If you think you've got a great USP by saying your delivery times are fast, then that's not a USP, because any other company can replicate it. Think outside the box - what can you do that no other business could possibly offer?"

Digital Marketing Consultant