Here at Truth Hacking™, we believe branding and selling are the same thing.
So when hunting for a USP (Unique Sales Proposition), we like to keep it simple.
Before we kick this off, repeat after me…
- I don’t have to prove everyone wrong.
- I don’t have to be JAW-DROPPING.
- I don’t have to TAKEOVER the market.
- I just have to be myself.
What does USP mean?
A USP is your Unique Selling Proposition.
(…and you can also think of it like your Unique Value Proposition)
The Crucial little Keyword: YOUR
A brand can have…
- the greatest SEO in the world…
- the newest, best tech…
- a million 5-Star Reviews…
…but if it doesn’t offer anything truly DIFFERENT–it ain’t unique.
That’s where YOU come in.
Marketing your Unique Selling Proposition is just a matter of explaining to the world what makes YOU different from all the other people and brands selling similar products.
…it’s the thing really driving your brand out of the Sea of Beige™.
If your personality isn’t a big part of your USP…it’s tough to truly own a brand (and be proud of it too). Let’s check out some examples before we explain How to Sell YOU with USP Marketing down yonder…
Examples of Kick-Ass USP Marketing
Remember when TOMS Shoes took over the sidewalks a few years back? They didn’t reinvent the cheap slipper or show…no…they just starting selling footwear in a way nobody else was doing at the time…
They dubbed themselves The One for One Company…for every pair of TOMS sold, a pair was given away to somebody in need.
Their USP? CHARITY–something that helped the human race and the world at large.
That’s really just a personal value, something they believed in as a brand and company run by Real World People. Marketing that USP was just a matter of explaining their beliefs and values in a way people could relate.
Someday, I hope that world-changing position is the NORM. But in the meantime, it’s still a great cause (and a great example of a USP).
DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB
Before Dollar Shave Club started mailing people cheap (high-quality) razors, we could pretty much only choose between…
- & crappy disposable blades
So how did a tiny little startup bust into an age-old market? NOT by reinventing the razor…How did a tiny little startup bust into an age-old market? NOT by reinventing the razor…Click To Tweet
They developed a marketing strategy based less on the product, and more on their personality–Total Dudes.
Their USP? SIMPLICITY–simple razor blades that magically arrive at your door.
“Do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a flashlight, a backscratcher, and 10 blades?”
Nobody else in the shaving market was even trying to do this. Marketing razor blades had mostly been about more blades and weird technology. Dollar Shave Club offered the very opposite–less blades & less tech.
Starring one of the co-founders, they made a simple, fun, and nothing-held-back commercial that earned 4.75 million views in just 3 months…
Here’s the HIGHLY SHARABLE one-and-a-half-minute Viral Video that shot them into stardom: Our Blades Are F**king Great.
How Do I Find My USP?
A USP isn’t all about being the BEST, the ULTIMATE, the LEADER of your market…it’s just about being different.
…in other words, being YOU.
In the smoky words of Don Draper, “Success comes from standing out…not fitting in.”Success comes from standing out...not fitting in.” — Don DraperClick To Tweet
Buyers are picky–and for good reason. It doesn’t really matter how NEW or HOT your product is when there are SO MANY options to choose from (and so many places to search). So we need to show that we’re truly different, in one way or another.
Before you create your USP, you’ve got to figure out…
1. What your REAL VALUE is
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes…what do you look for when buying, well, anything?
Dear Google, what’s the…
- safest minivan?
- healthiest fast food?
- most trusted news site?
- easiest tech solution?
- cheapest way to retire?
See what I mean? If you’ve ever searched for, like, any product or service–you aren’t really looking for a business or brand…
You’re simply looking for a Unique Sales Position that you (personally) identify with. Once you know what real value you have…you can think about how to offer it.
2. What UNIQUE things you offer
In order to prove your unique-awesomeness…GO WAY BEYOND what everyone else is offering your market.
PLEASE BE DIFFERENT.
Check out the organics market…one of the most crowded markets in the worlds (a great example of how NOT to crowd your way into a USP).
The organics market is made even more crowded by people using all that kinda-sorta-almost organic terminology, like…
^ What does any of that mean? IDK either…
When everyone else in the market is offering 50 Shades of Similarity…your USP should be entirely DIFFERENT.
- Don’t be All-Natural…be Out-of-this-World.
- Don’t be Fairtrade…be Rare Made.
- Don’t be GMO-Free…be Literally Grown From Bullshit.
- Don’t be Farm-Fresh…be the Ancient Recipe.
Figure out what direction the “wild animals” are running–and head the other way!
3. How to OFFER these things uniquely (unlike anyone else)
This is the most difficult part of your USP. Your USP isn’t just a general idea…it needs to be a direct statement that people can remember.
I don’t LOVE Janis Joplin or Elvis for the words in their songs–or even the melodies…I listen to their music because they sing unlike anyone else (ever has or ever will).
- TOMS offered effortless charity (though one One-to-One sales).
- Dollar Shave club offered a simple solution for the modern Shaving Man (through hilariously direct ads).