USP – Unique Selling Proposition, or why anyone should buy from you

unique usp - why buy form youHave you ever asked yourself why anyone should or would buy from you?
It’s a key question well worth spending time answering because if you’ve figured that one out you make it easy for people to buy from you.

Business owners are generally convinced their product/service is the best on earth and so it should be. But all too often they assume their potential clients (or even the existing ones) should know that too. However that is not so. In this world of over information we cannot be bothered to take too much time trying to figure out what makes you or your product so special that “I” (= the consumer) should spend my money on it.

So you’ve got to tell people why they should buy from you. As simple as that, or is it?

Turns out, it’s actually not so simple. Most of the time when I ask a business owner/marketer why anyone should buy from them they sometimes say things like:

“My product is really good.”
“It has features a, b, c and lets not forget d.”
“It can do better what this other product can do.”
“They need my service.”

And the list goes on, all very generic and/or self orientated. What I mean by that it’s all about the product/service. Huh? I hear you say. Isn’t that the important thing, to explain what my product is all about?

I’ve got news for you, and they might shock you.

Nobody cares about your product and/or service.


Nobody will buy from you because your product/service is so good and they need it.

Huh? I hear again. So why then does anybody buy? Here it is:

People buy products and services because they believe that by having this product/ service it will FULFILL A NEED/DISRE/WANT they have. It’s all about THEM and not your product. It’s how your product makes them feel, how they see themselves interacting with it, how they can imagine that having/using the product will make them feel better.

It really is that simple. Nobody cares if your MP3 player has 1GB or 10GB, heck what does a GB really mean? But everyone cares about being able to take their entire 10,000 songs strong music library with them.

This example – Apple’s first ad for the iPod (1000 songs in your pocket) – is THE best example of a well formulated USP – unique selling proposition.


apple 1000 songs in your pocket

Apple website Dec 2001 introducing iPod - 1000 songs in your pocket

It is:

  • about the consumer
  • his/her pocket
  • his/her songs
  • his/her future wellbeing after having the object
  • explains clearly the BENEFIT of having the object

Note the last line, the benefit. All too often in marketing we revert back to rattling off all the amazing features and of course, there is a time and place to talk about them! But before you get to that, you already have to have the hook in your buyer, the potential BENEFIT to them that makes them want to find out more about your product.

By the way, while we’re talking about Steve Jobs – he was first and foremost a brilliant marketer. The iPod at the time was by far not the best product on the market, nor the cheapest and still, he sold the most. Why? Because he knew how to sell it. Buy telling YOU the benefit of having it (plus adding a perfectly designed product that lets you get to the benefit easily).

Back to what having a strong USP is all about. It’s about what makes you stand out from the crowd? And I promise you, if you change talking about the features (upon first contact with potential buyers) and start talking about what the product/service will do to them your changes will be astounding! You can achieve a staggering 300% increase or more in your conversions if you’ve neglected benefits in your marketing so far and include them now.

I suggest you sit down and write out a list of features for your product/service. And then next to them write the benefits of them to the consumer. It’s not always easy in the beginning but it really is worthwhile going through the exercise. And then start predominantly talking about what your product does for your clients in all your marketing and advertising.

If you’re in the Cape Town area check under events when my next “Creating a Marketing Plan for Small Business” workshop is held again and join it. You will not only walk away with a killer USP but a whole host of other actionable items which will help you attract more leads and convert them better. (Can you spot the feature/benefit in this sentence?)

Leave a comment below and let us know your product’s benefits!