Where to start? What’s your USP?

Many businesses that are new to advertising, wonder- where do i start? There are so many exciting things to think about but first we need to focus. Let’s get clear about what your business is, what makes you unique and memorable.  What is your USP? A USP is your “Unique Selling Proposition” this is the thing you are known for the most or that distinguishes you from your competitor.  People can have a USP, and every business should know what there’s is.

A great book for small business owners to read is The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising. Michael Corbett and Dave Stilli have taken a complicated process and broken down all the steps you need to understand and build your advertising plan.  I will be sharing many of these elements throughout this series but in my own way, so I wanted to share this book with everyone to use as a tool.  In The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising, they review USP in Rule 9.  The specific examples provided will help give you more ideas.

How do I get started? Make a list of all the things that are great about your business.  Then make a list of all  the great things about your competitors.  You need to be HONEST, and really look at this with a critical, consumer eye, not the rose colored glasses of a proud business owner.  Its hard, I get it. Maybe ask for help from a partner or close friend.

Now notice the things that are different.  Your USP is starting to form.  What one thing do you have on your list, that you do better or different, something that is so special and unique its the #1 on the list.  Let’s start with that as your first USP. We can have a few depending on your business type but you need to start with the most important.  What is the ONE  thing you would tell people about your business.

Next we need to make sure that your ONE thing isn’t generic. Can anyone claim that? For example- good customer service or discount prices is vague. Consumers today have become numb to these phrases, its white noise to them.  If that is TRULY your USP you will need to be clever in your positioning of that statement to make it sound unique. An example would be: Teresa’s Boutique, where you are OUR local celebrity and we treat you like royalty.  That is a creative way to say we have great customer service. What people will remember is, “Hey I get treated like a celebrity when I go there”, and I like that.

USP- Unique Selling Proposition. A simple focus tool to help you find your lead story.  Focus on what you do best. Be you. Be Great.  Tell people that and invite them to your business.


Author: alisonsawhill

Marketing and Advertising Manager, 20+ years of success, working with clients on a local, regional and national level. Experienced in strategy, development and execution of clients marketing plans using all media tools, including Radio, Internet, Social Media, Events and Promotions.

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