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Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Unique Value Proposition (UVP), in a nutshell, is what sets your business apart from your competitors. It’s what makes your product or service different to others in your industry. What are you selling to customers that separates you from the rest?

There are very few businesses that are one of a kind, most in your field will be offering the same product or service, so you need to be able to communicate what is special about your brand.

It could be your speed of delivery, your location, or knowledge and connection to your customer, or maybe it’s even your price point.

A UVP isn’t specific marketing offers — like 10% off or free shipping, these are not UVPs.

Once you know your USP, you can then start rolling out the rest of your marketing plan – setting up your website and social channels, collateral, and other communications for your customers.

So how do you start?

There are many, many formulas and approaches for working out what your UVP is, some are more advanced than others – you could get your whole team in a room for a full analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, our outsource the development to brand specialists.

To get you started though, we’ve come across a really simple approach from Steve Blank, a former Google employee who noticed that many start-up founders emphasise their features instead of benefits when they try to create a value proposition.

What that means is that there is a tendency to focus on the thing you do or make, instead of focusing on why your customers should care one bit about your brand – and of course customers choose brands because there is something in it for them. It solves a problem or addresses a pain point.

So, with that, Steve came up with this simple formula to transform a brainstorm into a simple sentence.

We help (X) do (Y) by doing (Z).

X = your customer

Y= the problem that you help them solve

Z = what you do that helps them solve it

If you’re stuck on figuring out your UVP – give the above trick a go and let us know how you go!

Alex Williams