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Finding Your Unique Selling Point (USP)

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Selling Marketing Business Advertising

For your business to be successful and in order to attract long-term customers, you need to find and develop your Unique Selling Point (USP).

USP stands for Unique Selling Point (or sometimes Unique Selling Proposition). In essence, it’s what makes your business stand out from others and sets you apart from your competitors. If you’re going to have a successful craft business, then you need to find your USP as early on as possible and build on it throughout the life of your business. Sometimes additional or new USPs can be developed over time, for example if you suddenly spot a niche that needs filling.

If you can’t think of a USP for your craft business initially, then you’ll need to put aside some time to brainstorm and think of potential ideas. Ideally, this is something you should do in the early stages of planning and setting up your business, as your USP will come in handy when you’re doing marketing and advertising. You also may be able to incorporate your USP, or related ideas, into marketing material, such as brochures, leaflets, posters, business cards or even signs for your business.

Questions to Ask Yourself

When you’re trying to work out and think through your USP, there are a number of key questions you could ask yourself and use to find your USP. These could include questions such as:

  • What makes your craft business different to other competing businesses?
  • Will you be offering any unique services or products?
  • Do you have special skills or expertise to offer?
  • Does your business have a niche focus or broad offering?
  • Is there anything special about the way you plan to do business?
  • Are you offering a particularly speedy delivery service?
  • Do you plan to deliver for free?
  • Who do you envisage your customers to be?
  • Are you planning to have particularly low prices?
  • Are you offering any special discount schemes for regular customers?
  • Is there anything special or different about the location of your business?
  • What benefits will customers gain from shopping with you?
  • Are you offering any free services, courses or demonstrations?
  • Are you offering customers the chance to try out products?
  • Are you going to be exclusively selling certain designs or products?

Try and answer the questions as honestly as possible and make a list of any positive or different points of your business that you’d like to highlight. When it comes down to it, there may be a thin line between what you’re planning to offer and what your competitors already do, but in order to develop your USP you need to be able to promote and highlight this.

Writing Your Unique Selling Point

Once they’ve found their USP, many businesses find it good to put it into words and write it down. In fact, in many situations, people use their USP, or elements of it, within their advertising and marketing blurb and in any straplines or catchphrases associated with their business.

For example, the straplines below illustrate how you could incorporate one or more of your USPs into simple adverts for your business, as commonly seen on brochures, posters, website headers or business cards:

  • “24-hour crafting heaven.”
  • “Free delivery for all orders over £10.”
  • “Expert craft tuition.”
  • “Exclusive seller of XXX products.”

You can play around with fitting a short and sweet example of your USP into your advertising and marketing blurb. If it would help, try showing a few friends or family members examples of what you’re thinking of using and see how receptive they are to it.

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