18th April 2017 Claire Hawes

Developing your unique selling proposition: The copywriter’s 5 step formula

Having a unique selling proposition (USP) helps you to stand out from the crowd. Learn how to develop your USP in 5 easy to follow steps.

At a recent networking meeting, I met an eclectic group of business owners. They were discussing unique selling propositions (USPs). When defining their USPs, each of them told me they:

  • Pay close attention to detail in their projects
  • Work in partnership with their clients
  • Are really flexible in what they do

I responded: “So do I. It appears your USPs are not as unique as they should be.”

Developing USPs is important to all businesses. They:

  • Help customers make buying decisions
  • Differentiate products and services from others in the market
  • Help you stand out from the competition

Having a USP doesn’t mean you have to be the best. USPs show your customers exactly what you have on offer so that they can quickly:

  • Understand what it is that makes your products/services necessary
  • How your products/services can solve their problems
  • Be clear about why they should choose you over others in the market

To identify your USPs, I recommend you go on a fact-finding mission. These are the steps you need to cover:

Step 1. Understand your audience

Create a profile of your ideal customer. Ask existing customers, colleagues and friends for all the reasons they might choose to buy your product or service.

Step 2. Understand your competition/industry

Research your competitors. Who are they talking to? How do they talk to them? What are they saying? Are there any gaps?

Step 3. Understand what is it about the world that makes your product/service necessary

The SWOT analysis is an old marketing favourite. To put one together simply list your company’s:

  • Internal strengths
  • Internal weaknesses
  • External opportunities
  • External threats

Step 4. Identify your promise

Identify the problems you solve with your products and services. Set up a two column table.

  • In the left column list your product/service features.
  • In the right column list the benefits that each feature fulfils.

Step 5. Positioning statement

Finally pull all this information together. You’ll see that your unique selling proposition will leap out at you. Once you have identified it, complete the following statement:

For [small businesses and design agencies]
Who [need copywriting that sets them apart from the competition]
The [Content Boutique]
Is [a copywriting service]
That [creates meaningful, memorable and customer focused communications that convert readers into profitable enquiries].
Unlike [other copywriters in the market], [The Content Boutique] is [a company that combines classical marketing know-how with persuasive writing. It’ll make a case for why you are the right person to buy from.].

And finally

If you’d like help to develop your unique selling proposition and a messaging strategy, then get in touch with me at The Content Boutique. Together we can work out what makes your business unique and how you can stand out from the crowd.

Claire Hawes, copywriter and owner of The Content BoutiqueAbout Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing engaging copy that helps businesses to get noticed and attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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