Unique Selling Proposition: Definition, Examples & Benefits

Cody Cromwell
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How a Unique Selling Proposition Works

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a special benefit of a product that makes it stand out from competitors, as well as a benefit that is credible and can be backed up with proof. Unique Selling Propositions are effective because they provide the nudge you need to make your buyer think about your product in a positive way. They offer a marketing tool that is easy to implement, which is why you’ll find more companies using them to market their products.

Definition: Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A Unique Selling Proposition is a benefit of a product that is unique to each product. It is the special benefit of a product, that marketers believe it makes it stand out from competitors. Unique Selling Propositions also give people credibility when they give them proof. It’s a way to let your buyer know and rationalize why they should buy your product above competing products.

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Example: Apple’s USP

Real-world Unique Selling Proposition Examples

FedEx Corporation

As one of the most recognizable companies to ever exist, FedEx is famous for being reliable, efficient and trustworthy. However, it's been a while since the company really ran with its strengths. It's spent the past several years desperately chasing after Amazon's bread crumbs, desperately trying to keep up with the pace and scale of its e-commerce leader. The problem is that FedEx's delivery model cannot do an adequate job of processing these orders.

One way the company can regain its advantage in the market is to adopt its very own quirky delivery model. And so, while the world scrambles to find a new airport to accommodate U.F.O.s, FedEx starts working on a new kind of delivery system. The company will still deliver packages and letters, just as it always has, but it will do so in an unusual, unconventional way, one that's drawn on the talents and unique strengths of its employees.

This is FedEx's Unique Selling Proposition. Nowadays, your brand needs something distinctive if it wants to set itself apart from the competition. Products and services alike need differentiating features that have drama and meaning to them, something that makes them extraordinary, unique and memorable. What's more, the USP has to be supported by positive beliefs, a unique perception of services or products, and a fair, transparent informing process with team building.


Shinola is a watch company that was founded in 2011 in Detroit. In May 2014, Shinola was acquired by Bedrock Manufacturing, a former Harley-Davidson supplier. The company is known for their luxury watches that use materials such as leather, sassafras lumber, and Hazleton paper. One of their most recent watches, the Cushion, was sold on Kickstarter. Since their watch is made from materials that are environmentally friendly, Shinola has gained a lot of fans.

The company, however, has not only gained fans, but also their competitors. Companies such as Cartier, TAG Heuer, and Movado now manufacture leather watches with an oiled finish. Shinola’s main differentiator in the quest to make a leather watch is their environmental ethics. So what differentiates Shinola from their competitors?

It can be hard to figure out what makes a product stand out and what makes it unique. For Shinola, the main differentiator of their brand is their environmental ethics. Shinola adheres to a social mission of bringing manufacturing back to the United States. In addition to keeping manufacturing in America, they also source as much American labor as possible to produce their watches.


Over the last 20 years, the market has seen an increase in the number of car insurance companies. It is now hard to imagine a time when companies didn’t offer car insurance.

Despite the proliferation of car insurance companies, every company has been unable to achieve higher market share or more business.

A simple analysis will show that there are four major reasons why companies have failed to increase sales:

  • Ineffective advertising and marketing.
  • Inaccurate price.
  • Lack of service.
  • Costly product.

At the same time, GEICO has been able to increase its market share over the years. It is now second to State Farm, followed by Farmers and Allstate.

Addressing the above issues, GEICO has implemented unique strategies. Here are some examples of GEICO’s strategies that are beneficial to its customers:

  • It is the first online only auto insurance company.
  • It advertises a single policy for any car from the date of the policy and not from the initial purchase.
  • It offers a free quote in one minute and a credit card payment option with a 0% discount.
  • It is the only company to give a 15 days risk free trial policy to its customers.
  • It has the best claims service in every state.


SEO is still seen by most companies as something that requires a ton of time and effort but can still yield a decent ROI. This approach is wrong as most companies are now looking for a solution that provides immediate results that are measurable.

Not all businesses need SEO but Apptegy like to see their clients gain the best reach possible. This is why they have created Unique Selling Proposition to not only gain the best in organic traffic but also to tap into other markets and expand their reach.

Their mission is to provide the best in Digital Marketing. This mission is not something that can be achieved without comprehensive research and a lot of detailed work. To meet this mission, Apptegy has built a good and experienced team and they continue to improve their services.

They provide services that cover Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization, Mobile Optimization, Online Reputation Management and Pay Per Click services. There is really a good online reputation management plan that can bring the best and the brightest to the company.

Apptegy now continue to innovate and build not only their business but also their relationships that will allow them to grow in the coming years.

They would like to thank readers of their blog and all their customers for making their mission a living pleasure.

Saddleback Leather

Saddleback Leather has a number of products that you should consider buying if you are looking for unique gifts.

For instance, if you want to gift a Wallet to someone whom you feel he/she will use it, Saddleback Leather makes a great gift option. Saddleback Leather goes an extra mile in making their Wallets highly durable in addition to being fashionable. They ship their wallets in a canvas bag for the best protection. Not only that, but if you order your Saddleback Leather wallet from Saddleback Leather website, you will get a 10-year guarantee on it too!

If you want to gift a Handbag to someone whom you feel she would love to carry, Saddleback Leather makes a great choice. Saddleback Leather makes use of a special saddle design that is why their handbags comes with the specific name … Saddleback.

How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition in 5 Steps

A unique selling proposition is the most important key to a successful business. Across the world, your peers will also be doing the same thing you are, but, your unique selling proposition will differentiate your business from your competitors.

Unique selling proposition is the most important key to a successful business.

Unique selling proposition helps in the creation of a brand that people can relate to. Customers will be attracted towards your brand due to the uniqueness of your product or service.

If you don’t have a unique selling proposition then your business will go into the wrong direction and failure is the only thing which can invite.

Unique selling proposition helps you in differentiating yourself from a group of competitors who are in the same business industry. Your customers won’t be confused who is your competitor and who is your customer.

If your business has the superior quality and service with the better price than your competitors then your customers will definitely look for your products first.

Unique selling proposition is the most important key to successful business.

Start With Your Target Audience

Unique selling proposition is a marketing term and a concept used in business. It is a key element in the market research, which helps in identifying the need of the user and develop the product accordingly. In short, it is the unique value of a product or service that attracts and keeps the audience’s attention.

In order to understand the uniqueness of the product, we need to know what the product is. So start with your target audience. Keep in mind that while your product or service may appeal to one of the three groups, there may be other groups who might not be interested in this.

A product’s uniqueness is an outcome of competitive analysis that helps to identify the gaps in the market. You need to understand who your target customers, what they want and how you can add value to their lives. Only after that, you can figure out the uniqueness that will differentiate your product from the rest.

Identify & Understand Your Competition

List Out How Your Solution Is Unique

A Unique Selling Proposition is a statement or a phrase that emphasizes your strengths, in comparison with your competitors, and distinguishes your offer from the competition. A key selling point is used to understand or predict the customer’s behavior and to improve it.

A unique selling proposition is what you do for the customer that no one else does to help gain their business.

Define Your USP

What Makes You Unique

People buy products they believe will solve their problems. If you have a goal, a problem to solve, or a desire to sell something – you need to understand what that goal, problem or desire is and then target the right audience with a unique selling proposition (USP) that appeals specifically to them. People don’t just buy products or services. They buy solutions to their problems or desires. Thus, the USP is the solution you provide. Everyone has a reason to buy your product or service. Your challenge is to identify the right USP to appeal to them.

The USP is simply a description of what you are trying to sell or present in your marketing message (your USP can be as few as one sentence or be several paragraphs in length).

For example, say you are a baker and you have created a new cake that contains no sugar or flour. Yes, it’s possible ….

Now let’s say you have spent the last nine months creating this beautiful, delicious, low carbohydrate cake. This is your USP. It tells people why they should purchase your product. It tells them they get to indulge in something delicious without feeling guilty.

Integrate Your USP Into Your Sales Strategy

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP), more popularly known as USP, is a simple yet powerful statement that encompasses a why, a who and a what.

USP’s can present a new perspective to existing products and can be the key element that helps your product stand out among its competitors.

Why Having a Unique Selling Proposition Matters

Having a unique selling proposition is a valuable component to creating remarkable sellable products and services. A unique selling proposition is a statement used to appeal to your customer's desire and to display to your audience what makes your product different and / better than your competition.

Without a unique selling proposition your product or service would be unable to stand out amongst all the other competing products and services in the marketplace. While an acceptable unique selling proposition is important to many businesses, one that exhibits the appropriate degree of uniqueness is essential.

A good unique selling proposition will consistently demonstrate the qualities that make your product different from all of your competitors. Benefits are an excellent way to demonstrate these unique qualities to your customers and distinguish your offerings from the competition.

Benefits describe the qualities of a product or service and offer tangible evidence that a sale is warranted. Because they contain specific elements of a product or service and provide the rationale that a customer should need or want the product or service, benefits are an effective tool in making a unique selling proposition. If your product or service claims no benefits, then it gives the message that you’re offering a basic product without any differentiating features or qualities.

The Benefits of a Unique Selling Proposition

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a one-line promotional message developed to clearly and concisely stand out from your competition. USPs can take many forms, but are often logo slogans and taglines. They should be more memorable than your competitors’ messages.

Here are a few examples to get you thinking about your own USP:

  • Quality furniture that actually suits you better than the retailer’s …
  • Farm-to-table meals made fresh on-site …
  • Homes that are built better, think stronger and look better …
  • Personalized health care that really cares …

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some of the benefits of a Unique Selling Proposition?

The benefits of USP are numerous and of a wide-ranging nature. Most importantly, USP can keep your company focused on the market and solve its problems. In other words, Unique Selling Proposition makes the work of a marketing agency easier by creating a target market for the product and also establishing a brand. This makes your company a focus for the target market. It’s also a tool that motivates people to choose your product over that of your competitors.

What are the common mistakes made in using a Unique Selling Proposition?

Since USP is a tool that can help formulate an effective marketing plan, many people don’t consider its importance. Some of the common mistakes made while using the USP are:

A) Using USP for all advertising and marketing campaigns: it’s alright to use USP for some of the campaigns or a particular product, but not all.

B) Duplicating USP by using it in all your marketing campaigns: this is violating the truth that a good Unique Selling Proposition is unique. You can’t use a unique USP for all your marketing campaigns as it can’t effectively communicate your reasons for usage.

How is a selling point different from a sales pitch?

For those business owners set on distinguishing their business above all others, a unique selling point (USP) could be the answer to their prayers. "Unique selling points distinguish your business from your competitors," says industry expert and strategist Brian K. Bowman in his book "Why Good Companies Don't Innovate." "These selling points should engage the consumers."

"You can create a unique selling point that really appeals to the target market, not just describe your business. USPs connect the customer with your business in a way that other descriptions will not," says Bowman. "When developed and executed correctly, USPs can differentiate your business from competition and increase profits for your company."

A USP makes it easier for consumers to make a decision and can help them remember you or your brand. As Bowman says, "A USP is not exactly a slogan. It is more effective than any slogan, because it is a fact. If you need a slogan, you have failed."

If you want to create an effective USP, there's no need to get overly creative. In his book, Bowman offers examples of some of the most effective USPs. Depending on the business, some of these may work while others may not.

Can I have more than one USP?

A few years back, I discovered this really awesome company in beta. They were too early for their market. They hadn’t really told anyone about their product and they were making no sales. However, the product had a built in USP and it was really cool. All I had to do was promote the USP. They made some money and I got to role model for understanding a USP.

That was great for me. I made money and I landed a great client. I may have played the right role. My client got value from the product.

But I watched their product languish and die a slow death as they continued to release more product without repeating the USP.

Every USP needs to get repeated, repeated, repeated again. The USP will not stand on its own. It is only when the USP is relayed again and again does it start to have an impact.

Now that I understand this from the first hand, I’ve found myself having to take a step back and say that I can’t have more than one USP. I can’t be right all the time.

As a marketer, I can’t just give the solution thus leaving everyone else to find a solution, but instead, I have to be able to talk about the problem and the solution.

Bottom Line

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

It can get quite confusing when it comes to unique selling propositions. This is especially true when it’s compared to a term such as ‘marketing message’.

There’s no denying that USP is one of the most popular marketing terms in the industry. And with good reason! The term and its definition really do reflect the need for brands to provide a unique selling proposition.

To help you get your head around the term along with its different examples, it’s best to start with a simple definition. So here is the definition for USP…

USP stands for unique selling proposition…

A Unique Selling Proposition Is a Key Part of Every Brand’s Marketing Strategy

The more unique your marketing message is, the stronger your brand will be.

By understanding the unique selling proposition of your brand and what your customers see most on your website or in a store, you can create effective marketing strategies that will strengthen the brand and your customer relationships.

Understand the basics of branding, and you’ll be able to develop a powerful USP for your brand.

Using the example of Apple…