Customers have myriad choices in the marketplace. Through smart, savvy branding, your objective is to make them choose you.

To move in this direction, you have to give them a reason. In this case, that reason is called your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. It's the ONE THING that makes your business different from all other businesses like it in the marketplace.

It’s not just different for the sake of being different; it has to be a specific difference that’s meaningful to your customers, and a difference that none of your competitors can claim.

For branding to be successful, you have to own this USP in your marketplace, and you have to demonstrate it consistently at every customer touch point.

Fundamentally, a brand is:

  • The unique place your business occupies in the minds of your customers and the public. It's that thing people immediately think of when they hear the name of your company.

  • Your business’ uniqueness, i.e., your unique selling proposition (USP). The ONE thing that sets you apart from all your competitors. It has to be something that's meaningful to your customers.

  • A promise of reliability and consistency at every customer touch point. Every time someone comes in contact with your organization, whether through your website, in person, in a newspaper or magazine ad, wherever, your brand dictates that the experience will be exactly what they expect. This consistency of experience is reassuring to customers, and helps turns customers into repeat customers.

    Companies of all sizes and types invest considerable time, energy and creativity to develop brands. A good, strategically developed brand helps them stand apart from their competitors, often results in making them the preferred company in their industry and helps attract more customers, build customer loyalty, grow business and increase revenue.


Examples of unique selling propositions

  • Selling UNIQUE products or services
    When Starbucks was a small neighborhood business in Seattle, the then-owners imported coffee from places like Europe and Africa. These exotic blends were coveted by coffee connoisseurs but not easy to get in the United States. Long before it went global, the original Pike Street Starbucks was a humble little storefront imported coffee lovers traveled to for a product that was largely unavailable elsewhere.

  • Delivering products or services in a UNIQUE way
    When Geek Squad began in 1994, the concept of tech experts making computer-service house calls dressed as special agents was something no one else was doing.

  • UNIQUE way of solving a problem
    The Club that you lock on your steering wheel was a big hit as a theft deterrent. There are various locking devices out there today, but everyone chooses The Club.

  • UNIQUE expertise
    If you can claim a level of knowledge or expertise that no one else has, this can help set your business apart and build business. In cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, high-end restaurants hire "name" chefs to bring their individual talents to their kitchens. There are lots of Japanese restaurants, but only Nobu serves fine cuisine developed by the highly regarded chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

  • UNIQUE guarantee
    A guarantee that no one else is offering can be used as a USP. Domino’s Pizza proved this when it started offering free pizza any time delivery took longer than 30 minutes.

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