USP: What's Your USP?

In your company, what is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?   We often hear the term applied to products or services, but having a USP applies equally well to our company and our own individual brand.  The Unique Selling Proposition (also Unique Selling Point) is a concept that was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern among successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. It states that such campaigns made unique propositions to the customer and that this convinced them to switch brands.   Here’s a few questions that reveal how the term can be applied to us as individual contributors:

  • Unique = Why should others pay attention to you? What unique credentials or experiences do only you have?
  • Selling = Why is this uniqueness important? Why should everyone in your company be “sold” on you?
  • Proposition = What specific proposition do you offer? [This is usually your strategic vision] How will your company be better off with you as a key leader?

These are legitimate questions and you need to have answers…  This is true for your business and personal life. Be willing to open up and let others get to know who you are. This is what makes you unique.  Do others find you interesting – and even fascinating – so that they would want to spend an hour having lunch with you? This may require you to get out of your private comfort zone.  This is also important because all of your actions affect the company.  There are numerous examples of a company’s stock price floundering when the CEO is distracted by divorce, death of a child, an affair or even an expensive home purchase.

“USP” positioning is about making yourself different from, and more valuable than, other options–and placing that idea in the minds of a target group of customers.  In a world where there are more and more people, products and services every day, your USP offers a way to break through the noise and be seen and valued for the contributions you can make.