What Is A Unique Selling Proposition? All You Need To Know
Competition is natural in business, especially with the rise of e-commerce. With so many options, customers feel overwhelmed when deciding where to shop. As a business, you need to understand how customers choose one business over another. What makes their product different or better than all the other options on the market?
Knowing how to position your products and brand will make you stand out from hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that sell the same products. This article will explain what a unique selling proposition is and how it can help customers choose your business. You can use the table of contents to skip to any section that interests you.
What Is a Unique Selling Proposition?
Your unique selling proposition (USP) must answer the customers’ major question: how is this business different? A USP shows why your business is better than the competition and offers something competitors do not. It’s what you’re known for and what makes you different and better than others in your industry.
A well-defined USP helps businesses make marketing, copywriting, and branding decisions. Knowing what makes you different from other businesses is pivotal, no matter how big your company is. Your USP plays an important role in bringing in new potential customers and engaging current ones. It directly affects the perceived value of your products or services, which can help you charge more or convince a customer to buy from you instead of someone else.
Features of a Compelling USP
A compelling unique selling proposition should have certain features. It should be:
- Assertive: When you take a particular position for your business, you must stick with it. Assertiveness is essential when you know your USP will compete with thousands of similar companies. Simply put, you need to take a memorable and specific position for your product rather than making generic claims like “we make the best products.” Instead, go for something like “the only Arizona-based business with 100% recycled packaging.”
- Unique: Your USP must be different from what’s already out there. If other businesses sell the same product, your USP should make you stand out. It shouldn’t be something too generic like “we make high-quality clothes.”
- Timely: Unique selling propositions tend to lose power as the market changes and evolves. That’s why your USP must address a problem customers face right now.
- Targeted: Your unique selling proposition should have a target market. Who is your customer? What problems does your product or service solve? If your USP is not targeted, then chances are you’re wasting time and effort better spent elsewhere.
Why Businesses Need a Unique Selling Proposition
Understanding the importance of an effective unique selling proposition can help you:
- Stand out from the competition.
- Position your brand as a leader in the industry.
- Increase sales.
- Gain more customers and return those who have already shopped from you.
Businesses often have trouble making a name for themselves if customers see them as just another generic option. A strong USP will make you THE option for the customer.
How to Write a Unique Selling Proposition
When it comes to writing a USP for your business, there’s no one-fits-all approach. However, there are some practices business owners can adopt to make their USPs compelling and impactful.
Appeal to your customers
It’s crucial to make sure that each of your customers feels like your company exclusively caters to them. How do you assure this? Appeal to your customers or clientele. Get your message across in a way that directly impacts your customers and how they perceive your product or service.
Remember, one of the reasons you’re crafting a USP is to address client needs and problems. For example, ConvertKit differs from other email marketing platforms because it offers email marketing services to independent creators.
ConvertKit knows its target audience and has crafted its USP accordingly: “ConvertKit helps you find your audience, turn them into true fans, and earn a living as a creator.”
If they stopped at “helps you find your audience,” they wouldn’t be able to attract as many customers since this statement applies to everyone with an audience. The supporting statement that mentions earning a living “as a creator” speaks to individual creators, assuring them that ConvertKit will meet their particular email marketing needs.
Be specific and avoid generic phrases
If you say something like, “We offer high-quality products at an affordable price,” chances are other businesses are doing the same. That’s why it’s important to be specific with your USP so people can understand at a glance what makes you different. Words like “quality” and “price” are generic, while words like “highest-quality materials used” or “best price in town” will give your unique selling proposition a sense of exclusivity.
Specificity will also help your customers know what to expect when buying from you. There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on an ad that promises a “unique product no one has ever heard about” only to find something everyone has seen at least once.
Be concise and easy to understand
USPs should be able to answer two simple questions: “who” and “what.” You need to ensure your unique selling proposition is short enough that people won’t have difficulty getting the information they need but long enough to understand what they’re buying.
You want to relay a simple message to your target market. Make sure the message can be clearly understood and is effective in making a sale. Too much jargon might leave your customers scratching their heads. They might get confused and leave if you’re using big words no one understands.
Incorporate power words
A power word is a word that has a strong, lasting effect on your customers. Your unique selling proposition must include power words to make an impact and a good impression.
Here’s a list of some common examples:
You can also benefit from using numbers. For instance, instead of saying that your products are “low-cost,” you could say that they’re 56% cheaper than other options on the market or that you’ve reduced the price by 56%.
Numbers sound more authoritative and make people feel like they’re getting a better deal. However, it’s important to note that this is only effective if the claim is true.
Clichés are phrases or expressions that have become so common that people no longer feel compelled to take them seriously. For instance, using “the highest quality products” in your USP will not help you sell more because multiple brands use the same cliché in marketing campaigns.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to avoid expressions people might find overused. You want to stand out, after all, which means going for something a little bit more creative.
While there’s no hard and fast rule about how to write a good USP, the tips mentioned above should help you craft an effective one.
Unique Selling Proposition Examples
It’s good to have some inspiration when writing a unique selling proposition for your business. Here are some good examples.
Robinhood is an online investment platform. What makes Robinhood different from similar services? You can invest as little as $1 on the platform using your phone, and people with no knowledge of the investment space can invest in stocks. That’s precisely their USP: Investing for Everyone.
In just three words, Robinhood makes it clear that everyone can use their platform. Typically, investing is seen as an activity for the wealthy and knowledgeable only. Robinhood stands out by making saving simple for everyone.
Grammarly is an online writing tool that makes grammatical errors a thing of the past. What does Grammarly do differently? Every word you type is checked for mistakes, so you never have to worry about spelling or grammar ever again.
Grammarly aims to work hard so its customers don’t have to. Customers can relax and focus on writing without worrying about errors because Grammarly will fix mistakes automatically. Their unique selling proposition is to help you write in real-time, and that’s what it does.
The company’s USP is “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight, choose FedEx.” In 1973, the company was the first service specializing in overnight air shipping.
It became the flagbearer of overnight shipping services and has never looked back. FedEx is now one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, and its USP still stands as a testament to why people should choose FedEx over other delivery companies.
Even though DHL was already offering overnight delivery in other countries, FedEx was the first to do it in the US. That’s a great example of why timing also matters. DHL may have marketed it first, but FedEx positioned it for the first time.
Initially, Domino’s USP was that the company would deliver pizza to your door in half an hour or less. If not, the pizza was free.
The company stopped giving this guarantee decades ago, but customers still remember the signature Domino’s promise. Reddit posts from as recent as 2019 have referenced Domino’s USP.
That’s exactly what a good USP does. It sticks in customers’ minds and is just as effective as it was decades ago.
Head & Shoulders
As soon as you hear the company’s name, what comes to mind? Dandruff reduction. That’s because Head & Shoulders has crafted its unique selling proposition around eliminating dandruff.
After long research, the scientists at Procter & Gamble found that pyrithione zinc effectively reduces dandruff. By 1961, the company marketed its product with a strong USP, promising dandruff reduction. Hundreds of shampoo brands promise sleek and shiny hair. But Head & Shoulders offered something unique. It solved a particular hair problem that no other brand had.
Even though there are many other anti-dandruff shampoos today, nothing comes close to the level of popularity and success Head & Shoulders has.
If you’ve ever designed a card for someone’s birthday or a business post for your Instagram account, you’d know about Canva. The company’s USP is that it’s “empowering the world to design.”
You can use Canva to design flyers, posters, social media posts, invitations, business cards, and much more. The only prerequisite is creativity. You don’t have to do much since Canva has hundreds of pre-made templates, stickers, and layouts.
What makes Canva different from Adobe Photoshop and ProCreate? It’s for “the world” — for everyone, while its competitors are aimed at advanced or experienced artists. If you were to take a page out of Canva’s book, you’d ensure your USP brings forth something no other company is offering, even if your competitors have been in the industry long before you came along.
Hello Fresh is one of those USP examples you can follow only if you’re extremely confident in your product. The company says it is “America’s most popular meal kit.” Putting forward a USP like this requires you to have the utmost faith in your product because it’s so bold. That may explain why Hello Fresh is still around when other meal kit companies have shut down in the past few years.
Another thing that makes Hello Fresh’s USP so good is that they’re not merely saying it. They save their customers a lot of time, stress, and money, and customers’ success stories and testimonies have proved these claims. It’s one thing to be confident about your product and another to back it up.
Now that you know about some notable examples of good USPs, let’s discuss something that can help you create a USP that leaves a mark.
Web Scraping: What Is It?
Web scraping refers to the process of extracting information from the internet. Search engines have a vast database of websites and blogs that you can access with search queries, and you can scrape information from these websites to create a database that can complete diverse tasks.
For example, you might want to scrape multiple data points from online books and create an ebook or find as many contact details as possible so you can send people email invites to your sales event.
How does web scraping work?
A web scraper is a tool that allows the user to enter a query and then select each web element or item they want to scrape. Examples of these are images, phone numbers, data points, URLs, etc. Once you’ve selected all the elements you need, the web scraper will gather the information from the target websites. It then stores this information in a readable and usable form, such as PDF or CSV files. This data can provide insights about anything from market competition to dynamic pricing.
Since your competitors aren’t exactly elated about the idea of you taking information from their websites to help your own business, they likely have anti-scraping tools in place. That’s where proxies come in. A proxy is a communication channel between you and the target website, and they help access these sites without being detected by anti-scraping tools.
But they’re not just for evading anti-scraping tools. Proxies also make it possible to scrape data anonymously by giving you a different IP address from your real one. This ensures no one else will see the information you’ve collected, nor will they be able to tie it back to you or your business.
Types of proxies
Businesses can use different types of proxies to avoid getting detected. The best proxies are those you can access without leaving any digital footprints. Generally, there are two types of proxies available for this purpose:
Residential proxies give you IP addresses of people with actual residential addresses. These proxies have the following benefits:
- High Privacy: Residential proxies offer a high level of privacy. It is particularly useful for scraping information from websites that may have anti-scraping bots in place.
- High Performance: While using residential proxies, your requests will appear to come from actual users rather than from your machine. This prevents scraping from being detected by bots and other tools.
- Low Latency: Residential proxies generally have lower latency than other proxies.
- Quality: People who use residential internet access don’t want to deal with slow browsing speeds and unreliable connections. For this reason, you’re likely to get high-quality connections.
Blazing SEO’s residential proxies are great for companies that want to scrape the web for high-quality information at top speeds and low latency. Since these proxies are from actual users, they are unlikely to be blocked by target websites.
Data center proxies
Data center proxies aren’t from residential users. These IP addresses are from data centers and other similar high-bandwidth environments and give you the following benefits:
- High Performance: Data center proxies often have high bandwidth and processing speeds preferable for scraping.
- Fewer Blocks: Data center proxies have an effective non-blocking functionality: they don’t get blocked by other IP detection efforts.
- Affordable: Data center proxies are more affordable than residential proxies, making them good for businesses with a limited budget.
Blazing SEO’s data center proxies allow you to scrape the web without getting detected. Businesses can use these proxies to get information from their competitors and craft a USP that helps them stand out from the competition.
Other types of proxies are available, but residential and data center proxies are the most common. They provide both speed and privacy so you can focus on your scraping strategies instead of worrying about getting detected or blocked.
Scraping Robot is a reliable tool that scrapes data for you, leaving you ample time to work on marketing and advertising your business in the best way. Since Scraping Robot takes care of everything from proxy management to proxy rotation, you simply have to deploy it and let it take care of everything.
How Businesses Can Use Web Scraping for Their USPs
Now that you’re familiar with web scraping, let’s discuss how businesses can use it to develop a USP that delivers results.
Determine the USP
Web scraping helps businesses determine their USPs as it gives them insight into the market and their customer pool. Here are ways businesses can use web scraping for USP curation:
Price is an important factor for businesses. Awareness of what your competitors are charging is extremely useful for optimizing prices, maintaining margins, or even beating them. You can use web scraping to monitor prices across various marketplaces, eCommerce stores, and retail outlets to ensure you never miss out on an opportunity by selling at a loss.
For many businesses, USPs revolve around pricing since the target customers are people looking for things on a budget or luxury products. If a business plans to make its USP about pricing, it can use web scraping to find a product or service’s standard market price. Then, it can promise a better deal, enticing customers to choose them over the competition.
All businesses know how many customers are looking for a product that currently doesn’t exist. Web scraping can help you find these products by using keywords to see what people search for most. Analyzing the scraped data will tell you what features customers want. You can then create a product with those features and market it as the answer to your customers’ problems.
You can use all this information to create a product and USP that align well with each other. You can then rank your product against other items in a similar category on search engines and use web scraping to see what keywords consumers use when searching for products in your category.
Customer reviews and feedback
Data-driven web scraping helps businesses understand their target audience better and uncover hidden opportunities in the market. New businesses can use web scraping to collect data about customers who have given their competitors feedback, good or bad. This will help you analyze which market segments need more attention. You can create a USP according to their needs, which will help increase customer satisfaction and lead to more sales and referrals.
To use this data effectively, you need a system that helps you organize the scraped information so it’s easy to phrase your USP properly. For example, if web scraping reveals that most of the customers in your industry are looking for sustainable and eco-friendly products, you can include that in your USP. That’s bound to attract those consumers.
When you create a USP, you have to make sure there’s a demand for that product or feature. When FedEx came up with overnight shipping, it knew other companies already offered regular shipping, but they offered something new that set them apart.
There weren’t many companies back then, so finding out about your competitors wasn’t as hard. Today, there’s a lot of competition, which means it’s challenging to know what everyone else is doing. Web scraping can help you stay updated about what your competitors are up to. If they’re selling a product similar to what you have in mind, you’ll know. If they are offering something you have a better version of, you’ll know that too.
With this information, you can create a USP that speaks to the customers and piques their interest.
Web scraping also lets businesses scrape the web for news regarding their industry and competitors, keeping you in the loop about what’s going on in your market so you can be ready with a USP when the need arises.
It will also alert you to something new that might disrupt everyone’s business. Instead of fighting to change consumers’ minds, you can take advantage of the situation.
The pandemic is a good example in this regard. Let’s compare two businesses: A and B. Business A hears about a virus at the same time as Business B. When lockdown restrictions and added safety regulations are put in place, Business A scrapes local and global news to get an insight into the shopping trends for the future.
It may find that brick-and-mortar stores worldwide are offering contactless payment to ensure the customers’ safety and put their minds at ease. Business A instantly starts to offer contactless payments. Business A also offers order-and-pickup services, allowing customers to add items to cart from home and pick them up for the store so that they don’t have to spend too much time in a crowded store.
Meanwhile, Business B doesn’t take any similar steps. By the time the pandemic fully hits, Business A will potentially have more customers due to contactless payments and convenient shopping services.
Web scraping is a great tool as long as you know how to use the information in your favor. You have to be smart about what data you pull and how you analyze it. When doing a unique selling proposition analysis, you need the freshest information possible. It should be updated within a week if it’s related to changes in your industry and market.
Sentiment analysis of USP
Once you’ve created a USP and formed your marketing campaign around it, you need to determine consumer and market response.
Sentiment analysis refers to the “feel” of a text. It tells you if the text is positive, negative, or neutral. Sentiment analysis can also help you detect if it’s an email or comment. You can use this information to determine whether your USP meets the right criteria and what you need to improve to appeal to more people.
For example, if you see your USP getting a lot of negative comments and reviews, you might want to tweak the information or change its wording. Maybe it’s not communicating your brand’s message properly.
If there are no strong feelings reflected in the sentiment analysis, it means your current USP is doing its job but not exceeding customer expectations. You could use web scraping to determine why your product or service gets such a lukewarm response and if there’s room for improvement.
Suppose you get 20% negative reviews and 80% positive reviews. Although the feedback is predominantly positive, it still helps to know why 20% aren’t satisfied. You can use this information to improve your business accordingly.
What you scrape will depend on your industry and business. For example, an ice cream company would want to know which flavor customers have preferred. The analysis should provide them with the information they need to know about their customers’ preferences.
Keep up with the latest trends
Having one or two competitors is fine. But when too many companies offer similar products or services, you have to be smart about what kind of data you collect. Collecting real-time industry-related data can help you keep up with the latest trends. For instance, globally, the following trends are ruling the business space:
- Sustainability and eco-friendliness
- Agile organizations
- Purpose-driven businesses
- A balance between intelligent robots and human workers
With web scraping, you can find the exact trends that are noteworthy in your particular industry. What kind of brands do customers gravitate towards? Which additional services do customers expect from brands?
For instance, next-day and same-day delivery is quickly becoming a customer demand in the eCommerce space, as 41% of customers are ready to pay an extra charge for same-day delivery.
Web scraping helps you perform industry analysis for upcoming trends and consumer expectations, so you don’t lag behind your competition. Industry analysis enables you to stay in tune with competitors so you can avoid getting stuck in a local maxima trap, where your business is doing great but not reaching its full potential. You might be settling for something just because it’s good enough, even when there are better options.
With industry analysis, you can look at your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, so you can figure out what you need to improve on. You can also do market research to find out if there is an opportunity for changing your USP in a way that might attract more customers.
Monitor USP usage
What if you come up with a USP for your business and another company is already using it? That could be confusing for your customers and potential clients.
Web scraping helps you monitor whether a competitor is using any of your USP phrases or tags. If it’s the latter, you can immediately delete them from your website to avoid plagiarism. Likewise, you can figure out how to offer something different from your competitors.
Industry analysis using web scraping is not hard to do. All you need is the right data and software, like Scraping Robot, to extract information from any website on the internet. It also saves time that you’d otherwise waste manually collecting data from different sources.
Who Can Use Web Scraping to Curate a USP?
We’ve already mentioned that businesses can use web scraping to create an impactful USP. But what kind of businesses benefit most from web scraping?
Businesses in highly competitive industries
Businesses in a competitive industry have to work harder to develop a USP that sets them apart from competitors. The more competitive the industry, the more difficult it is for a business to succeed. Some examples include:
Suppose you’re starting a hotel in a tourist town that already offers ample accommodations to visitors. You must come up with something to differentiate yourself from every other hotel or Airbnb in the area. Offer something that others do not, such as extra amenities, multilingual staff, proximity to important locations, etc.
Similarly, a retail business can stay competitive in an ever-growing online eCommerce space by offering services like free same-day delivery. For example, an online apparel store can provide virtual fitting rooms for its customers to stand out from similar stores.
Competition forces companies to constantly find new ways of convincing customers why they should buy their products or services over others. In industries where it’s really tough to make an impact, you have to come up with something original that makes people want to do business with you.
This is why businesses in highly competitive industries need to do an industry analysis using web scraping. It saves time and helps businesses figure out what they need to change to get ahead of competitors.
If you’re an individual entrepreneur, you’ll have fewer resources than a company with tens or hundreds of employees. You have to be smart about how much money you spend and how you approach the customer pool because you need to make sure everything is sustainable in the long run.
Entrepreneurs who start their business as a startup tend to focus on other things before worrying about branding and promotion. They need to get their product or service to the market to acquire customers. However, startups need to put effort into branding and creating a USP that makes them stand out. Identifying an opportunity space in the market is crucial as it sets the tone for your financial future.
Entrepreneurs can let a tool like Scraping Robot take care of their research needs while focusing on other aspects of a business. Once they’ve collected enough information through web scraping, they can analyze it and create a USP that aligns with what customers want.
Here are some frequently asked questions about unique selling propositions.
What is proposition uniqueness?
Proposition uniqueness refers to the factors that make a product or service offer different from your competitor’s. Meanwhile, marketability encompasses the factors that make a product or service appealing and engaging enough for customers to purchase it.
How can you use a USP in business strategy?
A unique selling proposition is a marketing tool. In other words, it helps you convince people why they should buy from you instead of the competition. It shows the customers that you’re different from others because you’re offering something original.
If your USP successfully gets customers to buy from you, it’s undoubtedly effective. However, if the target audience doesn’t respond to it warmly, you must tweak it.
How does web scraping help in creating a USP?
Web scraping gives businesses insight into what customers may want. You can use this information to craft a USP that will make the target audience think of your business right away when they need what you’re offering.
How long does it usually take to come up with a good USP?
It’s challenging to state how long it takes since many factors influence this. But as a general rule of thumb, the more knowledgeable you are about your product’s strengths and what the competitors are offering, the sooner you can create a compelling USP.
How much does website scraping cost?
The price of web scraping software depends on the number of proxies, accounts, and API calls you need. You can request the pricing for Scraping Robot here.
Use Web Scraping for Unique Selling Proposition Analysis
A unique selling proposition is an effective marketing tool that can help you acquire more customers and boost your brand awareness. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t know how to write a unique selling proposition. That’s where web scraping enters the picture.
Web scraping is an efficient research method that allows you to gather information about your competitors and find opportunities in the market. During unique selling proposition analysis, it helps companies determine what customers want so they can craft a USP that will attract more consumers and bolster revenue.
Web scraping makes your business smarter. It provides you with the data you need to make better decisions and offer what customers really desire.
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