Last Updated on 26 May 2022
POINT: Paul Williams
A unique selling proposition or unique selling point, or USP can be described as “what you would advertise that would make customers switch brands.” You’ll also see or hear POD – point of difference, and UPB – unique perceived benefit.
No matter what you call it, it is the label for what makes you different. That which makes your product, service, process, company… more buyable. The special something your competition doesn’t or can’t offer.
If you don’t have a unique selling proposition, your products are probably perceived as interchangeable with someone else’s. Being interchangeable with too many competitors and you’ve got a commodity.
If you want consumers who have a preference… and a preference because there is something different or better about your products and services, then yes… you should and will be featuring your unique selling proposition.
COUNTERPOINT: John Moore
Who wants to sell a common, ordinary, everyday, me-too product? More important, who wants to buy one?
The retail world is chock-full with all too similar goods and services in every category imaginable. How many people will actually go out of their way to buy what you’re selling if what you’re selling is nearly identical to everything else on the market?
Every brand doesn’t have to have a unique selling proposition. A brand can exist in the abyss of mediocrity.
However, if a brand is to be financially successful, it must have a unique selling proposition, a point of difference, competitive advantage, or whatever you want to call it.
Legendary ceo Jack Welch definitively answered this question by once saying, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”
Right on Jack, right on.