Home Β» Blog Β» BUSINESS Β» Business Principles Β» What Is USP - Unique Selling Proposition

If you find this blog post useful, please share it on your social profiles!

Facebook icon Facebook icon LinkedIn icon



You’ve finally done it: you’ve chosen the business niche where you’ll develop your business project and bring your entrepreneurial idea to life.

But there’s a lingering doubt: what’s the market’s use for yet another entrepreneur selling the same things as everyone else?

Why should people buy from you, the newcomer, instead of sticking with competitors who have been around for years?

These are smart questions, and today, in this blog post, I’ll provide you with the solution: the Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

The USP, as it’s abbreviated, is your distinctive idea that explains to your customers why you’re different from your competitors and how you can help them better than anyone else.

Finding your USP isn’t complicated; in fact, it’s a process that will help you understand more about your competitors and their methods.

Follow along, and I’ll guide you through all the steps.

And it’s all free, just as it is on my entire blog.

Let’s get started!

Why You Should Differentiate Your Business/font>

The key to success in any business – second only to certified and demonstrable testimonials from satisfied customers – is the differentiating idea, namely what sets your business apart from all your competitors.

The differentiating idea is important for two reasons:

1. You Can’t Do What Everyone Else Is Already Doing

Today, you can’t simply be another entrepreneur doing the same things as all your competitors.

You can’t just be another real estate agent selling any type of house in New York, or another jewelry store opening on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

A jewelry store on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence
One of the countless jewelry stores on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Source: Italia.it.

Without a unique differentiation idea, people will always choose to buy from businesses that have been on the market longer than you.

Imagine launching a new real estate agency in Forte dei Marmi, a place with more real estate agencies than residents, without having a unique idea that sets you apart from the other real estate agencies.

In this scenario, even if you’re optimistic, it might take a whole year to attract your first client.

And most likely, that client stumbled into your office just by mistake.

Do you wonder why?

Well, it’s because people will go to agencies that have been around for ages, and you don’t offer anything to pique their curiosity to turn to you instead of businesses with impeccable credibility and history.

Another example: have you ever purchased an e-commerce course from a self-proclaimed guru promising you to earn thousands of dollars a day?

If you’ve ever bought and followed an e-commerce course, I’m sure that, during the lessons, everything seemed fantastic to you.

Until the last lesson, you couldn’t wait to start, excited about the millions of dollars the course guru promised you would earn within just one month of launching your e-commerce business.

But then the harsh reality of the business world hit: you launched your store and the only money you saw moving was what you had to spend to create and finance advertising campaigns to promote, with little success, your e-commerce.

Well, maybe it was the fault of the product that wasn’t selling.

Or maybe there was a financial crisis and all the markets were stagnant.

No, I’m sorry, none of that.

There was no financial crisis and people were buying the products you were selling in large quantities… they just preferred to buy them through Amazon or directly from AliExpress instead of your e-commerce.

Why should they buy from you, a total stranger with 0 testimonials or with hundreds of blatantly false testimonials, when the same product is available (at a lower price) on Amazon, with billions of certified reviews and the security of buying from Amazon?

So, before diving headfirst and realizing your business idea, you must understand how your business idea can differentiate itself from the competition.

2. Give the Public What They Really Want, Not What You Think They Should Want

Pay attention to this point because it’s very important.

Some time ago on this blog, I had a section dedicated to my personal reviews of the most famous business books in history.

I thought – actually, I was convinced – that people would want to have a more or less precise map of the best business books to buy.

I devoted myself wholeheartedly to it and reviewed about 50, taken from the most famous in history.

Well, the visits to the pages containing the reviews represent only 2% of the total visits to my blog.

The earnings from those reviews were zero and furthermore no one bought them on Amazon using my affiliate link.

So I deleted that section because, despite my conviction otherwise, no one was interested.

This real anecdote serves to show you that in business, you must adopt the mentality that the words “I” or “we” do not exist.

What you consider obvious may not necessarily be so for your customers.

You don’t sell products or services to yourself or to your friends/colleagues/family, etc.

You sell products or services to a market segment that has shown the intention to buy them.

Therefore, it is fundamental, especially for startups, to understand what their customers actually want and how to provide it to them better than the competition.

The Wrong USP

Many companies worldwide launch unique selling propositions that are entirely useless, failing to build credibility and authority.

For example, a meaningless differentiation used by 9 out of 10 companies is:

“The highest quality at the lowest price!”

An Amazon store called Best Quality Lower Price.
An Amazon store called Best Quality Lower Price. I wouldn’t be surprised if, when you click on it, this store had closed…
Source: Amazon’s “Low Price Best Quality.”

This phrase, used by a huge number of companies, is incredibly weak because not only is it not exclusive – as it can be attributed to any business – but it also fails to define the company’s philosophy, explain its purpose, or show what motivates the owner to get up every day and differentiate from the competition.

However, it just so happens that your customers want to know exactly these things.

Your customers want to understand who you are, what you do, and above all why you do it.

So, the key to creating your differentiation lies in understanding what your ideal customer really wants and striving to provide it better than anyone else.

Usually, creating a differentiating phrase isn’t the easiest thing because it requires in-depth analysis and multiple trial and error attempts before discovering what really works.

But you can consider yourself lucky: you’ve found this blog post, which will now guide you through a step-by-step process to discover your unique and differentiating idea.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Differentiate Your Business from Competitors

Once, to understand how to stand out from competitors, companies used to ask consumers to take part in surveys, where they were asked about their purchasing preferences and what they would like to see improved both by a particular company and by the entire industry.

Back then, the world was still analog, and there were no other methods for conducting in-depth market research.

Unfortunately, this outdated and ineffective method for gathering important data is still being taught today by various scammers through their basic and full of vague and wrong concepts business courses costing thousands of dollars.

But what concerns me is that it’s still being taught even within academic environments, which should be the first to pursue innovation and try to keep up with the times.

The question is: what do we mean by “survey”?

An online questionnaire?

Some suggest providing a questionnaire to the customer immediately after purchasing a product.

The strategy of bothering customers outside stores with surveys and evaluations is becoming increasingly impractical today.

From experience, I can assure you that few people would respond sincerely.

Understanding everything about our customers only through empirical data, most of which is given as a favor and therefore not reflecting reality, is very difficult.

The only effective market and consumer analysis from which to extract a valid differentiating idea is to focus on the concrete data we already have.

As always, mathematics and numbers are the answer to all our problems.

I have personally developed a step-by-step process that has proven to be extremely effective in finding your differentiating idea, regardless of your business.

Step 1: Pen and Paper

Take a sheet of paper and a pen (or open a Microsoft Word document if you’re more of a nerd like me).

Step 2: Look for Negative Reviews

Your task now is to identify and read all the negative reviews that customers have given to businesses similar to yours.

Explore all the platforms you know, search for “Reviews on [COMPANY NAME].”

Check Google, Amazon, Facebook, everywhere.

For example, if you run a family-owned restaurant, open TripAdvisor and study the negative reviews of other family-owned restaurants in your area.

If you run a real estate agency, read the negative reviews of other real estate agencies on Google My Business.

If you want to sell a technical book in a particular niche, go to Amazon and check the negative reviews of the best-selling books in your niche.

In the descriptions of my books on Amazon, I explicitly wrote that I read the negative reviews of other business books to write mine and provide the market with something that compensates for the shortcomings of other authors.

Part of the description of my ebook on Amazon
Part of the description of my ebook on Amazon.
Source: Amazon.com.

Obviously, skip all those useless reviews like “Not serious!” or “I had a bad experience!”

These are people who would leave negative reviews even for Jesus.

Focus only on the reviews that actually demonstrate that the person who left the review has suffered a wrong or had a bad experience.

Only the reviews that articulate and demonstrate having a problem count, the rest are just complaints that are irrelevant.

Step 3: Write Down Every Negative Review

Take note of every negative review you find and mark an “X” next to each recurring complaint.

For example, if you come across a complaint about the real estate agent “John Doe” cluttering clients’ emails with properties that do not meet the specified requirements, take note of it.

If you find the same complaint against another real estate agent, add an “X” next to it, so this complaint will have already been reported by two people.

If you find a third negative review in which another customer complains about the same problem, add another “X” and so on.

Step 4: Identify a Negative Review with at Least 10 X’s

Once you find a negative review with a minimum of 10 X’s, you have discovered your differentiating idea: your business should address and solve that particular problem.

Suppose you sell cleaning products.

Through Amazon, you discover that customers complain that all other cleaning products on the market contain aggressive chemicals that can harm health or the environment.

This is the most common complaint that at least 10+ customers have complained about.

So here’s a hypothesis for a differentiating idea:

“The first line of completely natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products, formulated with biodegradable and non-toxic ingredients, effective in removing dirt and bacteria without causing harm to human health and the environment.”

It’s just an example (and a bit silly), but I hope I’ve been clear on how the process works to find your differentiating idea.

Technical Tips for Crafting Your Unique Selling Proposition

From a purely technical standpoint, the phrase you’ll use as your differentiation factor doesn’t have a preset length.

It can range from a concise slogan to a short paragraph.

However, it’s crucial to avoid excessive use of adjectives.

Be direct, clear, and concise in your approach; go straight to the point and explain simply, with words understandable to everyone, why people should buy from you rather than your competitors.

If you find this blog post useful, please share it on your social profiles!

Facebook icon Facebook icon LinkedIn icon


AWeber badgeGet free advice from top world's entrepreneurs on launching your business idea and promoting it through effective marketing strategies.

Join more than 100+ people from around the world by subscribing to my newsletter (see the badge on this page, awarded by AWeber to the first 100 members of my mailing list).

By entering your name and email address in the form at the bottom of this page, you will receive one lesson per day in a step-by-step sequence, ensuring thorough study at your own pace.

This content is constantly updated, almost daily.

They offer a step-by-step path in business, marketing, copywriting, passive income, sales techniques, and much more, ensuring comprehensive study at your own pace (if you don't want to wait, here's the link to the course with all the lessons: CLICK HERE).

You can unsubscribe anytime with a simple mouse click, no questions asked.

❌ No downloads. No requests for money. No books or courses to purchase.

βœ… Just advanced and free business and marketing education.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.