3 Simple steps to creating a successful USP

by | career success, CV tips | 1 comment

At the core of your marketing strategy you must have defined your unique selling proposition or USP.

So what is a USP?

In my view it is what you do that gives you a competitive advantage.  The example that springs quickest to mind (being a lover of all things chocolate!)  is the M&Ms slogan, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”

Obviously it depends very much on the market you are in as to exactly what your USP will be but I will say that you will have far more success if you make it personal, appealing, fun and of course,  memorable!

The idea that you need a USP for your business was started in the 1940s by Rosser Reeves whose definition was:

  • Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer i.e. “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”
  • The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer – hence the unique part.
  • The proposition must be so strong that it can entice new customers to your product.

So, how can you create your own USP in 3 simple steps?

  1. Begin by writing down the 3 main benefits of your product or service i.e. why your customer needs your product or service.  Make them unique; what sets your products/services apart from the competition?  Is there a gap in the market that you can fill? Is it the product itself, the offer you are making or perhaps the guarantee that you make for product or service.
  2. People are, as a rule, very skeptical; they want proof that your product or service does what you say. You need to provide them with evidence that your product or service does what you wrote for 1 above.
  3. Take what you have written for 1 and 2 above and combine them into one short, clear and  concise sentence.  It may take you some time to come up with a sentence that you are happy with but keep at it until you feel that it is memorable and can be said with ease.  You can now incorporate this short sentence into all your marketing and advertising, website, business cards, elevator pitch etc.

Of course, the only way for your USP to really work and bring you more clients is to ensure that you always deliver on it 100%!

And the great thing about this technique is that it doesn’t have to apply only in business.  If you are trying to get a new job, you have to be able to sell yourself better than the other candidates. So why not follow these 3 steps and create your own personal USP – I can guarantee that it will help you to stand out and improve your chances of getting the job.

I’d love to hear what your USP is so please feel free to share it as a comment below.


I am a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Employment Interview Consultant, and Career Coach and it is my aim to help ambitious and motivated people like you become fully empowered to get the job you want.