Your USP, or “unique sales proposition,” is the cornerstone of your marketing story.

It’s a short and compelling description of what makes you different from your competitors — and it answers your potential customers’ three biggest questions…

  • “Why should I do business with you instead of anyone else?”
  • “What can your product or service do for me that others can’t?”
  • “What can you guarantee that no one else can guarantee?”

Here are 7 great USPs that answer these questions and communicate value in an unforgettable way:

Be uncommon

1. FedEx:  “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

FedEx used this powerful USP to dominate its industry for years by appealing to people who want to ensure their package arrives at its destination as soon as possible.

2. Avis: “We’re number two. We try harder.”

When Avis positioned themselves as the underdogs willing to go to greater lengths to offer better service than their number one rival, Hertz, their market share soared from 11% to 35%.

3. Dove: “Redefining beauty.”

Dove promotes healthy self-esteem by encouraging people to widen their definition of what it means to be beautiful – a bold way to set themselves apart in an industry that is famous for promoting an unattainable definition of beauty.

4. Dollar Shave Club: “A great shave for a few bucks a month.”

This online monthly razor blade delivery service rocketed to success when their fabulous promotional video went viral. Their USP is unforgettable.

5. Tiny Buddha: “Simple wisdom for complex lives.”

This popular website offers Buddhism-based advice and inspiration on how to simplify your day-to-day existence and achieve greater peace and happiness.

6. Fleisher’s: “Pasture-raised meats sourced only from family-run farms in New York state”

Here’s a New York butcher shop that offers only sustainably raised, hormone- and pesticide-free meat sourced from family-run farms and slaughterhouses based in New York State. I bet the “buy local” crowd in the Big Apple love this place.

7. TOMS Shoes: “One for One”

For every pair of shoes or other product you buy, TOMS will give shoes, eyeglasses, fresh water, and birth kits to people in need in over 70 countries around the world. For people who want their dollars to have a positive impact in the world, this USP is hugely appealing.

So, how do you come up with your own unforgettable USP?

Here are some tips…

1. Make it unique

Research your competitors to discover what their USPs are. What unique promises do they make to their customers? What are they NOT offering? Look for the gaps –that’s where you should focus your attention.

2. Keep it short

Think in terms of a short sentence, not a paragraph. The fewer words you use in your USP, the easier it will be to remember it.

3. Make it specific

Your USP should create a clear picture of the benefits your products or services offer, so people can easily visualize themselves using them.

4. Focus on benefits

How will your products or services make your customers’ lives better? This is what they want to know.

5. Make it unforgettable

Focus on using powerful wording that gets your point across in a strong and compelling way. Your USP should grabs people’s attention and stick in their minds long afterward.

6. Give it personality

The best USPs convey an engaging personality. Consider Avis’s classic USP: “We’re number two. We try harder.” The self-deprecating humor is what makes it so great.

7. Deliver on your promise

This probably goes without saying, but make sure your promise is one that you can keep. Your customers’ loyalty is the most valuable business asset you can possess — and loyalty is based on trust.

So those are my tips on how to create a USP that will stand out from the noise to grab people’s attention, inspire loyalty, and spread word about your company to new audiences.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments!