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Determine your USP to stand out from the crowd


Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what sets your business apart from your competitors. Determining your USP is therefore paramount in carving out a niche in a crowded marketplace.

At activ we work with a wide range of clients from many types of businesses; we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping find unique qualities to market and promote your business. This is our guide to how to discover your USP.



The best way to start is simply by brainstorming. You will need to write down all the features that make your product or service unique. For products, for example, you could list down how it is made, the types of ingredients that are used, where it is sourced from etc. For a service, you might want to list all the things that you are proud of that you can offer, if price is a factor, delivery, timescales & response times etc. Think about techniques or technology that your business uses as well as your company values. ( link to values article) The point of the brainstorming is to find the hidden gems. 

First rule: Do not just look for something that makes your business a little bit different – you need to focus on one single thing that makes your business AMAZING!

Ideally you need a USP that is spectacular and that sets your product or service apart from the competition.

To determine your USP you need to begin by knowing who your ideal client is. To identify your ideal client, you will need to consider, what they REALLY want, how your business can solve their problem, what motivates their buying decision and why they would choose your business over your competitors.


Second rule: Do not generalise your ideal client into a vague demographic, it is important not to try and please everyone as the chances are that you will end up pleasing no one. You need to know PRECISELY who you are selling to and why.  

By examining the profile of your ideal client or customer in minute detail you can then ensure that you create a strong USP that will market your services in a way that will meet their needs and solve their problem. It is important to remember that consumers do not want to buy products; they are looking for something to solve their problems. You are providing the solution.


Once you have narrowed down your audience by being very specific with who your ideal client is, the next stage is not in marketing yourself as the best but on making yourself stand out by focusing either on a unique product detail or on the way that you do something differently.

At this stage you should also do your homework on your competitors. Find out what they are missing or where they fall short. Read any online reviews, read any feedback from their customers on their social platforms and look for the gaps that you can fill. You are looking for something that can give you the competitive edge.

You should by now be generating some ideas that could prove to be your USP.


Before you settle on how to word your USP, you should consider these things to avoid where possible:

1)      If you claim to be the biggest or the best then you will need evidence to back it up.

2)      This is your time to shine and be Unique – Unique is not boring, so don’t let your USP be made up of generic language.

3)      Remember to avoid creating a USP that is all about you – The trick is to make your USP about how your product serves your customer and solves their problem.


And concentrate on what you should work into your USP:

1)      Find one element to focus on that sets you apart from competitors and is difficult for someone else to copy.

2)      Take the knowledge from understanding your ideal client/customer and apply emotional language so that you solve their problem.

3)      Play around with the words and create some captivating tag lines to use throughout your marketing copy.

4)      Most importantly, make your business irresistible to your customers!


If you would like to find out more about creating an AMAZING USP for your business or if you would like to book a consultation for support to determine a wider marketing strategy then please get in touch.

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