Do you know how many fast-food restaurants are in the United States? According to Statista, that number has already reached almost 200,000 in 2021, increasing over 1 percent since the previous year.
Despite the intense competition, McDonald’s remains on top. Subway has captured the sandwich market, while Dunkin Donuts has always been the go-to for coffee. Why do they feel different even if they operate in the same industry? The answer lies in their unique selling proposition (USP).
What Is USP?
Unique selling proposition (USP) means that a company has something different and better to offer than its competitors. It can be a product, service, technology, design, price, or even a combination of factors that make the company’s offering stand out.
McDonald’s USP is its convenience. The restaurant is open all day long and offers a wide variety of food items that cater to different consumer preferences.
The company does not stop there. It constantly innovates its menu items to answer the latest food trends. It is also famous for adjusting its menu according to its location. For example, in India, it doesn’t offer beef or pork. Instead, the food options are vegetarian, fish, and chicken.
Subway’s USP is freshness. It serves sandwiches with freshly baked bread and pre-cut vegetables so customers can see their food being prepared. Also, all the sauces and dressings are made in-house.
Dunkin Donuts’ USP is its coffee. The company has been roasting and brewing coffee since 1950. It takes great pride in its coffee and offers various flavors to appeal to different people.
All three companies have carved out a unique niche in the fast-food industry through their USPs.
Unique Selling Proposition Examples in Other Industries
USPs just don’t work in the fast-food industry. All businesses must have a USP to entice customers and stay ahead of the pack.
Harley Davidson’s USP is its ruggedness and the classic design of its motorcycles. The company has managed to do very well despite intense competition from other motorcycle companies by continuously innovating while still holding on to what makes it unique.
Apple’s USP is its design and innovation. The company has always been known for its sleek designs and cutting-edge technology. It has also been very successful in marketing its products to consumers.
Amazon’s USP is convenience and selection. The company offers a wide variety of products, and customers can buy them easily and quickly through the Amazon website. It has also been successful in expanding beyond its core product line. The biggest e-commerce website also popularized fast shipping.
Walmart’s USP is price. The company has always offered low prices on a wide variety of products. It has also successfully gotten products to consumers quickly and efficiently.
How to Create Your USP
Creating your USP isn’t an overnight project. In many cases, businesses get an advertising firm onboard to help them define it. Usually, the process of knowing your USP involves the following steps:
- Know what you’re good at: To know your company’s USP, you must look into four categories: price, product, place, and promotion. Some think that they’ve already found their USP just because they offer something cheap. What happens when competitors also reduce their prices? That company loses its advantage. One of the ways to define your USP is to know where you’re good at. Apple products are not cheap, but they always sell millions of units because they focus on innovation and technology, which are their strengths.
- Understand how your customers see you: Another way to find your USP is to understand how customers see you. What do they think your company does well? Do they see you as innovative, reliable, or cheap? How about their opinion of your competitors? Also, what do your customers want the most? What are their problems? To know their thoughts, you have to conduct market research. Gather their feedback by letting them answer surveys or polls. Generate testimonials or read reviews.
- Perform a competitive analysis: The third step is to perform a competitive analysis. What do your competitors do well? How are they different from you? What can you do that they’re not doing? After understanding where you stand and what you offer, it’s time to compare and contrast. This is where you put all the information together to see how you can stand out. Doing this will help you find your unique selling proposition.
- Stand out concretely: Your USP should be something you can articulate clearly and concisely to your customers. It’s also something that you can back up with evidence. What are your unique features? Why should customers choose you over your competitors? What sets you apart from the rest? Find the answers to these questions.
As marketing becomes more complex, companies need unique selling propositions they can rely on. Your USP gives customers a reason to stick with you. It says that you’re not like all other brands out there, which helps set you apart. Creating and communicating your unique selling proposition is essential to any business that wants to survive and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.