Four Steps to a Unique Selling Proposition

Thanks to Phillip J. Pipkins for this guest post. He is an SEO Specialist for CyberMark International, Inc. in Phoenix, AZ. See

In the digital age, social media is a vastly influential tool that shouldn't be ignored. When a business wants the marketing best results, the subtle adoption of a USP (unique selling proposition) can demonstrate to prospective clients what sets them apart from the competition.

A USP is defined as the actual -- or perceived -- benefit of a product or service that gives a potential buyer a logical reason to prefer it over another. It must ooze uniqueness from every pore because it needs to provide a law firm with a steady, established foundation. This is often a fundamentally essential element of a specific advertising promotional campaign, and typically highlights what your business ethically represents: "What do we stand for, and what are we known for?" 

A USP encourages possible audience members to discover why your law firm is different from your competitors, and why it should be chosen instead of other goods. For example, Coca-Cola must target its USP to fans of Pepsi, with ways to persuade Pepsi-drinkers to start drinking Coca-Cola and then how to retain these Pepsi fans afterwards.

Starbucks has used highly-strategized USPs to transform itself from a modest-sized Washington-based coffee shop into one of the most familiar worldwide brands. Toms Shoes has a kooky yet lovable quality imbued into their designs. Their distinctive selling point illustrates a company pledge -- for every pair of shoes purchased, a new pair of shoes is given to those in developing nations living without shoes. The power of a named brand in the world of advertising cannot be undervalued.

In industries rife with rivalry and opposition, such as law firms and fast food chains, you need to demonstrate what you have that your competitors cannot offer. Law firms tend to advertise the size of their organization, the years of experience they have and how many cases they have won. Many also try to define how their specific area of legal knowledge can help in specific niche cases.

Fast food chains have the same needs for a USP because they want to steal customers away from each other, hoping that their tasty menus and new products can poach those who hand money over to the competition. They want to be known nationwide for supplying the best burgers, as well as the most delicious milkshakes and the most succulent desserts. However, the problem is that trying to be well-known for everything results in becoming popular for nothing. Too much white noise drowns out the positive things you are trying to accomplish.

Step 1: Recognize your target audience, so you know whom you are addressing. By doing this, you can examine your strong or services, as well as finding any weaknesses you can improve on. You need to be as thorough and comprehensive as possible in detailing what individual needs or challenges a client faces that you -- and only you -- can help them to solve.

Step 2: Identify your key strengths, and how you can utilize them to your advantage. List the most distinguishing benefits that you make available, things that your competition does not offer. Keep in mind what your competitors offer, so you can work on finding a gap in the market for only you to make use of. Thinking from the perspective of your client, see what your law firm can bring to the table, so your potential customers don't instead choose a different provider.

Step 3: A large part of a successful USP is to offer your customers a heartfelt pledge, à la Toms Shoes. Define a promise that your law firm can deliver. Once this is complete, take all of this recently acquired data and combine it into a concisely-worded paragraph. Thin out the extraneous information and create something compact, pertinent, workable and to the point. If you have any recurring thoughts or important ideas that you would like to reiterate, rework this merged paragraph.

Step 4: Take your final paragraph and then repeat the previous step, but go a little further: streamline the paragraph into a single sentence. A successful USP is simple yet specific.

The following infographic has a whole host of useful hints and tips about the subject of creating your very own USP:

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