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unique selling point (USP)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A unique selling proposition (USP, also seen as unique selling point) is a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. A USP could be thought of as “what you have that competitors don’t.”

A successful USP promises a clearly articulated benefit to consumers, offers them something that competitive products can’t or don’t offer, and is compelling enough to attract new customers.

Here are a few famous examples of USPs:

  • Avis’ “We’re only number two. We try harder” campaign.
  • Domino’s “30 minutes or it’s free” promise.
  • FedEx’s “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
  • Southwest’s claim to be the lowest-priced airline.

A USP is sometimes formally expressed in a positioning statement.

This was last updated in June 2013

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