How To Be Unique

In the previous post on Being Unique I discussed what a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is, and how vital it is to a successful business. In this blog, I look at the thinking process to help you discover and construct an effective USP for your business.

You should think of your Unique Selling Proposition as having three distinct dimensions:

  1. Target client: e.g., price-conscious travelers, working mothers, etc. You can even be more specific; e.g., working mothers with CBD jobs…).
  2. Clear value to the target client: What do your clients get when they buy your product/service? Think what your biggest benefit is to them, not how good and fabulous your business is. If your target market is educated and wealthy individuals a “Guaranteed Highest Quality and Delivery” can be far more appropriate then “Lowest Price Guarantee”.
  3. No (or minimal) risk to the target client: Eliminate as much risk as possible through a guaranteed promise, evidenced performance and quality standards, testimonials, free sampling, low introductory price, try-before-you-buy etc…

Some brands do not need to be very explicit, because they are already well known for a unique hard-to-emulate product. Think BMW (The ultimate driving experience), think Apple (Think Different).


Let’s look again at the USPs of the two Australian budget airlines

Virgin Blue

“Great on-time performance. It’s about time.”

Safe, on-time operations are paramount to our business and we have the figures to prove it.

  1. Target consumer:  Price-conscious traveler
  2. Value: Minimal delays
  3. Risk: Vague statements about figures to prove they are timely, but NOT better than competition; at least nothing I could easily see on their website.

Qantas Jetstar

“We commit to provide the lowest fares with our Price Beat Guarantee”

“At Jetstar, we’re committed to providing you with great, low fares – all day everyday. That’s why, if you find a published internet airfare on another airline that is lower than the lowest available Jetstar fare on the same route at a comparable time on, call us to book with Jetstar and we will beat the other airline’s fare by 10%.

  1. Target consumer:  Price-conscious traveler
  2. Value: Lowest price you can possibly find
  3. Risk: Very clear guarantee; we will beat any online price by 10%.

Which is more compelling?

I think it’s the Jetstar USP by a long shot. You may not like them but for a price-conscious customer they have a clear promise (i.e., value to their target customer) and a solid guarantee.

The Virgin Blue USP does not differentiate it as better or different than the competition: all airlines are expected to be safe and on-time.

Related topics: Being Unique