What is UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP)? - Definition, How to develop? & Examples

What is the Unique Selling Proposition [USP]

     USP is the unique difference or attribute of a product that distinguishes it from its competitors. It is an identifiable consumer benefit.


Unique - The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot or does not offer.

Selling - The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, that is pulled over new customers to your product.

Proposition - Each advertisement must make a proposition to the customer. Not just words, not just product puffery, not just show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: "Buy this product and you will get this benefit."

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     The effectiveness and logic of a strong USP help the seller to position his product in the market. However, many marketers agree that it is not just easy to develop a strong USP.

Development of USP:

     To develop a USP, the first task is to decide what is unique about the product or service in the eyes and minds of the target market.

     A unique product is the one that can provide a solution to the consumer's problem. It should bring benefits, and satisfaction to the consumers.

     For example, In 1978 it was Balsara's brand 'Promise' which gave the giant Colgate the shivers, had the USP. "The promise of clove-No more Tooth Aches."

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     As for the selling aspect, the USP should be strong that can induce more and more buyers to buy the product. The advertiser should effectively device such USP so that the message gets across to the buyers. 

     For example, the launch of Fashion Maker from Singer' contained a USP "Twenty-one decorative stitches and more only from the Single Fashion Maker." Another classic example is Nestle's Maggi 2-minute noodles - " Fast to cook, good to eat." which made the product an overnight success.

     That proposition must not only be unique but, it must also be viewed by the consumers as beneficial. The good copywriter understands the importance of viewing the USP in terms of buyer benefits.

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     The buyer must understand, believe, and enjoy the benefit. For example, in 1985, Hero Honda CD 100 was launched with a USP-fuel efficiency. At 80 km per liter, Hero Honda was the most fuel-efficient two-wheeler in the country at that time. Buyer understood, believed it and demand kept zooming to make Hero Honda the number One within one year of its launch.

Unique Selling Proposition Examples:

Some good current examples of products with a clear USP are :

1. Head & Shoulders: "You get rid of dandruff."

2. Olay: "You get younger-looking skin."

3. Domino's Pizza: "You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less- or it's free."

4. FedEx: "When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight."

5. Corelle Crockery: "Looks like glass, acts like steel."


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