What is the difference between random and unique

USP - the crucial difference

Marketing your own products is a challenge, especially in a highly competitive market. It is therefore often advisable to advertise with a USP, i.e. a unique selling proposition. But what is actually behind this term and is a USP really such a decisive factor in marketing?

USP, Unique Selling Proposition, USP - these are certainly all terms that you have heard before when it came to marketing your products. But what does all of this actually mean and what are the differences between USP and USP? Are there any differences? These are questions that not only you have asked yourself, because the meaning of these terms is by no means obvious. In this article, we therefore want to show you what is behind the USP and what significance it has in marketing.


What is a Unique Selling Proposition?

Before we talk about the application in marketing, we must first clarify what the above terms are all about. Fortunately, we only have to deal with one of them, because USP, Unique Selling Proposition and USP are - at least in marketing - basically synonymous. USP is just the abbreviation for “Unique Selling Proposition”, which can roughly be translated as “Unique Selling Proposition”. In the German-speaking area, the expression "unique selling point" is also used.

But now to the actual definition of the USP: It is a special characteristic of a product or service that offers the potential buyer a clear advantage. A feature that clearly sets the product or service apart from the competition, resulting in a competitive advantage. Various properties and features come into question as USP. Examples of USPs are: a technical advantage that only this product has, a helpful additional service, an ecologically sustainable production, a particularly long shelf life and much more.


Why do you need a USP and what advantages does it offer?

As mentioned above, the USP is used to set yourself apart from the competition. However, this alone is not enough as a feature for a USP, because with products in bright colors you would stand out from the competition, but this does not result in an advantage for the customer.

That brings us to the second important property of a USP: It has to promise the buyer a special usability. Incidentally, it does not matter here whether the product actually offers the customer an additional benefit or not - the customer just has to be convinced that this benefit exists. A long shelf life would be a possible USP, but the "advantages of products of a certain brand" could also be considered, provided that this brand has a good reputation.

This second characteristic also makes it clear why the USP plays such an important role in marketing. Because if the customer is convinced that a product is superior to the other products on the market due to the USP, he is more likely to choose the (supposedly) better product. A USP can therefore help to boost sales - the prerequisite for this is that the unique selling point is really something that the customer recognizes as an advantage over other offers.

However, if you forego a USP for your products, they will disappear in a sea of ​​uniformity, they will hardly be noticed by the customer because they offer him no particular advantage. The situation could best be compared to a fish pond in which the customer fishes with a landing net - he will certainly catch a fish, but it is more than questionable whether that will be the fish that comes from your production.


How can you find a suitable USP?

A USP is very helpful for marketing. The only question is: How do you find unique selling points in your own products? If you have developed an innovative new product or if you are opening up a completely new market with your product, it is of course easy to find a USP. However, these unambiguous, tangible USPs usually do not last very long nowadays. Innovations are copied, and competition in new markets is not long in coming.

In addition, most markets are now saturated or even oversaturated, so that products with the above-mentioned USPs are rarely available. So in most cases you have to rely on properties that are not novel, but still make your product unique. You should definitely consider how you intend to align your company and present it to the public. If you, for example, rely on ecologically sustainable production with your company, a "particularly low price thanks to production in Bangladesh" would certainly not be a suitable USP. Instead, “environmentally friendly production” and “regional products” would be two possible USPs. So you basically have to look for product features that fit your corporate philosophy and the ideas of your customers. In addition, these properties should be a decisive purchase argument for customers and, if possible, not be occupied by the competition.


USPs beyond marketing too?

The concept of the USP does not have to be limited to the marketing of products. In recent years, for example, more and more applicants have discovered it on the job market. As part of the application, they look for the characteristics that make them interesting for the company - their "USPs", so to speak.

Of course, people don't have any product properties, but the USP concept works very well in the application process. Because as an applicant, you should always ask yourself: What qualities do I bring with me that are advantageous for the company and that no other applicant has?

Despite this development, the USP remains primarily a marketing instrument that - if used correctly - can have a considerable impact.


Examples of USPs

Big brands are also trying to differentiate themselves from the competition with their USPs. For example, the chocolate manufacturer Ritter Sport has its own cocoa plantation. At Google, the unique selling point is the market share of around 90% that the American company achieves with its search engine. However, as the example of Outfittery also shows, which was the first provider to send individually compiled outfits to customers, USPs can certainly be copied by the competition and thus disappear as unique selling points.



Finding a USP for your own products is not always easy. Due to the saturated markets, the competition is so great that products hardly have any clear characteristics that clearly differentiate them from other products. Once a USP has been defined, it must be checked again and again, because changes in the markets and increasing competition can make USPs obsolete, e.g. if there is no longer any demand for the unique selling point or it is no longer unique. Nevertheless, it is important for companies to emphasize the unique selling points of their own products in order not to disappear in the sea of ​​competition.

You can consciously rely on "soft" USPs, which may not always be tangible or do not always offer the customer a clear advantage - it is crucial that your product is perceived as unique by the USP. The way of communication is also a decisive factor, as this should relate to the customer's language. However, you should make sure that the USPs also match the orientation and image of your company.


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