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The Unique Selling Proposition

If you can’t tell me why I should buy from you… why should I?

Simply put, the unique selling proposition is something you have that no-one else in your niche does. Let’s pretend that you own a Gas Station/Chicken Restaurant and you spent real money building out the best restrooms (WCs) in town. Why not make that your unique selling proposition? Clean restrooms are no big deal to a guy but they are very important to Mom (mum). Why not tell visitors that you have the biggest, best, and cleanest?

Clean Restrooms
Unique selling proposition business cards

As an aside, you may hear something called The Unique Selling Point; don’t concern yourself, it’s the same thing.

A unique selling proposition is a stronger sales tool than a product benefit. It’s important that you make a serious effort to find your USP. Sometimes it may take some thought but it is worth the effort. Still having trouble, ask some staff members. Have them seriously sit down and come up with something.

If you still can’t think of anything, that is something that should concern you. If you don’t do anything unique or better than the competition, perhaps its time to start.

I was once the Marketing Director for a live theater in a tourist town. Soon after starting I decided one of their shows needed a unique selling proposition. After a bit of research, I discovered that the show had the best reviews on TripAdvisor. That was our unique selling proposition and it was added to everything we did — even the business cards. Again: who you are, what you do, and the benefit of using you on everything. If you can make that benefit a USP (unique selling proposition) so much the better.

Unique Selling Point Graphic

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Video Transcript


This video was originally part of a
Udemy series and I've decided to make
it available for free for you right here
on YouTube. Welcome back our third
lecture is called: The Unique Selling
Proposition, and I'm going to tell you
all about that in just a second. But it
is something you need for your business,
not just your website but your entire
business. You can apply this to
everything you're doing in your
marketing today. Let's go to work.
If you remember in our last lecture, we
decided what the product benefit was and
why it was so important. Well this is a
little bit related to that. You see the
unique selling proposition is also a
product benefit but it's a product
benefit that only you offer and that's
the primary difference between a benefit
and the unique selling proposition. Let's
take an example: Burger King a couple of
years back had a campaign called "Have it
Your Way". Now that was never a unique
selling proposition. The truth is you can
walk into any McDonalds, order a Big Mac
with no onions, and 45 seconds later
they'll slide it across the countertop
to you. So anywhere you go, any fast food
restaurant will pretty much make their
hamburger the way you want it. Avis, on
the other hand, the car rental company,
has an excellent unique selling
proposition: "We try harder", now why did
they try harder? Because their number two
and they have to work harder for your
business. Now Avis must be in a terribly
competitive segment because Enterprise
also works harder. Their unique selling
proposition is: "They'll come pick you up"
They'll come to your house, take you back
to the rental agency, and from there you
can take that car on to the airport. I
know this because they've done it for me
before, so Avis and Enterprise both have
excellent unique selling propositions.
Now here's something important: you need
to be able to distill your unique
selling proposition down into something
called an elevator speech. You need to be
able to tell somebody at 15-20 seconds,
no more than two sentences, who you are,
what you do, and how you benefit them. And
if that benefit happens to be a unique
selling proposition, that is a whole lot
better. So there must be something you do
better than your competitors, or
something different. What differentiates
you from your competitors? Perhaps you
offer free delivery and those guys don't.
That is a Unique
Selling Proposition and there'll be
people order from you strictly because
of that. By the way, you may hear
something called the Unique Selling
Point, don't sweat that; it's the exact
same thing as a Unique Selling
Proposition. And your unique selling
proposition doesn't really have to be a
big deal to be effective. What if you
were a petite lady and you found out
your cat litter is quite heavy? An entire
national ad campaign was built around
that exact unique selling proposition. So
if you have the lightest kitty litter in
this case, it's easier to use for a
petite lady. Throw it! She's got it coming!
Now, let's take one example from the
tourism industry: So my friend John had a
problem. You see in Williamsburg, Virginia,
several major timeshare companies have
moved into town they're building large,
lavish resorts. And they've actually put
under several hotels and a couple of
other bed and breakfast, John was under
financial pressure just like every other
bed and breakfast in Williamsburg. I
needed to come up with a way to help his
website find new customers and it had to
be a unique selling proposition that the
timeshares could not match. And so after
some thought I came up with an idea. You
see every bed and breakfast in the area
and probably across the United States,
they all talk about the same things;
they're beautiful gardens, pillowtop
mattresses, and the luxury of their
Suites. Well many people go to Colonial
Williamsburg because they want to
experience the colonial life. The romance
of the 18th century. So we changed John's
focus on his website around to the
romance of the 18th century. It also
turns out that John Millar is a very
interesting guy in his own right. You've
seen his work whether you realize it or
not. Have you ever seen Master and
Commander, the Far Side of the World? That
movie was filmed on a ship designed by
John.
How about Pirates of The Caribbean? Do
you remember the small ship the
Interceptor? That ship in fact is the
Lady Washington in real life it's a
reproduction John design for the State
of Washington. You see Washington State
is named after the ship, not the lady. So
the Lady Washington ship has been in
several movies. Now that helped John. It
gave him something that differentiated
his product from all the other bed and
breakfast and even the major timeshares
in town. That helped him save his
business. So you can see how important a
unique selling proposition is. I hope
some of this was helpful for you and if
it was thank you and I'll see you in the
next lesson. If you have a question
though don't hesitate to email me. Thank
you and I'll see you shortly.

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