Writing A Unique Selling Proposition Is Hard


BY Sam Davies


14 August 2018

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We spend a lot of time talking to clients about branding, content strategy and value propositions. These things are essential to marketing your business successfully. But when the shoe is on the other foot and we are forced to look inwards, well…man, this stuff is hard!

Unique Selling Proposition is a fancy-ass term for ‘ summary of what makes you different’. Why should I buy from you? What makes you or your business unique? We have been working on some new content for our site and been trying to lock down a succinct, punchy, incredibly sassy USP and it is much harder than it sounds.

We sell Websites, Design, Software Development, Marketing and Strategy. OK, but so do a lot of other people, so what makes us special? Pick up any book or blog article on how to step you through writing a strong USP or elevator pitch and you end up sounding like a robot.

The formula goes like this…

Q. Who are you selling to?

A. Marketing professionals. Actually, let’s spruce that up – discerning marketing professionals.

A. What do they need?

A. A digital solution to a real-world problem.

Q. Who are we?

A. A team of innovative problem solvers that speak your language.

Q. Why are we different?

A. We ask ‘What’s YOUR problem?’. We go above and beyond to understand what drives you, in order to deliver a tailored experience.

Q. As opposed to your competitor who?

A. Delivers a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Now add a call to action

We give a damn. If you do too, we want to work with you.

Now…we spent ages thinking about the copy above, and we 100% stand by all of it. BUT it just doesn’t sound like something that would come out of my mouth, it sounds long-winded and cliche. Granted, it isn’t “Our service will create synergistic buy-in with all possible stakeholders!”, but it doesn’t get to the point quickly enough and beats around the bush.

Here is a good example of a slick USP.

“We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”.
Ritz Carlton Hotels

That says a lot in very little.

It’s that age-old saying “I would have written less if I had more time”. It is so true though. Getting to the heart of the matter in a snappy, succinct way is difficult. Where is Don Draper when you need him?!

It would be easier for us if we had a clear niche market. If we only worked for wineries (which we sometimes do) it could be:

“Websites for wineries is what we know. Oh, and wine. Don’t forget the wine.”

(Ok, that is not great but give me a break it’s 7 pm and I promised Mel this blog by EOD. I am thinking on my feet here.)

Our service offering is broad though. When it comes down to it, we believe our core point of difference is that we actually do give a damn. We don’t just say it. We go the extra mile and listen intently to what our clients need and create a custom fit. So, brainstorming around this we tried to simplify things. What is the difference there? That we listen? That we are not robots. That we care? Many of our clients have come to us from bad relationships with other agencies where they felt like they were not being listened to, where no care was being paid.

You’re looking for a digital team that actually listens?

Sure, that is important to most of our clients; we believe it is what we do best; so, why not? OK, then what will we do?

Nice, we collaborate with discerning brands to create engaging digital experiences

We love to partner, like a real partnership, with brands that give a damn about what they are trying to achieve (whether that be through a website, app, campaign etc).

minus the bullshit.

That is how I would say it in a real conversation. Half of the agencies out there are cowboys and/or robots and/or money-hungry wankers. We hope we aren’t in any of those categories. We like to think our team is approachable and down to earth.

So, you’re looking for a digital team that actually listens?

Nice. We collaborate with discerning brands to create engaging digital experiences, minus the bullshit.

The first rounds on us!

Does that work? I would love to hear your thoughts. I need to get away from words, I am drowning in them this week.

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Sam Davies

Sam has been running a Digital Agency in some form or another for almost a decade. He loves the internet and the positive changes it has brought to the world but still loves time away from the glowing cubes. Surf, Fish, Drink, Cook, Laugh….Drink! You can follow him on Instagram @samdaviesdn and on Snapchat @digitalnoir