Unique Selling Proposition Examples

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a great way to sell your product. Most businesses come up with their slogans and USPs, but there's no reason you can't go the extra mile and invent one for your use in selling – particularly if you think your company's “official” USP isn't useful in generating sales. A strong USP provides a great foundation for differentiating your product and giving you a leg up on the competition. Here are some examples of famous USPs and explanations of why they work so well.

Avis

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We're number two. We try harder.

This USP does a fantastic job of turning a drawback into a benefit. For a long time, Avis was the second-largest car rental company, after Hertz. In fact, Avis was struggling just to stay afloat. As part of a total image makeover, Avis hired the famous ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach to come up with a new ad campaign. The campaign was so successful, Avis' market share went from 11% to 35% in just four years.

FedEx Corporation

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When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

FedEx no longer uses this slogan, but while it lasted, it was a perfect example of a compelling USP. In a few words, FedEx guarantees that it will deliver your package safely and on time. FedEx replaced it with the slogan, “The World on Time,” which is vague and doesn't contain a USP.

M&Ms

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The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

This is an example of how even a rather off-beat USP can be catchy and compelling. Who would think of making a selling point out of the fact that your product doesn't melt if you hold it? M&Ms did, and it worked very well for them.

DeBeers

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A diamond is forever.

There's a reason that this slogan has been around since 1948 and is still in use today. The slogan points out that diamonds, being next to unbreakable, last forever and thus are the ideal symbol for undying love. As a result, diamonds became the almost inevitable choice for engagement rings. It's no surprise that Advertising Age magazine named this slogan the best advertising slogan of the 20th century. Ironically, diamonds aren't even all that rare - but the groups that control the major diamond mines have been careful to only allow small numbers of new stones into the market at a time, creating an artificial shortage. 

Domino's Pizza

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You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it's free.

While a bit on the wordy side, this example is an excellent USP because it's completely transparent. The terms are so clear that the customer knows he can hold the company to its promise. Sadly, Domino's no longer offers this deal because it inspired a number of car accidents involving delivery drivers trying to beat their thirty-minute limit. This slogan is an excellent example of why it's a bad idea to overpromise and underdeliver. Never make a promise to a prospect or customer unless you're sure you can keep it!