Unique Selling Proposition Examples

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) (or unique selling point or slogan) is a factor that differentiates your product or service from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality, the first-ever, or some other differential. A USP could be thought of as "what you have that your competitors don't." Using a USP is a great marketing tool to help position and sell your product. Some marketing experts go even farther and believe that unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you can't target your sales efforts effectively.

Whether it's an imperative that you use a USP or not, there's no denying that 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 an explanation 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 percent to 35 percent 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 was in effect, it was a perfect example of a compelling slogan. In very few words, FedEx was able to convey the message that it guarantees that it will deliver your package 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 a 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 this slogan has been around since 1948 and is still in use today. The slogan points out that a diamond, which is virtually unbreakable, will last forever and therefore symbolizes undying and everlasting 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. However, the groups that control the majority of the world's diamond mines have been careful to only allow small batches of new stones to be minded, 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 long and wordy, this is an excellent USP because it's completely transparent and to the point. The terms are so clear that the customer knows he/she can hold the company to its promise. Sadly, Domino's no longer offers this deal because it resulted in a number of car accidents caused by 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