Question:What is a USP and is it different from a positioning statement?

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USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition. The USP and a positioning statement are essentially the same thing. We've seen people on some sites use this unique selling proposition (USP) as a single word, but they use it in many different ways...sometimes it's a benefit, sometimes it's just a bunch of benefits...and it can become quite confusing.

We take the view that a positioning statement is cleaner and more powerful than a USP. A positioning statement is essentially what we say in the tutorial. It typically has 1-3 benefits that a segment cares about (this is where the USP is typically vague,....they never say how do you determine what these benefits are...but they come from properly segmenting the markets (based on benefits) and use these in the positioning statement.

Positioning statements are also more powerful than USPs for a simple reason...if you look at the positioning statement as we have in our tutorials you'll see that it requires you to specify WHY you can provide the benefits to the customers better than the competition, thus if forces you to think about what competencies your company has that uniquely qualify you to provide these benefits. The typical USP just says find something unique, but it doesn't incorporate this additional requirement that explicitly forces you to think about competitive reactions.

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