Confusing Sign © by Eric Kilby

In your marketing, how do you know how to position your company?

Maybe you focus on your deep expertise. Or maybe you focus on your outstanding customer service.

But how do you know these point are your company’s biggest selling points? Do they really make your company unique?

Or are you just guessing?



Marketers like to talk a lot about the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The problem is that not enough companies understand what makes them unique.

I used to ask new clients what they saw as their USP…but I’ve stopped, because I was often dissatisfied with the answers. It’s just too easy to rely on a shallow USP, which isn’t particularly effective. So I changed my strategy.

Instead of asking my clients point blank “What’s your USP?”, now I ask a series of questions that I believe generate more honest answers. By combining the best parts of the various answers, we can fashion a more accurate, meaningful USP that resonates better with your clients. Could asking these questions of your own company give you a stronger marketing message, too?


Question 1: What about your products/services is most attractive to your customers, and why?

In other words, what is it that attracts people to buy what you sell?


Question 2: How do your products/services compare to what the competition offers?

There’s a surprising difference between asking a client how their company differs from the competition, versus how their products differ from the competition. By focusing on the product, the question becomes a little less personal – and the answers become a little more honest.


Question 3: What have customers said about your product/service?

Similar to question 2, but gets even deeper and lets the customer’s own words do the talking.


Question 4: What do customers say about your company?

Now we’re starting to get personal here, but because we’re using the customer’s own words, the answer has a bit more meaning.

And for the single most important question…If you ask yourself only one question, this is the one…


Question 5: Can you describe a time when you really made a difference for a customer?

Your answer to this question will lead you directly to the start of an amazing, strong, honest USP. Combine the truths of this answer with your responses to the other four questions, and you’re ready to go.


Since I’ve created this process, I feel the quality of the marketing communications I produce has skyrocketed. I’m always fine tuning things, however, and I’d love to know how you came to understand your own USP.

What questions do you ask yourself? Do they give you an honest answer?

And most importantly, how has a stronger USP impacted your marketing?

Send me an email and let me know!