Nice outfit, kid. © by p373

If one is good, then many must be better, right?

Not when it comes to your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

We all struggle with this. When we’re coming up with our USP – that core of our identity that spells out precisely what makes us different from the competition – we want to be as special as possible.

The problem is that we dilute our own specialness when we give people too many reasons why we’re unique.


Too much uniqueness

For example:

Here at ABC company, we provide you with outstanding microwave ovens. Our appliances are designed with a streamlined and elegant look, so they always fit perfectly with your kitchen décor. They provide the highest wattage available in the marketplace today, so your food cooks as fast as possible. And our engineers have spent countless hours designing the controls to be so easy, even a baby could use them.

You might read that and think it all sounds fine to you. But tomorrow, if someone asked you what’s so special about ABC company’s microwaves, would you be able to remember all that?

Probably not.



I don’t know about you, but I’ve got the worst memory in the world. And truth be told, when I’m reading your marketing, I’m probably only half paying attention – so the chances of me remembering all of those things you just told me are pretty slim.

Give me too many reasons you’re unique, and they’ll all start to blur in my memory … until I really don’t remember much about you.


Keep it to ONE uniqueness

What if ABC Company positioned itself to be known as the company that makes …

–          The most elegant microwaves in the world.


–          The most powerful microwaves in the world.


–          Microwaves so easy, even a baby could use them.


Oh, that’s so much easier, isn’t it? One little thing to remember. I can do that.


What’s the real USP, and what are the supporting factors

I know, it can be tough to focus on just one thing. Restraint is hard! It’s kind of like the tendency to put too much on your plate at a buffet restaurant. Honestly, I always stuff myself silly at those places.

But you don’t necessarily have to ignore all the other things that make you special. You just have to know where your focus lies.

Case in point: I was recently rewriting an About Us page for a services provider. The page needed to point out what makes the company special, and I came up with a really fantastic first draft. The copy I wrote carefully pointed out the awesome expertise of their staff members, their stellar reputation for integrity, and their outstanding customer service focus.

Luckily, the CEO of the company knew better.

He asked me to focus on one thing instead: the ability of the company to execute, no matter what.

The other things were important, and we still mentioned them. But those other things merely supported the real USP, that this company executes what they promise, 100% of the time, no matter what.

Smart guy. And trust me, the second draft blew the first draft away. This company is now the company that consistently executes, no matter what.

See the difference?

So the next time you’re considering how to stand out from the crowd, pick ONE thing that makes you unique – and stick with it. You’ll be a lot more memorable.