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Whether we’re in a booming economy or a deep recession, clearly differentiating your business from your competition is always a good idea. If you cannot communicate to prospective clients what makes your business unique and wonderful, don’t expect them to figure this out themselves!


Quick! Tell me what makes your product or service unique and special—that people in your target audience actually care about? Why should people do business with you instead of your competitors? What sets your product apart in the marketplace?

The answers to these questions form the basis for what’s called your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. Often translated into a tagline or headline, the USP should be the basis for all of your company’s marketing efforts.

How do you define your company’s USP?

When trying to define your USP you’ll want to look at your list of features and benefits, the problems your product solves, and how your product is different from or better than the alternatives.

For example, what differentiates your product might be:

  • Newness – You have a new technology or service idea that has never been seen before.
  • Performance – Your product performs better than other options that are currently on the market.
  • Customizability – Your product is more flexible relative to existing competition and can be designed for specific customers’ needs.
  • Superior design or usability – Your product has a markedly better design, and/or is much easier to use, compared to other options.
  • Potential profitability – Your product isn’t any better than competitive products, but it can be manufactured much more economically than other options, and therefore provides better profit margins.  

Or it might be something else.

To define your USP, first brainstorm a good list of candidates. Then pick one that is unique, believable and a big advantage that people in your target market will actually care about. After all, this needs to be something that will motivate people to make a purchase!

Finally, boil it all down to one clear and concise benefit statement that immediately conveys the “wow” factor of what you’re offering.

Simple to do? No, but definitely worth the effort.


Watercolor artist and instructor Jayne Spencer has seen that anyone can learn to paint watercolor. The secret to success is to start by learning the foundational skills and techniques. Once you know the fundamentals (i.e. how to control the water, apply the paint in a variety of ways, create interesting textures, ensure your image doesn’t look flat, and more), you can apply this to any painting you wish to create.

With Jayne’s online courses you can learn to paint watercolor from the comfort of your own home. To learn more, visit the website I edited for her at

What Others Are Saying

"Geez, Linda, you sure write well!"

Ray Johnston
President, Lido Property Management