"The King of Pop" Michael Jackson
"When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight" Fedex
"The ultimate driving machine" BMW
"It's the real thing" Coca-Cola
Do you recognize these slogans? You should… they’re just a few of the most famous USP’s ever!
What is a USP?
“Unique Selling Proposition” (or point) is a marketing term, used to describe the feature that makes a product, service, business or person unique. Better than the rest. It’s all about showcasing exactly why someone should buy (or buy into) something, right now (perhaps it’s bigger or smaller, quicker or lasts longer).
Now while it’s virtually impossible to be the best at one particular skill, what you can be is the best at is your unique combination of skills.
Jamie Oliver is a very good chef but with no Michelin stars he doesn’t rank as one of the top chefs in the world. His unique strength is how he combines this with his celebrity persona and good business skills to be more successful than other chefs.
In Jamie Oliver’s case it’s not just a random combination of skills, it’s also how these skills combine to support each other. With a net worth of over $250m, he’s clearly found a combination that works for him.
Usain Bolt is clearly one of those exceptional people whose success comes from being the best in a single discipline. He has a very narrow focus on short distance sprinting. But even he is not totally immune to this rule because only about 5% of his money comes from winning races. His financial success is helped because he has an image that appeals to sponsors. When Tiger Woods had an image problem, his sponsorships also dried up.
Developing Your USP
What this means for you is:
Look at your top marketable skills (see the section on Skills Sweetspot to identify your most valuable skills)
Combine these skills to make a story about who you are, what you can do, how you add value. This is your Unique Selling Proposition. This is how you communicate to employers why they should hire you
Focus on developing these strengths
Next Steps: Self-Leadership: Developing Yourself
If you can’t find one unique thing that shines through, perhaps you can find a unique and uncommon combination of things that make up your USP. To be a better self-leader start with improving your self-leadership skills with self-leadership training. Self-Leadership: Developing Yourself is a quick, online training course that you can use to kick-start your self-development.
Do you have any comments, questions or tips for developing your personal USP? Please share in the comments below.