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I value your time, so this is going to be a short article to finally settle the Brand Positioning vs USP divide.

  • Positioning is what you do to the minds of your audience. It determines how people perceive you, and your willingness to pay less, more, or not at all for your services.
  • The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a key element within your Positioning that you use to communicate, in less than an elevator’s pitch time, the value your company or business brings to the market.

If you do have more time, let me expand on each one of these concepts:

Positioning | Brand Positioning vs USP

As I wrote in my book on Positioning, “Are You Ford or Ferrari?”: Positioning is more or less like your heart rate: It doesn’t stay the same over time, and it changes as you age, getting better or worse according to the lifestyle choices you make. This makes it the beating heart of your brand.

There is no actual Brand Positioning vs USP conversation, because the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

For instance, if you cannot afford a Gucci Bag you’ll settle for Guess and will be extremely happy you bought that Guess bag. However, as soon as you can afford Gucci, you’ll never come back to Guess, and if I gifted you one you wouldn’t be super excited about it: This happens not because Guess all of a sudden started making bad bags, but because their positioning shifted in your mind the moment you could afford Gucci.

Positioning is more complex and all-encompassing than the USP.
Usually, I summarize Positioning for my clients in a short formula that synthetizes the answers to these questions:

  • Who you are
  • Who do you serve
  • What problems they are facing
  • Which benefits they get form working with you
  • Who are your competitors
  • Why you are different than your competitors

Unique Selling Proposition | Brand Positioning vs USP

Positioning is settled in the first half of the Brand Positioning vs USP question.

Now let’s tackle the second half of it.

The Unique Selling Proposition is a short statement of value about what’s the result you provide to your clients, plus the benefit of your differentiator, minus the pain point they’re facing. Let’s see some examples:

  • Domino’s Pizza: Fresh pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free
  • Amplify Reach: Get your video empire without having to spend time editing.
  • Legacy Builder: Learn and execute on what it takes to achieve freedom and win back your time, by finding a path to success unique to you, your skillset and your circumstances, without having to force yourself into cookie-cutter formulas.

Settled Brand | Positioning vs USP

And that’s it.
You see, people tend to overcomplicate things – but complex doesn’t mean smart. Or good, for that matter.
The Positioning vs USP question comes back to two very important elements of Brand Strategy that play into each other.

If you have any question, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message at sebastian@brandingmasters.eu.

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