What’s Your Unique Selling Proposition?

Have you heard the saying “Differentiate or Die”? In our competitive industry, a business must stand out to be successful. When you started your brand, undoubtedly, you considered the factors that would make it unique, valuable, and desirable in your market.

Creating and marketing your brand's Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is key to improving the positioning and advertising of your business by accomplishing three things:

Unique: Highlighting what clearly sets you apart from your competition, positioning you as the logical choice;

Selling: Persuading a client to buy from you; and

Proposition: Extending a proposal or offer designed to close the sale.

Your USP is the force that drives your business and success. It is a branding tool that should be included with every tactical marketing effort you use. This allows you to build a lasting reputation while making sales.

The ultimate goal of marketing your USP is to have people say, “yes, I’ve heard of you, you’re the salon who …”

Market your salon around your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

How to Create Your USP

Step 1: Determine Your Brand's Most Notable Benefits. 

Think about what your salon does for your client and the end result they gain from your services.

What sets you apart from your competition? What do you do differently to ensure a great experience for every client? What keeps loyal clients coming back to you? How do you provide customer satisfaction in ways your competitors don’t? What products or services do you offer that are the best or most unique in your market?

Drill down on the things that set you apart. This is the basis for your USP.

Step 2: Address The Needs Your Business Solves.

The need that exists between the current situation and desired objectives is termed a “performance gap.” Salon professionals who base their USP on industry performance gaps are very successful.

Make sure that your USP promotes the underserved or unmet needs in your market and the ways in which your business meets them.

Step 3:  Craft Marketing Language Around Your USP.

Now that you’ve determined your USP, write persuasive and informative marketing language around it. Come up with concise, clear, benefit-oriented headlines, talking points, and “elevator pitches” that illustrate your USP. (Get help from marketing professionals if copywriting is not your forté!)

This will be the basis of the language you use going forward, everywhere you reach current and potential clients in your market.

Remember: be specific and offer proof. People are skeptical of advertising claims. Alleviate their doubts by backing up your claims.

Step 4: Integrate your USP Into Your Marketing Materials

Include your USP in all your public-facing communications — your website, social media, emails, texts, ads, signage, marketing collateral, etc.

Step 5: Follow Up and Document Your Results!

Be bold when developing your USP, while being positive you can deliver on it. Your USP should have guarantees that capture your client’s attention and encourage them to book with you. Having a strong USP can make your business a big success if you deliver on it, or a big failure if you don’t.

Whenever you follow up on your USP, you have more evidence to use in your marketing content. You’ll never run out of examples!

If your salon has a good, clear and honest USP there is an excellent chance you will be able to compete on factors other than price. And, that means that your business will be more profitable.


Liz McKeon is a salon business coach and founder of The International Salon Business School. She’s the author of 30 Days to Beauty Business Success.

Salon coach Liz McKeon