USPs are mostly nonsense.

This is an excerpt from our article: Is your USP useless? Download the full article at

Most of the people seeing this will be from a marketing agency of some sort (whether or not you like being labelled that…). I’m going to explain why selling any part of your service as unique is a mistake. I don’t mean you shouldn’t offer it. I mean you should understand why it might (or might not) be compelling.

USPs fall into a few categories:

1)      The “not actually unique”
We hear these a lot. They include:
 - We really get under the skin of your brand.
 - Our team take the time to understand your brand before we do ANY work.
 - Our unique experience in your sector…
 - Our senior team actually work on your business
 - Our team hail from <insert huge agency name here> but you don’t pay big agency fees with us!

2)      The indecipherable
Our multi-track, media-ambivalent, high-trust methodology engenders a client/supplier authority equivalence not found in other ideation studios”. Nobody’s buying it (literally or figuratively).

3)      The process-obsessed
So many agency web sites are mired in process, without a hint of an outcome. Without the outcome, or the suggestion of a type of result, nobody cares what your processes are.

 People buy outcomes (and only then do “people buy people” – and here’s why)

We’ve all said it – “People buy people”. It’s not true, it just seems like it. Correlation and causality are as different as we all know they are but we all see patterns where they don’t really exist. People do buy people sometimes, but only once some other needs are fulfilled. “People buy people” would be better summed up as “Being an arse to someone makes them less likely to buy from you”. Nobody chooses a supplier whose outcomes aren’t clear and whose selling proposition is indecipherable but who is just a really nice person.

Remember, the full article can be found at