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Unique Selling Points: a Must for Powerful Product Descriptions

Reading Time 6 mins | August 11, 2022 | Written by: Anne Geyer

What is unique about your product, and why should customers buy from you? These questions lead to exactly one goal when developing a marketing strategy: finding the unique selling point of your products or your brand.

In marketing, the term unique selling proposition (USP) is more commonly used instead of selling point. In marketing, a USP is developed for a product or brand itself. In e-commerce, however, it can also be used for the products of a range.

The USP On the Product Detail Page

For product detail page descriptions in particular, it may be useful to ask questions about the uniqueness of a product and answer them in one or two catchy sentences, as this is an effective instrument for positively influencing the purchase decision.

With a USP, the customer is convinced of the main advantage of a product. Yet at the very least, it makes it clear to him what sets this one product apart from others in the same range.

USPs simplify product selection

The objective is therefore to make it easier for future customers to make a purchase decision using a statement that appears as clear as possible and is based on the product's characteristics. This already starts with the initial question the customer asks whether the offered product is what he is searching for.

A clearly formulated, short USP can act like a summary or a conclusion of the product description. This facilitates the scanning of the product detail page. Customers only need to read into the details if they are really interested in the product.This makes it easy for customers to quickly exclude products that are not suitable for them. They no longer have to invest a lot of time in filtering out unsuitable products - which can sometimes lead to the shopping process being aborted.

Better understanding leads to more certain purchasing decisions

When customers have a closer look at the product, a USP can be used to better understand the details of a product description. The product features listed in the descriptions can be related to the USP. Once it is clear that the USP of a particular smartphone is its high resolution images, the customer can better classify the numerical value for image resolution. As a result, they can reach a more well-informed purchase decision.

No advertising slogans: Characteristics of good USPs

A USP is not an advertising slogan pulled out of thin air whose effect is based solely on an emotional customer approach. On the contrary, the answer to the question must be linked to the specific characteristics of a product.

For example, the product statement "a high-quality product" is too generic and therefore not a good USP to use in a description. The phrase "melts in your mouth, not in your hand", on the other hand, is more expressive and therefore more suitable for a product description.

Yet, what qualifies as a good USP description?

Good USPs have the following characteristics:

  • They distinguish a product from others and emphasize its uniqueness within a particular product group or range.
  • The description of the Unique Selling Propositions must be specific. The more accurately they reflect the core features of the product, the better and more meaningful the text will be. As an example, the huge color selection on an e-bike model is a weaker USP than a built-in drive motor in special fabrication.
  • USPs can only have an impact, however, if the uniqueness mentioned also appeals to the target group and is relevant to them. In other words, the most outstanding benefit for the customer is at stake. An effective USP not only highlights the feature of the product, but also (implicitly) makes it very clear to whom this message is directed. After all, the customer also wants to know whether it is precisely he who is being addressed by this USP. Therefore, his question: Is this something for me? (Is this also meant for me?) must be answered with "yes" by the product description.

How can I develop the USP?

USPs can be developed quite easily in areas where there are (technological) innovations, as it is then the "only product with this new component". However, through product analysis, the USP can also be found for non-innovative products.

Feature lists are a great tool

As a starting point for the USP analysis of most product groups, a list of features serves to answer the question of what characteristics the product has. The list ensures that the unique selling proposition of the product is actually worked out in terms of the actual special features.

Exploring the customer's point of view

In more established segments, developing a USP is more difficult than in very innovative areas - here it becomes even more important to consider the customer's point of view. To do this, you can survey your own customers or customer service, or read customer reviews for the product group. The goal here is to explore the perspective of (prospective) customers and answer the following questions:

  • Which customer groups are interested in this product group? Are they similar, or do they differ significantly?
  • What features of the product do the customers value? Usually, a product has several components. Which of these do your customers find most valuable?Why did customers choose to migrate, i.e., why did customers leave?
  • Why did customers choose to migrate, i.e., why did customers leave?

Differentiation as the first step to developing a USP

Feature lists are a good start to teasing out a product's uniqueness. But often they are too specific to show the differences to other products. Therefore, it is advisable to include an additional structuring level.

Develop criteria groups

In order to compare the products within their groups, you can group the features into criteria groups that are relevant for the product group and based on which the products can be put in relation to each other.

For example, such criteria are:

  • Properties: What does the product look like? What material, what shape, what color does it have? What special features are noticeable here compared to similar products?
  • Features: What functions does the product have? What can it do (also in detail)?
  • Quality of services: Not just what the product can do, but also how well it can do something is an important criterion and relevant for the purchase decision.
  • Durability: Is the product characterized by long durability or sustainability? Can it be repaired, for example, or can wearing parts be replaced without difficulty?
  • Usability/customer-friendliness: Some products stand out because they are very easy to use.

The wording of a USP

On the product detail page, the USP can be used in different text modules. If it is very short and catchy, you can use it combined with the product name as a headline. It is also very suitable as the first sentence for the text part of the product description. However, it can also be advantageous to place it as a separate, highlighted text module, e.g. as a conclusion.

Comprehensibility is crucial

When writing the USP description, keep comprehensibility in mind as the primary goal. The USP must be quick and easy to grasp. Otherwise, the same basically applies to the linguistic elaboration as to the product descriptions - only with a special focus on simplicity and clarity.

Keep the benefit for the customer in mind

The structure of a USP is similar to the feature-benefit formula, which is used to derive the benefit for the customer from the feature. Therefore, you can first use a common formula to write a first draft of the USPs, such as this:

"The [PRODUCT/SERVICE] helps/supports/enables [target audience] to achieve [Benefit]."
"With the [EXCELLENT FEATURE], the [PRODUCT] is suitable for [target audience]'s [characteristic of the target audience]."

Automated product descriptions and USP

Working on AX Semantics' NLG platform, you can primarily use the Histogram feature to compare a product group and then use Conditions and Triggers to tailor the statements to the customer group. This is explained in more detail in this webinar video:

Should you have any questions about USPs and working with the AX NLG platform, feel free to contact our Customer Support or your Customer Success Agent.

Anne Geyer