Today, we’ll explore 14 simple (but oh-so-effective) unique selling proposition examples.
Now, each one of these USP examples holds a mini-lesson for greatness.
And with these lessons, you’ll be able to uncover your service’s unique strengths, identify gaps in your competition, and discover the precise angle to use when you develop your own unique selling proposition.
So grab your phone with both hands and get your scrolling fingers ready, because the lesson is about to begin.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
A unique selling proposition (USP), or unique selling point, is the exclusive trait that resonates with customers and differentiates a business from its competition.
And the comparison to competitors is important because this means a USP doesn’t have to compete with every other USP — a clothing company doesn’t need to compete with a coffee shop — it only needs to be unique among the competition.
For instance, most people know someone really tall.
Let’s call this tall friend “Mark.”
He may not be the tallest person out there, but you’d likely mention Mark’s height when describing him to someone new.
Because that trait stands out. It’s unique. If you went to a party with his social group and saw someone standing head and shoulders above the rest, you’d think, “He’s quite tall. I bet that’s Mark.”
But of course, there’s more to a company’s USP than just an identified trait.
And that leads to what a unique selling proposition isn’t.
What a Unique Selling Proposition Isn’t
In general, a unique selling proposition isn’t:
- A Mission Statement – That’s about objectives and approach.
- A Vision Statement – That’s about future hopes and dreams.
- A Slogan Statement – That’s a campaign or product-specific tagline.
- A Value Statement – That’s the benefit the customer receives.
14 Unique Selling Proposition Examples (With Mini-Lessons)
All great USPs are mixed with the same ingredients: focus, creativity, clarity, direction, brevity, and innovation. And the following 14 unique selling proposition examples are no exception.
But why each business chose their ingredients and how they baked them into something special is the focus of the mini-lessons below — so let’s hop to them!
1. Grammarly: “Great Writing, Simplified”
Lesson: A simple solution to a problem can make a clean USP.
Great writing has never been simple.
From prepositions to conjunctive adverbs, not just anyone can write something impressive.
Except now, with Grammarly, they can.
And Grammarly’s USP mirrors this simplicity, especially compared to competitors. Ginger, for instance, can “help people write better, faster, and more creatively in English.” And Hemingway “makes your writing bold and clear.”
They’re not bad. But a clean and simple USP will always be tough to beat.
What problem does your product simplify?
2. WhatsApp: “Simple. Secure. Reliable Messaging.”
Lesson: Removing an enormous obstacle can make a focused USP.
WhatsApp’s USP represents how accessible worldwide communication has become.
Because, don’t forget, long-distance communication used to be impossible.
Then the first transatlantic call launched from New York to London in 1927 and cost $75, the equivalent of almost $1,300 today. Fast forward, and WhatsApp has made international calling easier and less expensive than buying a pack of gum.
Every business removes some sort of obstacle. But if you can find the biggest one and knock it down, your USP practically writes itself.
What obstacle has your product removed?
3. Butcher Box: “Meat and Seafood Done the Right Way”
Lesson: Improving a broken system can make a magnetic USP.
From overpriced products to unethical farming, meat eating isn’t usually done right. But could it be?
According to Butcher Box’s USP, yes.
But it was no small feat.
The business owner, Mike Salguero, went above and beyond. He didn’t just copy the competition — he created a nationwide supply and delivery system that provides the healthiest, most affordable, and most humanely-raised meat and seafood straight to your door.
And their USP communicates the brand improvements that so many meat eaters have been waiting for.
What system does your product improve?
4. Thrive Market: “Organic Without Overpaying”
Lesson: Adapting to customer needs and wants can make a targeted USP.
Thrive Market’s USP demonstrates they didn’t just know what their target market wanted, but also what they needed.
People want organic groceries…but they need affordable organic groceries.
So Thrive adapted a way to deliver more than 5,000 organic, non-GMO, and nontoxic food, home, and beauty products at affordable prices.
And this one-two value proposition was all it took for their USP to capture what prospective customers both needed and wanted.
What needs and wants does your product adapt to?
5. Monster Energy: “Tear Into the Meanest Energy Drink”
Lesson: Loyalty to a target audience can make a bonding USP.
At first glance, Monster Energy’s USP might not seem like it’s directed at you.
And odds are it’s not.
That’s because Monster’s brand single-mindedly caters to, sponsors, and is embraced by the mean, adrenaline-induced, crazy animals who tear through life’s extremes. In short, if it’s related to extreme sports, Monster is there.
And their USP forgets the rest. Especially bored office workers, unlike certain competitors. (Sorry, Red Bull.)
What target audience is your product loyal to?
6. Levi’s: “You Wear Jeans. You Live in Levi’s.”
Lesson: Creating a category all your own can make a bold USP.
Levi’s USP is one hell of a bold statement. But you can go there when you’re the first denim brand of all time.
Being the first or best [anything] makes for a strong USP, but Levi’s dug even deeper. And just like how Band-Aid didn’t invent bandages, Levi’s didn’t invent pants, they just evolved them.
Similarly, your product doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel to come up with a unique benefit. But if your message can create a new category, your USP can be bolder than your competitors.
What category can your product or message claim?
7. Carhartt: “Outworking Them All Since 1889”
Lesson: Sharing a character trait with your customers can make a respected USP.
Carhartt’s USP represents how they started and what forged them into the brand they are.
They started with hard-use apparel for blue-collar workers, but they had a problem: so did Levi’s, and Levi’s had a 36-year head start.
So what could they do?
Simple — they outworked them.
Hard work is something their customer base was used to, took pride in, and a good USP that highlights a core value shared between company and customer becomes more than just a marketing strategy.
What characteristics do your products share with your customers?
8. Under Armour: “Under Armour Makes You Better”
Lesson: Returning to the basics can make a compelling USP.
Under Armour’s USP reflects a marketing campaign to rediscover what sports apparel was invented for in the first place: substance over style.
Which, it turns out, is its own style — at least it is to serious athletes who care about performance more than they care about what label they wear.
Besides, competition like Nike already had that covered. (And Adidas and Puma.)
Instead, Under Armour chose to make you look good second because they make you better first.
And their USP drives this specific benefit home unapologetically.
What ways does your product return to the basics?
9. Package Free: “Sustainable Alternatives for Every Occasion”
Lesson: Ethical problem-solving can make a notable USP.
Package Free sells sustainable products.
All-natural pet brushes? Biodegradable phone cases? Recycled crayons?
And they also ship to consumers with 100% recyclable, compostable packaging (plastic free).
They also work to include more and more products that fit their standard.
That’s why Package Free’s USP marries ethical operation with practical problem-solving because prospective customers will always crave the best of both worlds.
What problem does your product ethically solve?
10. Death Wish Coffee: “The World’s Strongest Coffee”
Lesson: Being the world’s best/most/strongest can make a standout USP.
The world’s most [anything] is definitely an exclusive trait.
But Death Wish Coffee didn’t choose their USP because they had no other marketing choices. They could have focussed on their one-year freshness guarantee or the fact that they only use fair trade organic coffee beans, which are traits that blow competition like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts out of the water.
Instead, their USP stands out because it reflects their identity: skull and crossbones, dark and gritty, not flowers and fairies. But think more Halloween dress-up than a horror movie — their message is meant to be edgy, not literal.
And any USP that reflects brand awareness while it takes advantage of the world’s [best/most/strongest] will target customers quickly.
What ways is your product the best and how can that represent its identity?
11. Saddleback Leather: “They’ll Fight Over It When You’re Dead”
Lesson: Concentrating on quality can make a memorable USP.
Saddleback Leather produces the highest quality, affordable leather goods without being stuck up about it.
Consider their USP. It’s creative, it’s memorable, and it’s a bit irreverent. Companies don’t usually reference the passing of their potential customers. But competitors selling high-quality bags also don’t make them as affordable or as tough.
Saddleback’s bags are so tough they fend off crocodile attacks.
And their USP infused this built-to-last craftsmanship with a playful tone, and any USP that can pull double-duty like that is sure to attract the ideal customer.
What stereotype does your product break?
12. Dunkin Donuts: “America Runs On Dunkin”
Lesson: Taking pride in your product can make an emotional USP.
Dunkin doesn’t literally fuel America, but they take so much pride in their product they feel as if they do. And compared to the competition, they have some wicked unique brand loyalty.
They’re proud, of course, to be founded near Boston, smack dab in historic New England. And New England has embraced them.
The Seattle Times even agreed that they feel less pride for Starbucks than Bostonians do for Dunkin.
And any USP that’s charged with so much marketing pride is sure to rally the troops.
What does your product take pride in?
13. Dutch Bros: “Because of You Since ‘92”
Lesson: Building a novel culture or customer service can make a welcoming USP.
At first look, Dutch Bros’ USP doesn’t seem like a successful USP.
You could argue it’s a bit bland, even basic.
But anyone who’s been through a Dutch Bros immediately gets it.
After all, there must be a reason they’ve grown to a value of $6 billion, despite being the coffee underdogs of the Pacific Northwest (where coffee is religion).
Well, because of you — the customers, the baristas, everyone!
For example, a few broistas were photographed when they piled out of the drive-through window to spontaneously pray with a newly widowed customer. Another time employees got word that a coworker’s financial aid was cut, so they Venmoed her the money.
And any USP that makes insiders out of outsiders is practically guaranteed to spread.
What product does your business put a novel spin on?
14. Starbucks: “Expect More Than Coffee”
Lesson: Giving customers what they didn’t know they wanted can make an intriguing USP.
Starbucks’ USP captures the essence of their popularity.
And it’s not the coffee.
They’ve created what’s been dubbed “the third place.”
A place, between work and home, where someone can go for hours on end. An idea we now take for granted, but it had to start somewhere. Add that to chipper and attentive baristas, and the Starbuck’s experience gave us far more than coffee.
And any USP that knows what you want before you do will attract attention.
What does your product do to meet wants?
Which Are Your Favorite Unique Selling Proposition Examples?
Strong unique selling propositions can be elusive.
When you spot a great USP it’s a challenge to figure out how exactly they worked their magic, which can make them difficult to create.
But now that you’re equipped with what a USP is, what a USP isn’t, and 14 stellar examples with mini-lessons for each, you should have no problem spotting them from a mile away — or making your own!