USSP™October 20, 2020 2020-11-05 10:02
Identifying and Amplifying Your Unique Sustainable Selling Point
A unique selling point (USP) is an important ingredient when it comes to baking a successful marketing strategy. It’s the idea of identifying the unique benefit that your brand offers your customers and making it stand out in your marketing activity.
Establishing your unique selling point helps cement brand identity, differentiate your company from its competitors, clearly communicate your service or solution, and build the umbrella messaging that holds your brand together.
When it comes to selling conscious products and services, it’s important to consider your unique sustainable selling point (USSP) too.
While a traditional USP might be that your brand offers free returns, a higher quality product or a first-ever feature, a USSP is specifically about the sustainability problem that your brand solves and the key solution that you provide to support the betterment of people and the planet. This a term purposefully created by the Hello Earth team.
Your USSP might be that your product:
- Reuses the waste that is created in a traditional production process.
- Eliminates chemicals that are known pollutants from its ingredients list.
- Has refillable or biodegradable packaging.
- Encourages and promotes nature and biodiversity.
- Promotes social inclusion, equality and togetherness.
In your dedication to a better world, you have a selling point at the heart of your business that creates an authentic and meaningful advantage to fuel your marketing strategy.
Donating to a cause is no longer enough.
66% of people believe it’s no longer enough for companies to make donations and that good causes should be integrated into day-to-day business.
The younger generation of consumers are searching for companies that act like global citizens, lead with their values, solve serious problems, and walk their talk.
In the past, businesses have shown care and concern for social and environmental challenges by donating to good causes that are doing good things. With escalating levels of urgency to tackle our biggest social and environmental challenges, this is no longer enough.
Consumers have learnt to see through the donations that have little meaning or relevance to a company and they’re looking for companies that are doing more - in their operations, products and communities - to meet serious global commitments to the climate challenge, biodiversity catastrophe and social inequality.
This new-age consumer is looking for:
A corporate social responsibility strategy that is aligned to the key sustainability challenges of the industry in which the business operates, with meaningful business, industry and community goals.
A sustainability strategy that shows commitments to reducing things like emissions and waste, and to eradicating the unethical treatment of people and animals, with clear goals and targets.
A commitment to transparent and authentic marketing and communications.
And a USSP that solves a social or environmental problem.
Getting human and regaining trust
Consumers have fallen out of trust with marketing, labelling and branding. Studies suggest that Millennials and Gen Z are among the least trusting and most wary demographics.
With there being little governance in how a product is labelled, it’s easy for brands to greenwash, exaggerate their endorsements and use superlatives to capture sales - and it’s not just marketing language that has consumers raising their eyebrows and turning away - the overuse of “buy, buy, buy” slogans has created a phenomenon of ‘banner blindness’ where our brains now consciously or unconsciously ignore advertising and banner-like information.
So when our eyes meet real, raw and authentic communication that shows true purpose, the impact is powerful.
What’s different about Innocent Smoothies? They speak human, not corporate.
Why has BrewDog made a mark? Because they’ve shown care in their product and in something much bigger than them.
Why has TOMS Shoes grown so successfully around the world? Because we understand the problem they are trying to solve and we want to help.
Authenticity captures hearts (and sales)
Let’s stick with TOMS Shoes here.Their USP might be that they sell quirky and comfy shoes. Their USSP is their applauded social strategy to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchase.
This brings the company’s heart and soul to life. Beyond this, their sustainability strategy includes commitments to greener packaging, organic cotton, and a reduced carbon footprint. This commitment to operating their business in a way that is in harmony with the planet demonstrates further authenticity.
When comparing all the quirky, comfy, light and affordable shoes, would you choose the one that has a social strategy and a sustainability strategy over the ones that don’t?
Most people would.
The Harvard Business Review reports that when people were asked to choose between an eco-friendly granola bar (with the tagline “good for you and the environment”) and a traditional granola bar (“a healthy, tasty snack”), the sustainable option was twice as likely to be picked.
The reason USSPs stand out and engage us is because they’re needed. Better business is key to saving the planet.
Unearthing your USSP™
A USSP™ is a core part of your branding suite. It needs to be clear and authentic.
To truly unearth your USSP™, we work through the following with you:
What are you trying to achieve as a brand? What sustainability problem are you solving? Why has this problem become your mission and purpose?
- Conduct market research and competitor analysis.
- Review consumer research and if needed, survey our 18,000-person audience of conscious consumers.
- Provide you with a communications recommendation.
- Provide you with a design recommendation.
- Build a messaging house around your USSP.
- Formalise your USSP strategy.
- Begin using your USSP in advertising and email copy and creative.
- Building your Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategies around your USSP and the unique problem you’re working to solve.
- Rewriting key communication, website and brand assets.
- Relaunching your brand with a bang!
Ready To Drive Your Business Growth?
Book A Discovery Call With Us Today.