The Unique Selling Proposition (USP)


What makes you different? What gives people a reason to choose your particular trip over the next operator’s? In marketing lingo, your special difference is known as your unique selling proposition (or USP). It’s a concept most know of but few fully understand.

A lot of operators focus only on the product they’re selling in their advertising. ‘’This is the Cook Islands' ultimate eco-friendly turtle tour!’’ they’ll say, while five other operators are saying the exact same thing.

If someone were to ask your typical customer why they chose you, what words would they use? That’s your point of difference to that person, regardless of whether you decided to do make it so.

‘’Oh, I went with the cheapest one.’’

‘’They offered a coconut show and food’’

‘’I went with the longest operating tour company because they know the ins and outs of the area.’’ 

‘’They had multiple tour options.’’

Having an obvious point of difference is one of the biggest keys to avoiding ‘race to the bottom price wars.

The easiest way to create a unique point of difference is to have a unique product. Think about not just your product but what makes your business inherently special. 

Take the example of Hidden Secrets Tours, a walking tour company in Melbourne, Australia. From all external appearances, they seem to be going well and have glowing reviews across social media.

They could have called themselves something boring like ‘Jade’s Melbourne Walking Tours’. Just having a name like ‘Hidden Secrets’ draws you in and explains their point of difference in seconds. They seem like experts who will show you interesting places that you would never have found on your own. Sign me up now!

The result? They have a high ranking on TripAdvisor and are swimming. You may be wondering – did this give them the ability to avoid price wars? Heck yes, it did! Their tours are not cheap! This is the difference a great point of difference can make!

It’s important that you make a serious effort to find your USP. Sometimes it may take some thought but it is worth the effort. Still having trouble, ask some staff members. Have them seriously sit down and come up with something.

If you still can’t think of anything, that is something that should concern you. If you don’t do anything unique or better than the competition, perhaps it's time to start.

If you can’t tell me why I should buy from you… why should I?

Tourism Tiger
Tourism Marketing Tips