Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Sunday Marketing Tip: How to develop your Unique Selling Proposition

Mark Fletcher
June 17th, 2012 · 1 Comment

In the last round of Newsagency of the Future workshops I urged newsagents to develop their Unique Selling Proposition as I saw (and see) this as vital to the future of any individual business.  I subsequently wrote an article published in the latest issue of National Newsagent magazine.

Here is the article. I urge newsagents and those who work in newsagencies to read this and develop a USP for their business:

Developing the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for a newsagency is one of the most important steps you can take in business.

A good USP will frame every decision you make. It will also define why you are in business for it goes to the heart of your passion. It feeds from your mission, your reason for existing.

Yes, a USP must reflect passion for this is what drives your love of your business … and you do love your small retail business don’t you?!  This is where small retailers like newsagents are different to big retailers. Where they get lost in KPIs, share price and other metrics, small business retailers think in personal terms, often with emotion.

So how do you create your USP?  Here are some tips I have found useful when working with newsagents on developing a USP…

1. Take your time. You will be done when you are done. Getting your USP right is more important than meeting a deadline.

2. Think. Try and get time away from the business to think about your USP. A good location I have found works is siting on a seat across from the entrance to your retail business, watching your customers.

3. Love. Work out what you love about your business and / or what you want to love about your business. Next, think about what you want your customers to love so much that they will tell their friends.

4. Differentiate. Think about what’s special in your area or marketplace about your business.

5. What do you stand for? If someone says who are you? you will probably answer with the facts. If they say, no, I want more, what makes you special? you will probably, hopefully, take them inside what makes you tick. So, you need to know, what does your business stand for?

6. Define. Try and put into words your passion and what is special about your business.  Brainstorm ideas in ten words or less. Get as many down on paper as you can.

7. Would you be missed? It is said that people often define their view of themselves by wondering if they would be missed. Think about your small retail business in this way. Would you be missed? If so, how and why?

It might take a few goes, working through these ideas. The result should be something close to a USP for your business.

Your USP needs to be succinct, passionate and unique, something that explains why your business is different and why people should shop with you.

A big challenge for newsagents is the diversity of the typical business. A USP is unique yet so much of what newsagents sell is not unique. So, a USP may start with one part of the business, getting you known for that.

If you think you are close, test it with your employees and family. Test it with yourself too by asking what you would change in the business with this USP in place, what decisions would be different?

A good USP will guide business decisions and provide a framework through which you navigate change in the business. But most important of all, it defines why you are in business.

Change is inevitable. Yes, your USP can and will change as the business evolved.

So, get started. To help you along, here are three ideas that focus on passion and evoke emotion:

1. Gifts you’ll be proud to give

2. Cards people love

3. Where customers are friends

You can discuss your USP ideas with Mark Fletcher on 09418 32 1338 or at


Category: marketing tip · Newsagency management

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Average businesses are going nowhere // Jun 15, 2016 at 1:32 AM

    […] business is anchored, true to its pitch, and true to its unique selling proposition. The coffee itself was serious, full of flavour, with an excellent body; perfect. This, too, was […]


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