If you can define a Unique Selling Point, you can succeed in selling coffee online
Claiming to “source the best coffee possible” is no longer enough to sell coffee online.
And the reason for this is the abuse many coffee roasters, Local and online coffee businesses are doing on this sentence.
So, in order to “hint” into the audience’s curiosity, it’s necessary what is called in Marketing (and Sales) a Unique Selling Point.
A unique selling point (a.k.a. USP or Unique selling proposition) is a specific key element that differentiates your brand and products from the ones of your competitors.
In other words:
So, basically, the key to defining a unique selling point is finding that “key benefit” and describing it in one sentence.
And I’m going to walk you through some powerful ways to find it in this post.
This is exactly what you are going to learn:
- What Makes a successful USP successful
- How to define your USP based on your Product (Coffee) and your brand’s features
- 3 real examples of “well-defined” successful selling points
Let’s start with the fun…
1. 3 elements that successful selling points have
What makes a unique selling point (USP) successful is its ability to connect your company’s values and philosophy with people’s values and philosophy.
This is why it’s important to define your target audience based on this USP.
Now, having this in mind, there are three features that are constant in the most successful USP:
- Single Sentence: Yep, you read right. The most successful USPs are only made by one sentence. Not a big paragraph.
- Shortness: Again, they are not made by a long sentence. The most successful USPs are simple, short, and…
- Ultraspecific: they put all the focus on one key benefit (or a group of them) that stands their product and brand out from their competitor’s.
And that’s all.
It only takes 3 elements to make a winning USP.
Now, how to find that key benefit or unique attribute that makes your brand and/or your coffee beans different from anyone else?
find it out in point 2…
2. How to define a USP based on the product and brand attributes
You read it.
There are several ways to find this key benefit or a remarkable feature.
But they all fall into two big groups:
- Brand Attributes
2.1. Defining a USP based in the Product (Coffee)
This approach focuses on the product (coffee) and it’s unique attributes.
Here are some product attributes (and key benefits) that can be used to define the USP:
- Origin of the beans: Where are your coffee beans coming from?
- Flavour Profile: Does your coffee beans have fruity, chocolate, caramel, or nut notes?
- Roasting Type: Does your coffee beans have light, medium or dark roasting type?
- Coffee Rating: Do you only source coffee beans that rate more than a specific score?
Notice how this approach requires the product (coffee) to be sourced, acquired and/or roasted based on these specific attributes.
This is why it’s so important to think about the unique selling point in the early days of the business.
Still, confused? Let me exemplify this.
Let’s say you decide to focus on the flavour profile to define this USP. In this case, focus on only ONE flavour profile when getting the coffee beans from your supplier.
For example, you may choose to focus on beans with a fruity flavour profile.
Then stick to this and make it a constant in your business.
Don’t use any other type of flavour profile.
This will allow you to create uniqueness and establish unique selling points such as the followings:
- “High-quality fruity taste coffee beans delivered to your door”.
- “We deliver high-quality fruity taste coffee beans to your door”.
Those USP also talks directly to an audience that is interested in this specific flavour profile, which can be key to reach them with Facebook Ads.
Also, notice how the above USP stand out from the classic:
- “We deliver the best coffee beans possible to your door”.
- “High-quality coffee beans delivered to your door”.
Can you see it now? Good!
Now it’s time for you to choose one of the above product attributes and define your USP.
And if you are not able to do this, you can still use your brand attributes…
2.2. Defining a USP based in the Brand attributes
When you have been in the online coffee business for a while or simply don’t want to stick to a specific product attribute, use instead a brand attribute to define your USP.
Brand attributes can be powerful because they connect your brand values and perspective with people values and perspective.
Here are some brand attributes to consider when defining a USP:
- Sustainability: Is your coffee produced in environmentally friendly lands? Do the farmers who produce the coffee have appropriated working conditions (fair wages, no children in the field, etc)
- Award-Winning: Have your organization won any well-recognized award in the coffee industry?
- Years in business: Have you been in the coffee business for a while?
- Founder story: Do you have a catchy, relevant story to tell that can be described in one single sentence?
- Target market: Do you focus on a specific market to sell your coffee beans online?
With these brand attributes, you will be able to make USP such as:
- Environmentally friendly, high-quality coffee beans delivered to your door.
- Delivering high-quality Specialty coffee for 20 years in a row.
Look inspiring? Good.
Now that I have shown you how to define a unique selling point, let me show you some REAL examples for even more inspiration…
3. 5 Real examples of well-defined and successful selling points
Let me tell you a big misconception.
Having a USP or defining a target audience is NOT something that ONLY big coffee brands do.
If you recently started an online coffee business or are not generating enough sales yet, it is actually more important than ever to define a unique selling point.
The following 5 screenshots belong to businesses of all sizes. Some of them have been out in the market for less than 6 months. Others, however, have been in the game for more than 10 years.
Example 1: Eighty Seven Plus
USP definition type: Product (Coffee Rating) & Brand (Sustainability)
USP: All coffee rated 87 points and up. Packing 100% recyclable and letterbox friendly.
Notes: Eighty Seven Plus use both Coffee rating & sustainability to set their unique selling point. Note that it is possible to mix different definition types to make this USP.
Example 2: Hermanos Colombian Coffee Roasters
USP definition type: Product (Origin of the beans)
USP: We specialise in roasting Colombian Coffee Beans & serving a great cup of coffee
Notes: See how Hermanos Colombian Coffee Roasters use the origin of the beans to set their product apart from the competition.
Example 3: The Barn Coffee Roasters
USP definition type: Brand (Award-Winning)
USP: Best Specialty coffee roaster Europe & Middle East 2019
Notes: The Barn Coffee Roasters is a Specialty coffee roastery based in Berlin, Germany, that delivers coffee all around Europe and some countries in the Middle East. Notice how they highlight the fact of being an award-winning coffee in 2019 as USP.
Example 4: Girls Who Grind Coffee
USP definition type: Brand (founder story)
USP: All-female specialty coffee roastery
Notes: “Girls who grind coffee” uses the unique differentiator of being an only female roastery.
Example 5: Pact Coffee
USP definition type: Brand (target Market)
USP: Specialty coffee tailored to your team
Notes: Pact Coffee has a specific side of the business dedicated to providing coffee to offices. Notice how they use this target market to define their USP
And… That’s it.
I hope you have got a lot of inspiration with those examples and apply the methods I taught you in this post.
Is there any other method that you know and I didn’t mention here? Do you disagree with something I mention?
Please, let me know in the comments 🙂
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