Two weeks ago, we talked about why a unique selling proposition is so important in building a high-traffic website or blog.
Today let’s make this discussion a little more concrete. Below are 10 websites and blogs with phenomenal USPs.
These are the types of businesses that quickly draw you in (or repel you, which can be a good thing) because of who they are. They reek uniqueness and it’s clear from the first minute what they’re all about.
Notice that few if any of them have invented entirely new topics or products. Each of these businesses sells something people already buy (advice, marketing services, handbags, chocolate), but they have each taken a unique approach that gives them a significant advantage over other players in their respective markets.
Don’t compete directly in a crowded space. Instead, make your site stand out for its uniqueness and building a big audience will be so much easier.
Here are 10 examples of websites with kickass unique selling propositions (numbered for your pleasure, but in no particular order):
1. Saddleback Leather
There is no other leather bag company on the planet like Saddleback Leather. This company oozes personality. The website is full of tales of Mexican bullfighting, travel in third-world countries, simple pleasures and touching stories about the owner’s beloved Labrador named Blue.
And Saddleback’s slogan is killer: “They’ll Fight Over it When You’re Dead.”
2. Mast Brothers Chocolate
The Mast Brothers (seen above) have an unhealthy obsession with crafting chocolate. They literally make every bar themselves, from the cacao bean all the way to packaging. The dedication itself makes for a great USP, but then there’s the rest of the story.
Rick and Michael Mast have a personal style that stands out. It says “we’re from the 18th century, back when craftspeople were revered and took pride in working with their hands.” The Brothers travel by wooden sailboat to foreign lands to find the best cacao possible, and then ship the beans back by sailboat. Strange and over-the-top? Yes. An unforgettable story of dedication that no other chocolate company can match? Indeed.
3. World’s Strongest Librarian
What the hell do kettlebells have to do with being a librarian? What is life with Tourette syndrome like, especially for an author?
Read the World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne to find out. It makes for an incredibly unique and unforgettable story.
4. Nerd Fitness
How many sites out there are about health and fitness? Probably tens or hundreds of thousands. How many sites out there about fitness cater specifically to nerds? You let me know in the comments if there are any besides Nerd Fitness by Steve Kamb.
5. TOMS Shoes
TOMS Shoes are quirky, comfy, light and inexpensive. That alone maybe isn’t enough to make a company stand out in the shoe business. The most unique and compelling part of the TOMS Shoes story is that they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase.
Who else cares that much?
6. Far Beyond the Stars
If you’re a regular reader of Think Traffic, you’ve probably heard me mention Everett and Far Beyond the Stars a few times. Far Beyond the Stars has grown into a 5,000 subscriber blog in about 9 months. Everett’s writing is inspiring, and his unique selling proposition is brilliant.
Instead of just writing about minimalism (lots of blogs do that), or just writing about location independence (plenty of blogs do that too), or writing solely about earning a living online (god knows how many blogs do that), Everett combined the three into a powerfully unique message.
By applying the principles of minimalism to business, Everett shows you how to succeed much faster and create a business you can operate from anywhere in the world working only a couple of hours a day.
Note: Everett no longer is running Far Beyond the Stars
7. Outspoken Media
Outspoken Media is one of my favorite Internet marketing blogs. They stand out from the world of “me too” marketing experts. What makes them stand out? They’re brash, bold, and not afraid to say what’s on their minds when everyone else is spouting the same boring social media tips.
Oh, and did I mention the company is 100% female and proud of it? That’s a unique selling proposition for the online marketing world in itself.
Naomi Dunford started by addressing a market in need of help (marketing for businesses without marketing departments), and then added her over-the-top personality and wit. IttyBiz isn’t for everyone, but people who love it really love it. I’m one of those people who love it.
There are plenty of places to loan money for a profit. There are also plenty of places to donate money to help change people’s lives. What about loaning money to change lives? That’s where Kiva comes in.
In 2005, Kiva launched and brought microloans online. Since then, over $100 million has been loaned to small entrepreneurs in the world’s poorest places. How’s that for unique and compelling?
10. Your turn: who would you add to this list?
What’s your favorite example of a kick-ass unique selling proposition? Please share in the comments!
Or, check out part 1 of this series: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition.