Identify Your USP by Doing the Opposite, Not the Obvious

Sam’s Horn’s Tip #1 for Identify Your USP:

Do the opposite, not the obvious.

Enterprise wanted to enter the crowded car rental industry but Hertz and Avis owned the majority of the market.

Hmmm…how can you compete with the “big boys?”

One way to distinguish yourself from competitors is to study them and ask what your competitors have in common . . . and then don’t do that!

What did the other car rental agencies have in common? They were all situated next to airports.

So, Enterprise located in neighborhoods.

Another way to identify a USP (unique selling proposition) is to ask yourself, “What don’t my competitors offer that customers want?”

Well, none of the car rental companies were offering door-to-door service.

So, Enterprise was first-to-market by offering to pick up and drop off customers from their home/hotel.

As a result of identifying two clear USP’s – two offerings none of their competitors could match — guess who is now the #1 car rental agency in the United States?

That’s right. Enterprise.

If you want to stand out from your crowd, lead it, don’t follow it.

One of the best ways to identify your USP is to innovate, not duplicate. Do the opposite, not the obvious.

1 Comment
  1. Thank you for these very good examples to clarify the importance of a USP. I had no idea that Enterprise was number 1. Shows what a little creativity can do. . .

Leave a Reply

Want a speaker you can trust to thrill your audience from start to finish - with original insights, laugh-out-loud humor, relevant examples and inspiring stories that motivate them to act?
Work with Sam and the IA team to position, message and craft your presentations, books and priority projects so they win buy-in from your target audience and decision-makers.
Want to create intriguing, one-of-a-kind ideas, projects and communications? Our books, videos and e-learning products show you how.
Want recent insights, examples and action steps on how to create interest, earn respect and connect with anyone? Our blogs (often featured in Fast Company,, etc.) show how.