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USP Breakthrough by Andrey Polston

The full title of this book by Andrey Polston is

USP Breakthrough: The Power To Get More Customers, Close More Deals, and Charge Higher Prices

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 3 Stars.

Here is my review.

An interesting approach to an important topic

I’ll encourage every small business owner who has to face up to competition, to think about their USP (unique selling proposition) because its purpose is to differentiate your business.

This book starts with an offer to download a USP companion guide packed with brainstorm questions and idea generators for each of the six steps in the USP Builder Process. It sounds good but it should be in the book that people buy rather than available, presumably in exchange for an email address. I say presumably because I clicked and the page wasn’t available.

Putting that to one side, the author has correctly realised that businesses need to focus on their constraints, the things that are holding them back.

He goes on to say “A weak USP is, universally, one of the most common root constraints that businesses suffer from.” I couldn’t agree more as my business coaching is based on fixing the symptoms (poor profitability and cash flow) that come from the underlying problems of little effective differentiation and poor management focus and control.

He goes back to explain the origins of the USP with Rosser Reeves and goes on to explain that the USP should define the entire focus on the business from top to bottom. This is important because I’ve criticised another book about USPs for suggesting that a marketing promise is enough.

The book then goes on to provide a six step process to creating a USP. This is interesting and raises some good points about how the differentiating factors can be teased out. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s as simple, clear or obvious as the author would like to think it is.

Once again I’d criticise it for not encouraging the reader to take a systemic review of their competitors first to see what’s on offer and, more importantly, where the gaps are. The unique element is important and I find that people can fall in love with their own ideas, even if they are impractical in the marketplace.

Overall I thought the book started well but could do with being extended. There are examples but I’d like to see these made much clearer in well written case studies.

I think this is interesting background reading and will give you some ideas but I don’t think that it’s the comprehensive guide that is needed for small business owners.


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