How to create a unique selling proposition for your FMCG brand?

In perfect competition, where there is a large number of buyers, and sellers, it is important to pitch your brand in such a way that is unique yet competent. And the way to do that is through your marketing and advertising strategies. A business needs to build a marketing strategy in such a way that it becomes their USP.

A unique selling proposition or USP is a distinguishing factor that sets you apart from your competitors. This factor can help the audience recognize you and your brand. It further can give you a visibility edge over your competitors, be it small or established.

Three integral criteria of creating a brand USP are as follows- when and where to position your brand and products, to evaluate your competitors' USP, and to focus on your brand individuality and uniqueness.

What is a unique Selling Proposition?

A USP works and promotes your strengths and potentials while targeting your existing audience, or attracting potential consumers. However, one shouldn't take 'unique' in the literal sense. 'Unique' does not guarantee to have a strong USP. A brand needs to differentiate itself from its competitors.

A convincing USP should be assertive yet respectful, should adhere to consumers’ needs, and a clear message.

5 Indian FMCG brands to look at for a good USP strategy

  1. Patanjali Ayurved

This Indian FMCG company was launched in 2006. If one looks at their Wikipedia page, their revenue grew four times in the FY 2015-16. It was possible only when they worked on their USP and promoted it heavily. Patanjali's USP lies in its product efficacy, meaning a product's ability to provide beneficial effects.

2. Britannia Industries

Britannia Industries's USP lies in being India's very own bakery and dairy. The company recently upgraded its USP, making it unique, health conscious, and for the masses. It is India's first Zero Trans Fat Company. Trans Fat has negative implications on one's body, resulting in decrease of good cholesterol, increase of bad cholesterol, and increase in rate of heart attack or stroke.

3. Nestle

Nestle's tagline 'Good Food, Good Life' is surely fulfilled by the brand. Their USP lies in making its products a household essential. Be it KitKat, Munch, Milkybar, Nescafe, and lastly, Maggi. It advertises its products in such a way that the consumers feel it is a daily use product, not a want. It allows itself to be a part of an ordinary Indian middle-class family.

4. Dabur

It is the world's largest Ayurvedic and natural health care company based out of India. The brand has been in this market since 1884, making it one of the most trusted brands in the country. One of its key products, Dabur Chyawanprash, has been the highest-selling Chyawanprash with more than 60% market share. The brand's USP also lies in product efficacy. (Trust)

5. Harvest Gold

Harvest Gold is not just bread. It’s a world of goodness and rich taste. The 25-year-old brand has quickly become one of the most popular brands in India. Harvest is synonymous with bread. The brand's USP lies in its fresh quality bread.

SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat)

Any business USP is created only after intensive research, intra-company and inter-company. To create an effective USP, the company needs to do a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis helps in identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business. By assessing these 4 techniques, one can effectively plan a strong potential USP of a brand.



Sample template of FMCG SWOT analysis.

Competitor SWOT Analysis

To create a successful USP for your FMCG brand, one needs to assess their competitors. Jot down a list of 5-10 competitors in the following two methods.

  1. Make a list of 5 competitors in the three segmentation- small, medium, and large.
  2. Or a list of 10 competitors overall.

This shall enable you to understand what your competitors focused on.

Brand SWOT

Once you are familiar with your competitors' USP, do a SWOT analysis on your brand. This will enable you to understand what should be the key focus points, and what is or can be similar between you and your competitor.

Verifying USP

When you are create your USP, don't include half-baked promises, or aspects which you cannot prove.

Remember, the audience is not submissive, or docile. Giving false promises can make audience react negatively. And in a day and age of social media, negative publicity is heard louder than positive ones.

Focus your USP on your core values or characteristics which are true, or can be proven.

Do's and Don'ts in your USP plan

There are certain do's and don'ts which one should ideal follow to create an effective USP strategy.


  • When you are promoting a core value of your brand, don't promote it only on the surface. Work on it from the inside out. Make sure your employees are aligned with your mantra.
  • Create a USP that you can prove, or which is achievable.
  • When launching your (new) USP, make sure to advertise and market your proposition extensively. In the market, as well as in your company.


  • Copying your competitors is not the way. Analyzing their strategy is different from copying them. Do what is in your interest and what works best for you.
  • Don't give false assurance to your customers or target audience.
  • If and when your USP starts working effectively, don't assume that you reach the heights immediately. Remember, the brand Tata was not made immediately, it has taken 152 years to create a brand Indians can trust.

Incorporating anything just because it sounds catchy or is cool is not going to help your brand.

Updated On Dec 09, 2021