“Hey, guess what?! Today I heard about a company that gives back to the community where it operates!”

Said no one, ever.

The task of successful marketing is to differentiate from competitors.  And while this is a difficult art, the need to communicate a “Unique Selling Proposition” or “USP” provides a beacon for the effort.

But when it comes to expressing a corporate brand or social responsibility platform that effectively resonates, I often find companies adrift without that beacon.

Good corporate reputations aren’t “selling.” They’re building loyalty, trust and valuation. They’re recruiting, inoculating from risk, influencing regulatory decisions…

So what is the North Star for driving more corporate relevance and engagement?

My answer is a different “USP.” I call it the “Unique Solving Proposition.”

Explain the need or purpose you are solving, and why it matters.  Tell stories that make others care about it and value its resolution. People will be drawn in to your world by shared interest in the topic.

It’s not that you’re being a responsible citizen. Of course that is important, but it’s more relevant if you’re inviting others to understand and help you solve a specific social challenge related to your industry or community. Express what you’re solving; leave the attribute of your citizenship for them to determine.

It’s not that your products are ubiquitous in American households (that’s a “what” about you). Instead maybe you are solving little trials in consumers’ daily routines. From this platform you can engage with consumers and become a champion of their everyday achievements.

It’s not that your company loves to serve businesses, but that you make entrepreneurs more competitive in their business. Now you can host events and share business insights that make you a powerful business ally in far more ways than the one.

What are you solving? What is your “why?”

It’s a powerful business lens that can unlock deeper corporate relevance.


Patty Tucker is a career problem-solver and corporate communications strategist helping purposeful organizations plan, position and engage through times of change.