Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The concept of Unique Selling Proposition "USP" is credited to Rosser Reeves, chairman of the Ted Bates & Co. advertising agency in the 1950s.

Rosser's idea - simple, like all good ones - was to find one benefit nobody else could offer and hammer it home relentlessly.

He was one of the first to develop a technique for communicating in an overcrowded marketplace. There are three key components according to Mr. Reeves to create an effective USP:

  1. All advertising must make a offer/proposition to the customer: Do this or buy this, and you will receive a specified benefit.
  2. The proposition must be unique; something competitors cannot claim, or have not chosen to emphasize in their promotions.
  3. The proposition must be so compelling that it motivates individuals to act.

Can you visualize a typical customer for your product or service?  This is an incredibly important concept for developing your USP and ultimately your marketing plan. 

How many times have you heard business owners or salespeople say everyone in the world is their prospect?  Is that true?  Usually it is not.  I mean you may be able to find every person needs your product/service, but not everyone wants your product/service.  Even still this is unlikely. 

You want to find out is who are the people who need and want your product/service.
These are the ones you want to understand so you can develop your marketing messages. 
These people represent the easiest sale.
These are the people who buy over and over again. 

So stop marketing to everyone!

Your Unique Selling Proposition is the reason why somebody should buy from you and not your competition. The unique benefits that your products or services offer consumers.

Your USP is typically a one-line description of your company's products or services that differentiates it among your market from the offerings of its competitors.

You would have to agree, if one special benefit is good, how do you like the idea of several? The more reasons you give, the better you do. Sometimes by bundling a few together you end up with a sort of packaged USP.

To find your USP, answer these three questions:

  1. What benefit is unique to your offering, and what is the basis of this claim?
  2. Who is the target market for whom this benefit is of compelling interest?
  3. What USP has been claimed by significant competitors for this target market?

Now ask yourself, your staff, your clients and customers and your suppliers:

  • Are you unique?
  • Cheaper?
  • Quicker?
  • Better value? Safer?
  • The most trusted?
  • The friendliest?
  • The first?
  • The top seller?
  • The most tested?
  • Give quicker service?
  • The most advanced?
  • The latest?
  • The oldest?
  • The most loved?
  • The one experts prefer?
  • The most reliable?
  • More fun?
  • Sold in a special way?
  • Easier to deal with?
  • More helpful?

Creating a USP is a matter of balancing these components, to describe a position you will hold in the target market's minds that differentiates you from your competition. Let's consider each of the components.

Building your USP takes some work, but it is worth it because of the added advantage you'll have in the market.

Using a powerful USP will make your job of marketing and selling much easier, helping you to more easily increase your sales and profits without increasing your markeitng budget.

Here are a few of the most famous and profitable USP's:

"Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it's free." (Dominos Pizza)
(This USP is worth $1 BILLION to Dominos Pizza)

"The nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine." (Nyquil)

"When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." (Federal Express)

Now, use your UPS in all your marketing, including:

  • Advertising and sales copy headlines
  • Business cards, brochures, flyers, & signs
  • Your "elevator pitch", phone, and sales scripts
  • Letterhead, letters, & postcards
  • Website & Internet marketing.

Using a strong USP is the driving force that builds your business success. 

Build your USP into all your marketing plans and use it to optimize your marketing materials for maximum results.

Budget: $500 - $1,000 One Time