Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and sickness, to riches and poverty, to freedom and to slavery. It is we who control these, and not another. -Richard Bach
The Unique Selling Proposition (also Unique Selling Point) is a marketing concept that was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern among successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s.
The theory was that these companies had figured out how to maximize their advertising dollars. These ad campaigns made unique propositions to the market that cause many to switch brands.
The term “unique selling proposition” (USP) was invented by Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company. Today the term is used in other fields or just casually to refer to any aspect of an object that differentiates it from similar objects.
The modern day guerilla marketer now uses a resuscitated concept. Most of us understand what a company slogans or mottos is and unfortunately some companies still use them. Now, marketers understand the value of a well crafted USP.
A good USP stops the targets audience and gets their attention immediately.
Even if your mission is to secure employment a good USP helps
One of the most effective ways to write a USP is to use risk reversal. Imagine if you can totally reverse the risk of a potential client/customer/employer who is considering purchasing you/your product. A good practical example is what is referred to in sales as the “puppy dog close”.
For those of you who are unaware of it. Pet shops have been using it for ages on their customers. When a family show any interest in a puppy the store owner would ask if they will like to take it home for a few days and see it they like it. Invariable the puppy is purchased because of the strong attachment.
Another example of risk reversal is in a USP that states “We will refund you 100% of your money in 90 days if you don’t like this product; no questions asked”. It is interesting to note here that the longer the guarantee period the less likely that the product will be returned for a refund.
There are other ways to write a USP that attracts attention and business owners should examine their entire operation to determine what really makes their company different. Then include it in your USP.
Without a doubt, a good USP is one of the most effective NO COST ways of advertising your business. Once crafted it must be on every piece of stationary, business cards, novelty advertising. It should be on all advertising, signs, business cards and correspondence. It must be constantly injected into the minds of your client. But there is one caveat; the company must live up to whatever the USP states.
If you say that your store “Has the lowest price in the country and you will beat any other price that is lower” You must do it once a customer can produce proof that the price is lower at another store.
The real challenge is coming up with a USP that works. You need to be able to separate yourself from the pack or you will become just another peddler in the market. You need to intentionally position your company with the statement because once formulated it can direct how you market.
It does not only help in advertising but it gives the company an operating standard . What that mean is that if you say your USP promises to return 100% refund. You will quadruplet your sales but be sure that your product has a very minimal failure rate.
The USP should tell in as a concise number of words as possible if you can answer the question: How can I make my product the only solution? Or, what specific benefit this provides your customers?
Here are some example in a past local newspaper with other companies Unique Selling Proposition We just examined one issue in the Trinidad Express dated January 2nd 2009.
SAMPLE USPs IN TRINIDAD NEWSPAPERS
.Page 8 Sports World: USP “We Get It” offering 25-50 percent off after Christmas sale. Makes you wonder about the people that purchased before Christmas, eh?
Page 17 Toyota Trinidad Ltd. No real USP unless you want to say its “The Love Continues With The Sweet Corolla Way Affair” and that maybe what they came up with for a vehicle model USP. In this ad the agency is really just relying on brand name recognition.
Page 18 Blink Broadband: USP “Transform Your World With Blink” Now here is what an ad from a company that is monopolizing the market, TSTT marketing leaves much to be desired. In this ad you can sign up or upgrade but to up grade you must go to a specified bandwidth to qualify. Like now I got you I can squeeze a little more out of you. Captive marketing.
Page 20 Bmobile: Package USP “D Best Lime For 2009” This is a full page ad for Unlimited free talk at night and weekends. Same comment. Another Bmobile Ad on page 32 advertising the 25 cent text rate which has always been in existence, hopefully that triggers more texting.
Page 24 Digicel: USP “The Bigger Better Network” Well we all know better. Which brings into question, if your USP tells a lie then… The ad uses a Guerilla Marketing tactic of offering the service for 30 days to get more subscribers. In fact it is one of the most effective direct response full page ads in the Express.
I hope that by providing real examples of actual advertising you get an appreciation of what a USP is so that you can start crafting one for your business or yourself.
The links above are ideal for crafting a USP study them and you will be ok but if you need help, shoot me an email or give me a call.
As always Be Well
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