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Article Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unique_selling_point
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. It states that such campaigns made unique propositions to the customer and that this convinced them to switch brands. The term 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.
Today, a number of businesses and corporations currently use USPs as a basis for their marketing campaigns.
In Reality in Advertising Reeves laments that the U.S.P. is widely misunderstood and gives a precise definition in three parts:
- Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Not just words, not just product puffery, not just show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”
- The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique—either a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising.
- The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product.
Some good current examples of products with a clear USP are:
Head & Shoulders: “You get rid of dandruff”
Olay: “You get younger-looking skin”
Some unique propositions that were pioneers when they were introduced:
Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.”
FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”
M&M’s: “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand”
Wonder Bread: “Wonder Bread Helps Build Strong Bodies 12 Ways”
3 Simple Steps To Finding Your Client’s USP
Everyone needs one. Not everyone has one. It’s your job as a copywriter to MAKE SURE your clients get one. It’s the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – the single thing your client touts that sets them apart from their competition. Yet discovering a truly unique selling proposition is daunting and rare. Here are some straightforward tips to help you make your client’s marketing message stand out in a crowd.
Study the competition. What are they saying? How are they saying it? You need to know your playing field before you jump into the game. Whatever their message, you want the one you create for your clients to be different.
Be creative. It doesn’t matter if your client’s business, product, or service really is just like their competition’s and nothing at all sets them apart (although I think this is unlikely). So long as they’re the only one saying what they’re saying, their message will be heard. I once helped a beauty parlor double its response rate on a direct mail postcard simply by highlighting how they served hot teas in their lobby. Almost all the local beauty parlors served hot teas, but this was the only one to advertise the complimentary service.
Encourage your clients to be unique. Clients like their copywriters to have brains. Think for yourself. Think for them. Be a marketing consultant and not just a copywriter, and you will become invaluable. Don’t let them succumb to the rudderless, nondescript, “me too” method of business that relies solely on the sheer momentum of the marketplace. A local midwife saw her business increase by 40% when she began renting out office space to and holding monthly workshops by other like-minded professionals (a homeopathic natural doctor, a lactation consultant, and a yoga instructor).
Don’t follow the throng! Find your client’s USP and multiply their marketing dollars!