For most of us that is the hardest question we can answer. It happens to be one of the foundation questions for making a sale.
Interestingly a bunch of people have just written about this in their marketing newsletters. Considering the UNPRECEDENTED levels of commoditisation (and rising) that are out there in more and more industries, every business needs a crystal clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
The USP was originally coined by Rosser Reeves in ‘Reality In Advertising.’ I have my copy. I hope you’ve got yours. For some reason unlike ‘Ogilvy On Advertising,’ ‘Scientific Advertising’ and ‘Tested Advertising Methods,’ ‘Reality in Advertising’ hasn’t stayed in print.
It is on its way to becoming the next ‘Breakthrough Advertising’ (which sold for $900 used on eBay until it was reprinted). At the moment ‘Reality in Advertising’ will only set you back a couple hundred bucks.
A COUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS For a Book?
Developing a USP that actually works for a single product should allow you to sell much more than a couple hundred dollars worth of your product. In fact one of the criteria of a successful USP is that it can sell millions.
The advice in that book is absolutely priceless.
Now a lot of people have actually taken the term USP and pirated it into something else. A USP is not a slogan or a tag line but it can be.
The most famous USPs like that are probably :-
‘Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes. Guaranteed.’
‘Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.’
What is A USP? Dammit!?!
The USP is really much more than a slogan – at its essence is actually a boiling down of your sales message to a handful of pithy points that differentiate you from your competition and answer the most critical question: “why should I buy from you right now and not your competitor next week?”
The day you can answer that question your life changes. If you are never able to answer that question your business is doomed to be middle of the road at best.
The reason so few businesses have a USP is that nobody in the business took the time with the right tools to sit down and create a breakthrough USP.