Your Point of Difference - a Unique Selling Proposition
Back in 1961 Rosser Reeves, a young advertising copywriter working for Ted Bates & Co. introduced the concept of a Unique Selling Proposition. Reeves stated...
"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."
Every business needs a Point of Difference (POD), something that sets them apart from their competitors and one of the most cost effective ways of getting that message out is with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
So, what is a USP?
Well for a start, it's not a slogan, a mission statement, or a catch-cry. These all have their place within a business but they are not to be confussed with your USP. Lets break the term USP into its constituent parts and you get a good idea of what it's all really about.
- A USP is a proposition you make to your market.
- Not only that, it's one directed at generating a response, an action, a sale. It's a selling proposition.
- And not only that, it's a selling proposition that no other competitor makes. It's unique!
And, how do you create a USP?
This is the fun part... you don't so much as 'create' a USP but rather 'deduce' it.
Ask yourself the key question
"What does your market want... that your competitors are not adequately addressing... and which you could deliver?"
Here's a hint, break up this question and you'll see the three ingredients that will direct you to the answer... Market Intelligence, Competitor Intelligence and Company Intelligence.
If you have the answer to those, you will have identified a gap in the market. It might not be an actual gap in terms of product performance or service delivery by your competitors... but it's a gap that isn't being claimed by anyone, or not being claimed strongly.
The writing of a USP
The writing of a USP I'll leave up to you but the important things are that you identify a gap in the market and prioritise your available choices. Look at what choices are a better strategic or competative fit at this moment and then target those. Get good copywriters onboard and have them elaborate on your newly discovered Unique Selling Proposition.
Remember, every business needs a Point of Difference and today that could be your newly discovered Unique Selling Proposition. But as with all things marketing, tomorrow will bring new challages and perhaps another USP.