We wanted to develop a guide on the unique selling proposition to provide our readers with a proven methodology to implement within the context of their marketing program. We believe that using solid fundamentals in your marketing work can make a big difference in making more sales. There are too many marketing pundits that do not have the credentials that push tactics that do not make a difference in sales. We believe that there is no quick way to making millions of dollars other than hard work and solid marketing fundamentals.
The unique selling proposition is a tactic that you need to include in your marketing toolkit. The unique selling proposition uses are not as practical to use as it was in the past. However, the ideas that come from this theory will help you build out a solid marketing strategy to sell your products.
History of the USP
The unique selling proposition (USP) is an idea that came from Rosser Reeves from his work in advertising in the early 1940s. The way companies market their products to consumers during that time is different from modern practices. This is done by improving your companies unique value proposition through modern practices that are focused more on influencing, entertaining, and brand awareness. The USP is a theory that you must give consumers a unique take on a product that would make prospects want to buy from you and not your competitors.
Reeves thought that the only purpose of advertising is to sell, sell, and sell! He helped companies make millions with his sales approach to advertising. The way Reeves did this is that he would pick one feature about a product that is unique to their industry competitors and highlight this feature in advertisements.
Reeves believed that if a product is terrible, then no amount of advertising would make it a winner with advertising. He thought that advertising would drive more people to try a lousy product and push the product out of the industry faster.
The only way USP would work is if the product is good. He applied his approach to some very memorable campaigns for products like M&Ms, Colgate, Bic, and Minute Maid. A classic example of USP in action is the work that he did for M&Ms. The USP for M&Ms still stands the test of time, “melts in your mouth and not in your hands.” He believed that each advertisement should have only one value proposition to their prospects. This approach is to make sure that there are not too many messages on the benefits of the product to confuse the consumer.
Why you need a USP
If your company is selling a product to consumers then how is your product better than your competitors? How are you different? What can your product do that your competitors cannot do? These are the things that you need to think about when you are determining how you are different from everybody else. Your unique selling point for your product is what will make consumers think about you when relating your product to a unique feature.
You need a USP as an input for your marketing work. For example, copywriters can take your USP and write advertising copy that they can use on Facebook. Another good example will be if you are running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Your product is innovative, and it does something no other product in the industry can perform. You can write the landing page, film a video, and have ad copies highlighting your USP. This method is how you can get people to buy your campaign rewards.
How to write a USP
We will provide you guidance on how you can develop your USP.
1. Develop a Buyer Persona. The first step in writing your USP is that you need to know who is the target audience for your product. What are their age range, profession, industry, and other factors? You can create a buyer persona which is another instrument in uncovering demographic information for your customers. This tool can help you better understand who your customers are. Creating a buyer persona is a good practice to do before you do any marketing work. This process will help you document your customer information instead of having the information in your head.
2. What are the issues that your customers are facing that your product can alleviate? You want to develop a list of all the problems that your product can solve for your customers. You want to go through this exercise because it will document all of the product benefits. By the second step, you would have a better understanding of who your customers are and what solutions that your product can provide to them.
3. Write the most important benefit that your product can give to customers. You need to write the reason why people would go to the store and wait in line to buy your product.
4. You need to list out your competitors in the industry. You need to know who are the companies that you need to compete with for a customer. You need to understand their products and features better.
When you have all of this information, then you can determine better what makes your product special. What is your secret sauce? This process is a thinking exercise to help lay down the foundation for your marketing work for the product. The final product should be the USP that you can write in a document.
There are three things that your USP must accomplish, and they are:
- Your USP must give a single reason for why the customer should purchase your product.
- Your USP must be unique. There are no competitors who offer the same benefit in your industry.
- Your USP must be strong enough to convince people to buy your product.
We hope that this article has provided you with useful information on writing your USP. If this is your first time you are doing a USP for your product then follow the steps we have outlined. You will find that it makes a big difference to know how you are different and how you can best solve your customer issues.