Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what makes your business special in the marketplace.
Coined by one of the original ‘Mad Men’ of Madison Avenue, Rosser Reeves, a business’s Unique Selling Proposition is one of the most important attributes of any business, large and small.
The USP is the unique benefit(s) that enables your business to stand-out from its competitors. Reeves wrote that three rules dictate advertising:
- Each ad must make a proposition to the consumer. That is, “buy the product for a specific benefit for you”.
- A proposition that your competitor cannot or does not offer. It must be unique.
- The proposition must be strong enough to move the consumer to become a new or potential customer.
A clear and precise USP help consumers understand the difference between your brand and others. Examples of USP’s,,,
- Anacin: “Fast, fast, fast relief”. Says that this is the fastest working pain killer on the market.
- FedEx: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”. FedEx was the first company to guarantee overnight delivery, worldwide.
- Southwest Airlines: “We are THE low-fare airline”. It was all about low fares for individuals and not corporate clients.
A USP is extremely important in a very cluttered marketplace. Unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique you cannot target your marketing. For example, Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, said he sold “hope not makeup.” Wal-Mart sells “low price”. Every brand needs to develop a USP and ‘peg-it’ to one of the four ‘P’s” of marketing. PRODUCT characteristics, PRICE structure, PLACEMENT strategy, or PROMOTIONAL strategy. Pegging to one or more of the “P’s” gives your brand a market position that differentiates.
In essence, a USP is your brand and what it represents. A great USP allows your brand to stand for something very specific. To be recognized for a specific attribute. 4M Performance stands for high-quality business information unavailable from other sources and delivered to its members without the inconvenience of ads, pop-ups, or any solicitations.
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