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The Value of Using a Unique Selling Proposition

Nov 29, 2007
USP's were developed in the late 1950's/early 1960's by Rosser Reeves. Over the decades, they have been shown to be a highly effective means for advertising. This has held true for giant corporations and even small businesses and service professionals.

Some of the more popular USP's have been used for decades. I'm sure you'll recognize these two...

"Wonder Bread helps build strong bodies in eight ways."

"Certs breath mints with a magic drop of retsyn."

USP's are everywhere, if you take the time to notice. Keep learning about this positioning tactic and you'll probably never look at advertising the same!

In addition to being used in highly effective advertising campaigns for the last fifty years, America's highest paid marketing consultant, Jay Abraham, also recommends their use. He's helped giant corporations like Holiday Inn and Taco Bell with their marketing campaigns as well as small businesses.

Jay Abraham is also a prolific writer who has put his marketing genius down on paper as well as putting on seminars (if you get the chance to purchase any of his books or go to one of his seminars, I'd recommend it). He never falters to suggest the use of USP's for any type of business in any of his courses or seminars.

So whether you offer a service or a product, you need to find a way to differentiate your business from your competitors. It doesn't matter if you are a dentist, hairdresser, realtor, accountant, doctor, lawyer, graphic designer, etc...


If you offer tools, cleaning supplies, websites, 'how-to' books, seminars, or anything else imaginable...

The use of a unique selling proposition in your business will only stand to benefit you.

Here is what a profit pulling USP will allow you to do.

* Find a niche and position yourself as the ONLY choice for that niche.

* Place your product or service on a different level than your competition, catapult you to higher plane of business and enable you to sell in a vacuum (i.e. no direct competition).

* Protect you from market fluctuations.

* Break free from mindless advertising and get your product or service remembered more than any other in your market.

* Grant a stronger preference for your company's products and services so you can charge more and customers will gladly pay your higher price.

Sound interesting? Well I certainly hope so.

Examples of Profit Pulling USP's

Last time, I gave you some proof on the value of using a unique selling proposition. In this part of the ecourse, I'd like to provide you with some examples of profit pulling USP's.

But first, I want you to be aware of the power of a USP. You may want to think of a USP as a marketing strategy. Without a well thought out strategy, your advertising will send out random messages that don't have a common theme.

This will prevent it from being as effective as it would have been if you had a strategy in place.

It'd be like a basketball team with no game plan. With no strategy, the players will scramble around on the court, aimlessly, and their game will surely suffer. Even if they are the top players in the world, without a coherent game plan, they probably don't stand a chance against opponents with a well thought out strategy.

As you are hopefully starting to see, it is difficult to have any type of coherent marketing message or "game plan" without a USP. Most businesses are left struggling to attract new clients by shouting out, "we're the best", or "buy from me".

So how do the experts do it?

Well, I'll give you a couple of examples of well known USP's. First of all, let me say that it's easy to gloss right over the power of these USP's because we are so familiar with them. But within each of them is the key to multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.

While a multi-million dollar campaign is probably not what you're after, pointing out what makes these timeless USP's tick is still very important.

So let's give it a go and start with Head & Shoulders -"Healthy, beautiful, dandruff free hair."

If you've ever been to the shampoo aisle at the supermarket, you've seen it. And there are literally hundreds of shampoos to choose from. So when Head & Shoulders came out, who would've noticed, right?

Wrong. Everybody noticed because Head & Shoulders targets people with dry, flaky scalps. People with dandruff. And this made all the difference to their campaign.

Without its dandruff fighting power, Head & Shoulders would just be another shampoo.

Can you see the power in selecting a target audience; a niche?

Of course, people who don't have dandruff aren't going to be as interested. But Head & Shoulders practically has a monopoly on the dandruff crowd --and have for decades. They were the first (to my knowledge) to cater to people with dry scalps and they are still going strong today.

It's a unique concept and although it seems obvious now, it was highly creative at the time.

Papa John's -"Better ingredients. Better pizza. Papa John's."

Papa John's is owned by John Schnatter. His pizzeria would have just been another local pizza joint if not for his unique positioning in the marketplace. He wanted to stand out, and he did.

He follows through on the promise and has succeeded tremendously. Who would have thought having the best pizza ingredients would have been such a key to pizza success?

Do you also notice how this USP implies that other pizza restaurants are not using the freshest ingredients? This packs in an extra powerful punch.

Notice how either of these companies could have chosen to simply say "we're better", but they didn't. Instead, they took it much further by being specific.

Hopefully, you are starting to see the power of a USP. You don't want to be just another dentist, mechanic, Laundromat, or just another marketer. You don't want to offer just another set of tools, another "how to" book, or another cleaning detergent. You want to stand out!
About the Author
AL MENDOZA has been doing Internet Marketing since 1998 and earns his living 100% online. Mr. Mendoza has authored several publications and ecourses. He is the CEO of MarketingThinkbox.com
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