Unique Selling Proposition: Why You Need One


Why should your prospects purchase from you instead of your competitors? You may think you know the answer to this, but is your answer a “one-of-a-kind” solution that will convince your target market to sway your way?

Developed in the mid fifties by Rosser Reeves, the top account man at Ted Bates, NYC, a unique selling proposition or USP, is that distinct and appealing idea that sets you and your business favorably apart from every other generic competitor.

The possibilities for building a USP are limited only to your imagination. It’s best, however, to adopt a USP that dynamically addresses an obvious void in the marketplace that you can honestly fill.

Be careful that you don’t develop a USP that you can’t fulfill a promise for (such as unrealistic delivery times or guarantees).

The following are some unique propositions that were pioneers when they were introduced:

Domino’s Pizza: “Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.”

FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”

M&M’s: “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand”

Wonder Bread: “It helps build strong bones 12 ways”

Though features including price and quality are important, these are not considered unique selling propositions as most businesses focus on these items. Consider how you can make your company special in the eyes of your potential customers…what is it that your competitors are doing well or not doing at all?

You can always survey your customers and prospects to find out what they would like to see your type of business doing that your competition isn’t. Brainstorming with your staff is also a great way to arrive at useful ideas for USP’s – silly or serious, they can be the basis of a real winner!

Can’t come up with a totally unique concept? Even if only three to six competitors offer that same USP, you are still in the top tier of your competition!

Your unique selling proposition needs to be in front of the customer at every possible opportunity for optimum brand positioning.

They need to know why you have chosen the USP and how it benefits them. For example, the USP should be included in: your website home page, brochures, print ads, press releases, direct mail letters, letterheads, invoices, fax-header sheets, catalogues, sales materials and pitches, on the walls in customer areas, and in as many other places as possible.

Thrive Marketing is committed to making every ingredient of your marketing campaign not only “attractive,” but sales- and results-driven so your business can thrive. Thrive Marketing is a full-service marketing and advertising firm specializing in Website design, full-service search engine optimization and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) online advertising services. We also offer traditional marketing, including brand identity, copywriting, print design, and print management services.