Do you ever feel like you are one in a million – but not in a good way? Does your business compete with dozens or even hundreds of other businesses that seem to provide exactly the same service? Or maybe you don’t have a lot of competition, but the product or service that you offer isn’t that exciting.
How can a business that manufactures boxes, for example, hope to capture the imaginations of their intended audience? What’s so special about boxes, anyway?
Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? What is so special about boxes? More importantly, what’s so special about your boxes? If you can answer that question, then you’re half-way there.
A Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is the thing that separates you from your competition. Maybe you are the only box company that produces custom sizes. Or maybe you deliver. Or maybe your customer service is second to none. This is your USP, the differentiator that will persuade people to buy your boxes over your competitor’s.
When customers need a service or product, they want to be able to make a decision quickly and easily. So if you differentiate yourself from your competitors, you are making it that much easier for consumers to make a choice. And consumers like that.
So what elements make a USP effective? According to Rosser Reeves in his classic book, Reality in Advertising, a USP should have the following three things:
A proposition to the consumer. The advertisement should say, “buy this product and you will get this benefit.”
The proposition must be one that your competitors either cannot or do not offer.
It must be strong enough to pull new customers over to your product. It must be something that is important to the reader.
But what if you don’t have a USP? What if you offer exactly the same boxes, in exactly the same sizes, with exactly the same delivery speed as Bob’s Big Box Store down the street? Here’s a clever trick: find something that you all have in common, but that hasn’t been used by your competitors in their advertising.
Case in point. There is a famous story in the advertising industry in which an ad-man was touring the brewery of one of his clients. He noticed that the beer bottles were cleaned using steam. When he remarked on it to the client, the beer maker told him not to use it in the advertising because everyone in the industry did it.
To which this clever marketer replied, “Maybe, but I had never heard of it before, and neither has any of the beer-drinking public.” He went on to create a successful ad campaign for his client that advertised his beer as “so pure the bottles are washed in live steam.”
An effective USP can mean the difference between a booming list of loyal customers and a dwindling client base. For more information on how to create a strong and effective USP, contact us today. Digital Flavor can help you define and execute an inbound marketing plan that will take your business to the next level.