Unique Selling Proposition(USP)

Boost Your Web Sales with a USP

Unique Selling Proposition to Boost Web Sales

By Cindy Zaglinski, Copywriter and Site Audit Consultant

Customized Copywriting

Marketers learn in training that, the “USP” or Unique Selling Proposition, was founded by Rosser Reeves of the Ted Bates & Company ad agency back in the 1940’s. Its development was to help their clients write unique selling points that built up company brand. Wikipedia shows us that Mr. Reeves gave a precise definition of the Unique Selling Proposition when he stated,

  • 1 “Each advertisement must make a proposition to the customer. Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit."
  • 2 "The proposition itself must be unique-something that competitors do not, or will not, offer."
  • 3 "The proposition must be strong enough to pull new customers to the product.”

Since using the USP in my writing copy to help others articulate their unique offering to customers and prospects, I’ve encountered some who didn’t fully understand what the USP meant. At least, not in a way that described the unique solution they offered customers.

They couldn’t resonate their USP into a description of how their unique product met a specific need. It doesn't matter, they often said. “We’re the only company that offers this so what difference does it make?” They completely missed the ultimate “so what?” solution for the customer. So what if the house is unique? So what if the machine goes faster with our new part?

What I'm interested in is what problem does that uniquely solve for me, the customer? The unique feature in a particular house, can transfer into a use conversion or home business idea!

Some selling approaches tie a product’s features and benefits back to the customer’s NEED creating "effective" marketing. Because people spend a large amount of time researching even the small purchases and it gets higher as the value rises. Maybe we should look at this a bit differently. Try one new way of looking at marketing’s USP: Change the word “Selling” to “Solution” The Unique Solution Proposition.

For instance, let’s say a homeowner wants to have a beautiful, green lawn without spending tons of time every weekend to make it gorgeous. That’s his problem to solve.

Grass Seed Story

A lawn care company with the best solution isn’t selling the homeowner a unique blend of grass seed (the unique selling point) or even a greener lawn with minimal work (the unique benefit). They’re selling the homeowner the easiest way to have the best lawn on the block and the freedom to enjoy life’s other pleasures. That’s the ultimate solution. It outreaches the other choices and connects. Can you see the difference? That meets the need and resonates stronger.

Here’s a formula for applying marketing’s new USP to a marketing message or campaign, using this grass seed example:

  • 1 Understand and define the deepest emotions about the problems, needs, hopes, and desires of your target prospects and customers.
    “My customer takes pride in having the best lawn in his neighborhood, but he’s frustrated by all the time and work it takes to make it happen.” (Deepest emotions: pride and frustration)
  • 2 State exactly what your business can offer that uniquely solves the problem. My seed blend has nutrients that help it practically grow by itself while killing weeds.
  • 3 Clearly define and support the UNIQUE aspect of your solution (assuming you have one), so you’ll stand out from your competition.
    “In dozens of lawn tests, no other seed product performed this way to provide a rich, lush green lawn with little effort. Here’s one of those tests demonstrated in side-by-side time-lapse video. “ (Proof that substantiates the unique claim.)
    Try applying this formula to your business and see what a difference it can make. With so much digital marketing clutter out there anymore and so many competitive choices for your prospects and your customers-the marketing’s new USP will help you engage your audience and get them to buy from you more quickly and more often. These are just some of the ways you can boost your success on the internet.

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