Profitable Unique Selling Propositions Verses Dumb Advertising Slogans

Posted by Robin Robins On August 28th, 2009

Although I’ve harped on this before, I continually get marketing campaigns submitted to me for critique that contain zero benefits or reasons why a customer should pay attention, let alone respond or buy something. In most cases, I can clearly tell that they spent hours, possibly even days, trying to come up with some cute slogan or picture to capture the readers attention and get a response. Big, HUGE waste of time. Cute slogans with “hidden” meanings or inside jokes do NOT sell, and slogans should NOT be confused with a USP (unique selling proposition) or benefits. Some slogans can represent or be congruent with a USP and convey benefits (like Wal-Mart), but the vast majority simply do not. So what exactly is a unique selling proposition and how do you get one? Great question. First, your USP needs to answer the question, what is so special, advantageous, or beneficial about your products and services that makes you the obvious choice above all of your competitors? If you were face to face with a prospective customer and they asked you why they should give you their business over all of the other consultants and vendors offering the same products and services, what would you say?

Another way of asking this question is, what quantifiable thing do you do better than anyone else? For most technology companies, this is a hard question to answer. In most cases the business owner replies “better service”. Ok, but who else can (and does) promote that to their customers? If anybody and everybody can use your USP, it ain’t a USP because one of the obvious factors is uniqueness. In order for it to have any power, your USP has to favorably separate you from the competition. There are only 5 ways you can do this:

1. Product
2. Price
3. Process
4. Service
5. Marketing

Having a unique product is incredibly rare. Even if you happen to have a truly unique product, chances are it won’t be long before someone invents a faster/cheaper/newer/bigger/low carb version of it.