Monday, August 06, 2007

Your Irresistible Offer - "Your Unique Selling Proposition (part 1)" - Part 4 of 19

Hey all,

I've got a big surprise that I will be announcing next week that I think you're going to love.

But more on that later . . .

This week we are going to focus on one of the most critical concepts in marketing - the unique selling proposition (USP).

It'll be quick.

In his book Reality in Advertising, Rosser Reeves (Chairman of the Board at Ted Bates & Company) gives the precise definition as it was understood at his company:

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. It persuades another to exchange money for a product or service. It should be not only compelling but irresistible. What makes it sell? It addresses a very real pain or problem that your ideal clients are experiencing.

Reeves also wrote that a USP does not necessarily have to be a verbal message. It can be communicated both verbally and visually. For example, a classic Clairol advertisement showing a picture of a model and just the headline, "Does she or doesn't she?" implied the USP, "If you use Clairol products, people won't even notice that you dyed your hair."

However, Reeves warns against forming a USP based on what he calls "The Deceptive Differential" - a uniqueness that is too small or too technical that customers cannot observe the differences in actual practice.

Says Matt Hockin from . . .

“Your USP is the force that drives your business and success. It can also be used as a "branding" tool that deploys strategy with every tactical marketing effort you use such as an ad, a postcard, or web site. This allows you to build a lasting reputation while you're making sales. The ultimate goal of your USP and marketing is to have people say to you... "Oh, yes I've heard of you. You're the company who..." - And then respond by requesting more information or purchasing. Your USP needs to be so compelling that it can be used as a headline that sells your product or service.”

Note: the question is not, “What’s different about you?” Different does not necessarily mean better.

But different is better than nothing. Here’s a fun game. Open up the Yellow Pages and look at your generic industry. Hell, look at any industry. Here’s what I predict you’ll see: the same damn add over and over and over. All of the ads for plumbers look identical. All of the ads for Taxi services look identical.

Let’s be honest: most businesses are mediocre. They’re okay. Their product is pretty good. Their service is nice. And if that’s you and it’s working for you, that’s fine. But I would invite you to ask yourself how much longer it will be fine for.

In the words of marketing guru Jay Abraham, “Most business owners don't have a USP, only a "me too," rudderless, nondescript, unappealing business that feeds solely upon the sheer momentum of the marketplace. There's nothing unique; there's nothing distinct. They promise no great value, benefit, or service - just "buy from us" for no justifiable, rational reason.

It's no surprise then that most businesses, lacking a USP, merely get by. Their failure rate is high, their owners are apathetic, and they get only a small share of the potential business. But other than a possible convenient location, why should they get much patronage if they fail to offer any appealing promise, unique feature or special service?

Would you want to patronize a firm that's just “there," with no unique benefit, no incredible prices or selection, no especially comforting counsel, service or guarantee? Or would you prefer a firm that offers you the broadest selection in the country? Or one with every item marked up less than half the margin other competitors charge? Or one that sells the "Rolls Royce" of the industry's products?

Can you see what an appealing difference the USP makes in establishing a company's perceived image or posture to the customer? It's ludicrous to operate any business without carefully crafting a clear, strong, appealing USP into the very fabric of the daily existence of that business.

The point is to focus on the one niche, need or gap that is most sorely lacking, provided you can keep the promise you make.”

The heart of creating an irresistible offer is not just about “selling the sizzle not the steak”. It’s not about marketing so slick that you could sell the Pope a double bed.

It’s about becoming a remarkable company.

Now, if you’re a conscious, green or ethical company then I think you’ve already got a leg up on that.

Part 2 of the USP will hit your email boxes in the next week or so.

But before that you'll probably be getting a quick announcement about a new project I just finished that you'll be getting free access to.

I hope all is well with you.


Tad Hargrave
Radical Business
"helping conscious folk make more money"

P.S. Please consider the environment before printing this email - Thank You!

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