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Unique Selling Proposition Development with Creative

Unique Selling Proposition Development with Creative

Unique Selling Points
What is your Unique Selling Proposition? How to Position your USP with Creative

Establishing a Unique Selling Proposition

Unique selling propositions, commonly called USPs are critically important. Especially today, with products and services are easily compared online. If all things regarding a service or product are similar or the same, the only one who gains the sale is the lowest price. The lowest price seller is NOT where you want to be! You cannot charge enough to make a fair profit if you cannot demonstrate your product has more value to the buyer than the competitors.

To establish a unique or greater value, you must demonstrate and develop a Unique Selling Proposition. To be clear, you cannot do this by adding exaggerated, over-used wording to your ads, such as “We’re the Best”! Empty claims will do nothing to help convince an audience.

*Note: Unique Selling Propositions are also commonly referred to as Unique Selling Positions, Unique Sales Positions, and a few other variances. These all mean the same thing, but the proper USPs in the marketing world is Unique Selling Propositions.

Two Methods to Establish a Valuable USP

  1. Incorporate important, credible and provable facts into your marketing communications that demonstrate your product or service is superior to competitors
  2. Establish ownership of a desired emotional characteristic of your brand through creative approaches.

In my opinion, it is always best to have provable data to use to position a brand as superior to competitors. It’s hard to argue with facts.

But very often, there are no studies, surveys, or empirical evidence that your product or service is any better than your closest competitors. So how do you establish an effective USP?

The answer is, as I just stated: Establish ownership of a desired emotional characteristic to your brand through creative approaches.

Emotionally-Based Unique Selling Propositions

I’m not suggesting you lie or embellish. I’m telling you you can promote yourself and elevate your brand by suggesting “valuable benefits” of your product that the consumer had not considered. In other words, use and feature benefits you can attach to your brand when the lack of provable or meaningful value differentiation doesn’t exist. And always try to do so in an entertaining way.

And I’m not saying you get goofy. I’m suggesting that, based on the type of audience for your products or services, using some acceptable degree of entertainment attracts and stimulates the mind more often than boring, vanilla, or predictable approaches—even studious engineers.

Subtle entertaining approaches the prospect in a less obvious or lessened selling mode. It reduces the threat, relaxes the senses, and opens the mind to a hidden proposal. This tactic can set your features and benefits unique selling points (USPs) on a different level within the prospect’s mind.

Again, without provable and desired advantages, it helps to further separate and elevate your offerings from your competitors. As a result, your brand’s ownership and attachment to these higher benefits and value to the consumer helps move the focus off who offers the lowest price.

Let me show you examples of moving from speaking only about basic product features to creatively positioning your brand with more effective unique sales positioning benefits.

Example A

Feature/Benefit Unique Selling Proposition

  • Save time and gas with our vast selection!

CreativELY Positioning YOUR USP

  • With a selection this big, bring your GPS.
  • You cannot not find what you’re looking for
  • Yep, we’ve got that too!

With each of these, the features and the benefits have been set to create images that position the feature (USP) without saying it like everyone else. Adding the positioning image of a GPS in your store screams “biggest selection” and thereby ties the ownership of this vital feature/benefit to you more than your competitors.

Example B

Feature/Benefit Unique Selling Proposition

  • Convenient location!

CreativELY Positioning YOUR USP

  • Here Quicker. Fixed Quicker.

In this example, there is no need to mention freeway access. You have positioned the benefit that helps audiences “discover” that the job gets done sooner when they shop with you. Just saying “convenient freeway access” would not have accomplished that, would it?

Example C

Feature/Benefit Unique Selling Proposition

  • Beautify your home with our garden section!

CreativELY Positioning YOUR USP

  • We Give Your Home Flower-Power
  • Patio-Fresh Vegetables Sold Here
  • Summer Never Tasted So Good
  • Made In The Shade

Now, instead of thinking garden section, customer are now thinking healthy eating, beauty, relaxing shade. Things they want, but may not have immediately associated with your offering.

Example D

Feature/Benefit Unique Selling Proposition

  • Open until 10 p.m. to fit in your busy schedule!

CreativELY Positioning YOUR USP

  • Your Late-Leak Solution Store
  • Say Goodbye to After-Hour Service Charges

In each example above, you’ve out-flanked your competition and gained an ownership of an important USP because of creative positioning of the benefits. By emphasizing the extended hours in a more creative way. You are painting a picture for them. Showing them that you are open “After-Hours” without saying “Open until 10 p.m.”

A couple of other advantages

  • Competitors can’t duplicate your positioning approach once you have taken that #1 spot, or they look like copycats. Playing Follow the Leader implies their product/service is second-rate or sub-par.
  • Once you have positioned your USP, it is costly to take it away from you. People are creatures of habit; they can be resistant to change. Suppose a competitor wants to own the USP after you have it. In that case, it can become a very costly undertaking for them unless they have an equally Unique Selling Point with a very creative advertising agency and aggressive strategic marketing plan. Studies show it would require twice to ten times the advertising investment to demote the leader who owned the position first in the consumer’s mind.

Branding using creatively positioned USP’s make your advertising more effective and increases your Effective Selling Time (EST).

How to Get Started?

  1. Whenever you can, identify features about your product or service which you can prove you do better than the competition, If there is not a provable advantage, identify the primary benefits your buyer’s seek from your product/service.
  2. Determine creative messages about the product or service’s benefits which the audience would immediately recognize. Attach the benefit to your brand as if you own it.

If you would like help with identifying your Unique Selling Points or know how you can position yourself better, contact Red Crow Marketing for a free consultation. Really. We like talking about this stuff.

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3. Unique Selling Proposition Development with Creative
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Ron Marshall

Ron Marshall is the President of Red Crow Marketing, Inc., a strategic marketing consulting firm and advertising agency. Ron has worked with hundreds of businesses from start-ups to Fortune 500s for over 30 years. He is also the author of a book titled Marketing Survival in the Digital World.

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