Truth Behind The Unique Selling Proposition

Having worked with various grades of copywriter and marketer, one of the funniest, and ironic things I hear relate to the so called USP.

Little do most copywriters know that the phrase Unique Selling Proposition was coined by a long-copy direct response copywriter, Rosser Reeves, who identified three criteria that a so-called USP have have to really be a USP:

  1. It must contain a proposition (a benefit that people are willing to pay for) ?
  2. The benefit must be unique (not the same thing a competitor says about his/her product), and ?
  3. It must sell (be powerful enough to move the masses).

Now without getting into a major rant, my observations have unfortnately shown me that most copywriters, advertisers and marketers seem to fake it.

Many so called USPs make a half-assed attempt at identifying a benefit to the prospect. But they are often claims that can be made by other companies and products. And they do not really serve the job of selling the product either.

When discussing USPs in company meetings, be sure to use the above check-list for guidance from Rosser Reeves.

Posted by Gavriel

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