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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Branding vs Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Defining The USP

Rosser Reaves introduced the Unique Selling Proposition in his book, "Reality in Advertising" way back in 1961.

His three point plan for the USP was as follows:

  1. An ad must be a proposition - "Get these benefits when you buy this product"
  2. The proposition must be unique - something your competitors don't, can't or refuse to offer
  3. The proposition must be what your prospects want - really, really want

So your USP must explain in simple terms a single unique aspect that makes it stand out against your competitors.

And by the way, you need to use the USP in everything you do.

Otherwise you might as well not have it.

Defining The Brand

Now look at branding. The brand comes down to giving something - a company, product, family of products - a consistent and recognisable identity. that customers and prospects can use to find time after time.

And of course it's important that people can find your product or service.

Brand or USP: Which Would You Choose?

If you could only choose between branding or having a USP which one would you pick?

I'd define my USP. And the reason is simple...

Having a consistent identify is important. But how does that matter if your prospects recognise your brand and see you as a commodity, or "just another supplier"?

When you're a commodity your prices have to be roughly the same as your competitors. Your customers have no particular loyalty to you and will move whenever they want to.

Define your USP to show your uniqueness and customers will flock to you. Your price becomes less of an issue and you have greater customer loyalty.

The only point to consider when creating your USP is whether your prospects really, really want what your USP gives them. Because if they don't you've chosen the wrong USP.

Wikipedia: , Reality in Advertising", , , ,
UrbanDictionary: , Reality in Advertising", , ,
RottenTomatoes: , Reality in Advertising", , , ,
MySpace: , Reality in Advertising", , , ,
Google: , Reality in Advertising", , ,
Technorati: , Reality in Advertising", , , , Reality in Advertising", , ,

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