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"Developing A Unique Selling Position or USP"

Excerpt from Terry Dean's E-Mail Marketing Course, Reprinted by permission.

The next step in the process of writing a Killer Ad piece is that you have to figure out and write down your USP or your Unique Selling Position. What makes your products different from everyone else's product that is being sold to this market? What makes your product different from the competitor's products?

Again, this comes back down to you doing your research on your target market. Find the people who are selling the competing products, and find out what benefits are in their product. Then figure out what the difference is between yours and there's.

You don't want to be selling just a "Me too" product that is just like someone else's. You need to find something that is unique about your product or add something unique to it. What is going to make your product different from the next? What is going to make your product better then the next? Why should they deal with you rather then with them? Does your product include better information then the competition? Does it give better gas mileage? Do you have better customer service than the competition?

If you want to see USP's being used well look at some of the commercials on TV. Visa has a very good commercial when they say, "It's Everywhere you want to be." That is their slogan. That is their USP, unique selling position, Visa is accepted in more places than any other credit card. If you watch an American Express commercial they will show you someone losing their traveler's checks, and losing their card. Their USP is their customer service coming and helping them out by giving them new cards and helping them quickly on their vacation. This is what makes them different from other cards. They will each focus on what their USP is.

If you want to be successful in online marketing you are going to have to have a USP. A quick little technique that you can use to help you pick a USP easily is to take out a piece of paper right now. Write down at the top of the paper: "You know how..." then half way down the page write down "What I do is..." What I want you to do with this paper is write down how the average company in your market works beside the words "You know how...". I want you to write down how most of them deal with people. Write down how most company's products operate.

For example: If you were selling automobiles you might write down at the top:

"You know how...most used car lots will rip you off for every single dollar they can get. They hide the problems and tell you lies and junk and call it a great deal."

Write down how the average company in that market is doing. Now half way down where you wrote "What I do is..." complete that sentence also. For example: "What I do is...personally guarantee every car I sell you. You purchase any car on my lot and take it to a mechanic in the first 30 days and I will pay to have it fixed out of my own pocket."

That is showing the USP for that car lot. I bet you that you wish that car lot was open whenever you were ready to make a used car deal. This is something that makes them unique. What do you do in your business that makes you unique?

No matter what you are selling you can say "You know how..." and then "what I do is..." for each product for that market. Say what makes you different and then we will have a USP to use later when we are putting your sales letter together. Having a USP especially in online marketing is so important because it is what separates you from your competition. It is what makes you different because online they can find many others selling the same products or services. Why should they buy from you? You will have to give them a USP to your product over the competition's.

Different types of uniqueness that you can add to your products are:

  • Having the biggest selection of products on hand
  • Lowest prices or mark up in the industry
  • The most hands on service available
  • Best guarantee available
  • One might have the most experience etc.

These are just ideas. I want you to think for yourself and develop something that is unique to your product or services. You can do this especially by thinking about the research you did on your targeted market and what they're looking for, or what they want. What is it that is unique? What is in it for them?