Why? Why should a customer buy from you?

This question is often overlooked by companies in their marketing. Back in the 1960s, renowned advertising executive Rosser Reeves coined a term called the Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. Reeves proclaimed that every successful marketing campaign contained four key elements.

  1. Make a specific proposition to your customers, such as “buy this product and you’ll get this specific benefit.”
  2. The proposition must be unique, or perceived unique, by your customers, something that your competitors don’t have or offer, and ideally would be difficult to imitate.
  3. It should be compelling or relevant to your ideal customer to entice them to try your product or service, something that addresses their needs, fears, frustrations, or desires.
  4. It must be simple and easy to articulate and communicate, so your customer will quickly understand why you’re different and the benefit to that.

These elements should be at the core of your marketing sales message. And although the concept was created decades ago, it’s still very relevant today. In fact, the USP Reeves developed for M&M’s Candies in the 1960s, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands,” is still being used today.

Remember to consider also that what might be important to you, might not be important to your customers. For example, your aviation business may have just passed its 25 year milestone of being in business, which is a great accomplishment. But what benefit does this provide your customers? Not much really.

However, if in the 25 of years of business you haven’t incurred a serious safety defect, and safety is important to your customers, then that may be an important benefit you can offer. Something that says “25 years without a serious safety defect” can be a great way of incorporating your 25 year anniversary with an important benefit to your customers.

Remember, when developing your unique selling proposition, or USP, it’s important to think benefits for the customer and not just features of your product or service.