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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

USP (Unique Selling Point) is a marketing myth

Consumed => “What’s Your USP (Unique Selling Point)?” by Addison Duvall on Spoeckboy Design Magazine.

http://speckyboy.com/2012/08/16/whats-your-usp-unique-selling-point

=> My value add (i.e., left a comment)…

Thanks Addison.

I typically enjoy your posts but there are a couple key points here that I feel compelled to address. Please excuse my brevity – don’t mistake it from being blunt / rude.

1) USP is a myth. Or at best a very misunderstood concept. Let me explain…

2) Re: “Specifically, they’ve got to come up with a specific benefit that their consumers will reap by using the product.”

You almost have it right. The more accurate statement is, “…consumers will reap by using the product AND that benefit is something that motivates the buyer.” In other words, a benefit is a benefit not because the brand says so but because the buyer does. Put another way, you USP (aka differentiation) doesn’t mean squat unless it matters to the buyer. If it doesn’t, as USP-y as it might be, it’s just another message tree falling in the marking woods, unheard.

Minor? Well, considering how many marketers get this wrong, minor or not, it’s a point well worth clarifying. I’ll leave you with this brief example. A marketing / advertising agency near me used to have a line in their print ads, “Woman owned and operated.” That might be true but so what? How is that going to make the work you do for me any better? Yes, it makes them different (I suppose). No, it does not motivate me. It has little to do with what I’m needing to buy. Unless I’m thinking, “I want to engage a woman only firm” their point is 100% moot.

Don’t let USP fool you. The ultimate goal is to address motivation because what often looks like successful USP is really about spot on addressing of motivation.

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