Three Components of a Winning USP

USP - Unique Selling Point

“What is your Unique Selling Proposition? What makes you different than your competitors? Wrap your advertising message around that USP and communicate it in a clear and concise manner.” Lynda Resnick

Back in 1961, legendary advertising guru, Rosser Reeves, published his classic book, Reality in Advertising, in which he introduced the notion of the Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

Rosser was a firm believer in the idea that advertising was for slogan repetition, not entertainment. One of his most famous quotes is, “Unless a product becomes outmoded, a great campaign will not wear itself out.” These theories were combined to formulate Rosser’s marketing formula — the Unique Selling Proposition. In his book, he defined an advertising campaign’s USP as having three principles:

  1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Each must say, “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.” In other words, your headline must contain a benefit and a promise to the reader.

  2. The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. This is where the “unique” part of USP comes in. Offering a benefit is not enough — you must also differentiate your product.

  3. The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product. The differences you propose must be very important to your reader.


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John Torre

I reside in North Brunswick, NJ, with my wife, Lynn, and daughters Kasey, Jaclyn, and Shelly. We also have a 110 pound, lovable Rottie named Leo that keeps us on our toes! When we're not hard at work we enjoy spending weekends at our bungalow down the Jersey shore, or take extended trips to Walt Disney World as members of the Disney Vacation Club. For kicks, I draw on my dominant "right-brain" and play guitar in classic rock and blues bands, act for local plays and independent productions, and enjoy writing creative fiction. I'm a published author in short fiction and stage plays and a graduate of a local community college's Commercial Writer's Certificate Program. After graduating from the program I was selected as an instructor and taught "Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror" writing for 8 years. I enjoy many fine relationships I made with my students to this day.

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