“Transforming a brand into a socially responsible leader doesn’t happen overnight by simply writing new marketing and advertising strategies. It takes effort to identify a vision that your customers will find credible and aligned with their values.” — Simon Mainwaring
Advertising legend Rosser Reeves — author of Reality in Advertising — coined the phrase “unique selling proposition” to describe the major advantage of one product over the competition.
The premise is simple: If your product is not different from or better than other products of the same type, consumers have no reason to choose your product instead of someone else’s. In order to craft an effective promotion, your product must have a major benefit that other products in its category don’t offer — in other words, something unique about it that will entice people to buy it.
Remember that part of our jobs as copywriters is to create perceived value. That means asking, What is the nature of the product? What makes the product different? And what attributes can you stress about your product that haven’t been stressed by the competition?
Of course, the ideal situation for a copywriter is to write an ad for a product that is clearly and significantly superior to all other products in the category. But this is rarely the case. Most of the time, your product is only slightly better than the competition’s, and it may in fact be equal to — or even worse than — similar products in some instances. And if that’s the case, you look for a benefit that your competitors haven’t highlighted and make that your USP.
With that in mind, let’s look at four ways you might position a product to stand out from seemingly similar products.
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