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Episode 038 - The USP Shortcut

Published by: David Garfinkel on 01-07-2018

I remember when I was a kid, I asked my dad about the cigarettes he was smoking.
Very sarcastically, he repeated words from a commercial: "For the best combination of filter and good taste, Kent satisfies best!"
I smiled, but he could tell I didn't get his little joke.
Then he said, "Seriously, David - it's because Kent has this Micronite filter. It filters out the harsher parts of the smoke."
Dad, being a nuclear physicist, really bought into Kent's so-called "logical" Unique Selling Proposition. He told me about the Micronite filter like it was established scientific fact.
But of course, it was just a USP dreamed up by some ad agency.
Now… these days the old ads for cigarettes are considered evil. And though evil they may have been, they were definitely effective.
Having a good USP for each brand was definitely a big part of their success.
So the question arises: Can you use a USP to sell healthy products? Good products? Products that improve people's lives?
And here's the answer:
Not only you can, but you should.
What's more, these days, very often you have to use a USP if you want to half a chance of selling anything.
And that's where the problem comes in. How do you create it?
That's what we'll talk about today. In fact, I've got a shortcut method for you.
But first…
Copy is powerful. You're responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims… and/or if you're writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity… you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.
The Importance of USP
• What it is
• You're always competing
• Answers (sometimes hidden) question: "Why should I buy from YOU?"
• Big mistake people make - they write USP's from their own / the business's point of view
• Best USPs should state or imply a clear benefit to the CUSTOMER
USP For a Copywriter
• Two Steps
• First step: Talent Stack
• Term originated by Scott Adams, explained in two books
• How I used the talent stack for my USP
• Use your talent stack by making a list, and put together a combination that sets you apart
• Second step: Make a list of common benefits, or "should-be" benefits
• Through research, find out what people are disappointed or outright pissed off about among others in the field – WHERE YOU CAN HONEST PROCLAIM THE OPPOSITE
USP For a Product/Service/Business
• Same idea as second half of process for a copywriter
• You need to do research… on your own product, and on customer views of competition
• Then, an analysis: What's the one most important thing people are complaining about, that you can offer the opposite of
• Once you have the concept, come up with words that convey it in a captivating and memorable way
Recap of the Steps
• You should be doing this kind of research anyway
• So you can piggyback on what you're already doing
• A good USP can make half the sale for you all by itself.

Keywords: Unique Selling Proposition

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