The Unique Selling Proposition – R.I.P.
The Unique Selling Proposition was the golden rule of advertising for decades, and no matter how much lip service is given to the value proposition and other strategies, the mindset of the USP is still there. It’s time to lay it to rest.
Me, me, me….
The problem with the USP is it’s all about us – what we sell, what we think is important, what we think is unique. You don’t have to look very hard to see that it still permeates today’s marketing messages. In today’s customer-centric marketplace, this is exactly backwards. A truly unique offering is one that starts with the buyer, finds solutions to his or her problems, and offers those solutions with a message that is relevant and meaningful.
Innovation is about them…
The leaders in every category get that. They simply don’t make an announcement until there is something of real value to announce. Proctor and Gamble will not bring a new product to market until at least 51% of potential users choose it in a blind test against the competition. This kind of dedication to innovation is the secret sauce that separates the leaders from the followers.
A new proposition
The good news: You don’t have to have an R & D budget the size of Texas to “innovate” or to market innovation. It doesn’t require endless focus groups or strenuous research, either. To add real value to your value proposition, you have to wear the customer’s shoes, see through their eyes, and understand their problems. Every organization, large or small, for profit and non-profit, can exercise this muscle and dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
There is a process for innovation and it’s much simpler than you think.