The New USP – Your Unique Selling Personality

Have you heard of a USP, aka the "Unique Selling Proposition"?

It's been a staple in the marketing world going on 60 years now. First off,  I'm going to tell you why it's outdated.

Then I'm going to tell you what the "New USP" is all about.

The new USP is where I see the future of marketing going, both for small businesses and giant brands...

Before I tell you about the new USP, let's take a look at the old unique selling proposition and why it was created.

In the 50's, a famous ad man named Rosser Reeves developed the idea of the Unique Selling Proposition for big brands to use in their TV commercials.

The classic example is M&M's. "The Candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hands".

Another one of his commercials was notoriously annoying, yet it ran for 20+ years. It was a jackhammer going off inside a persons head, selling Anacin, a headache relief.

The USP first and foremost was a device which helped consumers recall brands when they got to the supermarket. Usually they were catchy slogans or jingles.

In fact, the primary metric advertisers used then and some still use today is ad recall, not sales.

Ad recall was very important because of the big delay between the time the consumer watched the commercial, to the time they bought the product.
Plus television commercials only had 30 seconds to deliver the strongest message possible. Repetition was the name of the game.

Now that we have much more than 30 seconds to deliver a message, it's no longer a valid tactic to annoy someone into buying your products.

Then there's the secondary function of the USP. Positioning your product in the minds of your customer.

Not only did advertisers want consumers to remember the USP, they also wanted to highlight the main reason why they would pick that product over the competitors.

If the product had no unique selling proposition, they created one.
For example, "4 out of 5 dentists choose Colgate".

Flash forward to today, 2017. Advertising has fundamentally changed in a few ways.

1) There is more competition than ever for our attention and our wallets.
2) We have much longer than 30 seconds to capture your attention and turn that into sales.
3) There is zero delay between the time they see the message and the time they can buy.
4) Trust is lower than ever in advertising and commercial sales messages. People only do repeat business with companies they know, like, and trust. (unless it's for commodities, generally).
5) There has never been an opportunity for two way conversation between consumers and brands like there is today.
6) It's not longer enough to just provide "content". Entertainers make a lot more money than teachers for a reason.

Enter the new USP...The unique selling personality.

I predict you will see more companies adapt a unique personality to their brand. We're in the very early stages of this but it's becoming more and more commonplace.


The very first sale we need to make isn't our product, service, or even attention...

The very first sale is always the relationship.

Let's look at the idea of building goodwill with your prospects. You may know this as the "know, like, and trust" factor.

Starting with know.

When you meet a new person, you have a few questions which need to be answered before you decide to engage with them further. Your business relationship works the same way.

The very first thing you try to figure out about someone new is what they're all about.

People wanna know...

What are your values? What do you like and dislike? Where did you grow up? What do you do? Why are you doing it? How can you help them?

More important, do you understand THEM and their problems and needs? Are you somewhere where they want to be now? Were you in their shoes before and you've found a solution?

Having a specific target market has always been a principle of direct marketing. That's why you should be constantly showing you have the same values as your target market.

Naturally this means you WILL turn off certain groups of people. You have to accept and embrace that fact because the keys to the kingdom come from specialization.

The next stage of the relationship is building a bond with that person.

The "like" stage happens when you see that you have common values with the person, common likes and dislikes, common problems and frustrations, even common enemies.
You should be likable but it's more important to be LIKE your prospect.

I was watching the show Billions recently and I heard one of the main characters announce "The 3 reasons why people like you".

The first is they see something they need from you. Think of your high school years. Did you ever try to hang out with the "cool kids"? The reason was you wanted to be popular, get the girls, etc.

The second reason is they see themselves in you. This is a big reason why mentors take on students. This is probably the main reason you become somebodies friend.

The third reason is they see something they're lacking and want to be near it. If they see you have a "superpower" they want...or they see you are living a lifestyle they want, they will naturally want to be near you.

The goal is to make your prospects your friend.  Talk to them like you're their best friend and you've known them all your life.

And finally there's the most important element of them all: Trust.

Who do we trust most of all?
Authority figures. Experts. Celebrities.

The fastest way to create trust is to position yourself as a trustworthy expert.
You can do that through writing books, public speaking, appearing in the media, or simply through consistent demonstration of your expertise.

Let me ask you...

Have you ever received the exact same advice from two different people?

When you heard it from person A you ignored it.
When you heard it from person B you immediately acted on it?

I have.  Let me give you an example.

In the copywriting world, the old "A-Listers" tell you to handwrite old sales letters. Lots of people give you this advice though.

I never copied any sales letters by hand... until I heard the same piece of advice from Gary Halbert, one of the all time great copywriters.

After that, I went and started writing sales letters out by hand.
(For a while.)

I thought to myself "why did this happen?"

The obvious explanation for this phenomenon is authority.

We pay attention to people in positions of authority because we feel they can either help us get something we want faster, or avoid possible pitfalls.

Now to tie this back into the Unique Selling Personality...

There are only three things which can't your competitors can't copy.
I learned this from one of the masters of personality selling or infotainment, Ben Settle.

The first is your personality.
The second is your positioning with your market.
The third is your relationship with your market.

Personality, positioning, and relationship, in other words...

Know, Like, Trust!

So that's the future of marketing. The New USP. The PPR Formula.

The truth is, this isn't new at all.

But it's critically important you start using it in your marketing communications. Nailing this formula is the real way you carve out your own unique toehold in your prospects mind.

One last thing, if you think this doesn’t apply with in the “big leagues” of business – think again.

I was recently at a private event with "Canadian Advertising Legend" Terry O’Reilly.
If you're unfamiliar with his work, Terry worked in a big time advertising agency for years before he left to start his own company Pirate Radio.

Now he has a few books under his belt on advertising plus his own radio show on advertising here in the great white north.

He told the story of his career, how his agency got to work with the biggest brands.

I’m talkin about Ford, Coca Cola, Budweiser. The Big boys.

And even at that level…even with ad spend budgets of $10 million dollars – what do you think the deciding factor was when they had multiple agencies pitching them?

Terry said It wasn’t the strategy they presented.
It wasn’t their creative pitch deck. Nope.

Even at the highest level of business, they chose based... on chemistry.

They chose based on… know, like and trust!

I go a lot more in depth on the Unique Selling Personality in my new book. Previously it was only available to my Daily Jenius Report Insiders Club but I decided to make it available to the public.

So if you want it, slap your email into the box below. You'll also join the Daily Jenius Report insiders club. (my daily dose of marketing mayhem delivered straight to your inbox)

When you do, I'll send you the book. It's called UNIQUE SELLING PERSONALITY: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Standing out from the Crowd, Growing your Personal Brand, and Selling More at the Same Time.

Plus you'll get a daily education on how I incorporate my unique selling personality in my marketing.

Talk to you later.