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Misconceptions About Your USP

I've written about this subject on more than one occasion, and I'm writing about it yet again. Why?

Because in my discussions with clients I have found that the most misunderstood concept in Copywriting is the Unique Selling Proposition. USP for short.

Your USP is without any doubt whatsoever, the most valuable business asset you will ever possess! And once you discover it, your business will improve dramatically.

I've lost count of the number of people who tell me they don't know how to find their USP. And there are even more people who THINK they know what it is, yet have it all wrong.

This is the point that most people never realize ....

Your USP is NOT just a big benefit that your competitors can't offer. Your USP is NOT just something about you, your business, or your product that is different to your competitors ....

Your USP is something which your customers' PERCEIVE to be unique and which will benefit them!

The uniqueness is totally dependent on your customers' PERCEPTION of your product's 'difference'.

For instance .... Let's assume you have the only mousetrap in the world that scares mice to death by showing a hologram of Sylvester the cat. If your reader is an Eskimo who has never seen or read anything about mousetraps .... so what? It ain't unique! So your mousetrap's uniqueness isn't a USP in THE EYES OF THE ESKIMO.

Ok,Ok, you may think that's a simplistic and rather silly example. But if your mousetrap was repackaged as a unique Polar Bear frightener ... boy that's a USP in THE EYES OF YOUR ESKIMO!

Not many products are totally unique. Yet there are still companies who manage to present an *apparent* uniqueness to their potential customers. They think outside of the box.

And many savvy Copywriters have found ways to present a perfectly mundane feature as a PERCEIVED major benefit.

Example ....

On UK TV at the time of writing, is an ad for a national chain of 'overnight stop-overs'. Motels.

They're modern, comfortable etc etc. But they lack the 'extras' offered by conventional hotels. Now many Copywriters would probably justify this with copy such as ...

"We have no swimming pool but you will enjoy the very best cuisine." Or ....

"Our Motels are much less expensive than a Hotel yet ..."

Here's how the TV Ad goes ....

Open with picture of a guy blissfully sound asleep in bed. Superimposed dissolving text reads ....

"No swimming pool"

"No gymnasium"

"No kareoke"

"No discotheque"... Female voice over softly says ...

"Just everything you need for a good nights sleep. XYZ Travel Inns".

Now in the eyes of the 'targeted' audience, THAT'S a USP!

Get it?

If you want to read more on this difficult but extremely vital subject, read my on-site USP tutorial at

and my article "Without A USP You're Dead" at

Joe Robson is co-author of 'Make Your Words SELL' with Ken Evoy. Joe and Tom Glander own The Newbie Club which is bulging with unique NET and PC Newbie tutorials and eBooks. CLICK ON OVER to and look at their very professional Affiliate Program. It's BIG! Joe's Copywriting site is at


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