The USP (Unique Selling Point) is the holy grail of marketing. It always has been. If you can’t give your target group a compelling reason to spend their money with you instead of the competition, the effectiveness of your campaign will go down the drain.

The general consensus is that the selling point needs to be unique in order to be effective. In practice however, we see that a majority of the products and services provided by companies aren’t unique at all. After all, if you have something on offer that is truly unique, you would be irreplaceable.

Let’s face it, most companies are not.

You might have low prices and great customer service – but more often than not, your competitors offer something similar.

Luckily, your selling point doesn’t need to be unique to sell. If you are the first to bring your selling point to the market, your brand will own that selling point – even if the competition is offering the same.

Take a look at the ‘Mad Men’ Lucky Strike pitch.

Lucky Strike was not the only cigarette brand that toasted its tobacco, all their competitors were doing the same. By being the first to claim that their tobacco was toasted, Lucky Strike owned that ‘USP’ and distracted their target group from the fact that smoking cigarettes is unhealthy.

Unethical? Yes. Effective? Yes.

Even in this day and age where people are a lot more skeptical towards advertisement, people tend to believe what they want to believe. You only have to take a look at recent American politics, to understand that this is true. The selling point can be used for good and evil.

Pick one selling point (less is more), claim it and use it to sell something that truly offers value to your target group.

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