The USP: Unique Selling Proposition is the Must-Have Essential For Business Growth

Many have heard the marketing term U.S.P. or Unique Selling Proposition, but I would wager most don’t have a clue to its inherent value when marketing your business.

USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

Stand out from your competitors by promoting what makes you different

The term Unique Selling Proposition was originally developed in the 1940s by marketing guru Rosser Reeves, which he defined as the ability to communicate a distinct and unique benefit a product offers a consumer which only that specific product or service or brand can provide.

Business owners, often just assume their customers will understand what makes their business different or better than the competitors, and overlook the USP. When carefully nurtured, however, an U.S.P. will provide your company a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Rosser Reeves maintained an effective U.S.P. needed to accomplish the following four objectives:

  1. It must make a specific proposition to the customer: “buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”
  2. The proposition must be unique or “perceived unique” by your customers – something your competitors don’t have or offer and would not be able to imitate easily.
  3. It should be so compelling and relevant to your ideal customers that it entices them to try your product or service because it addresses their needs, fears, frustrations, or desires.
  4. It must be simple and easy to articulate and communicate so your customers quickly understand that your product or service offers them unique benefits.

An excellent example of an effective USP is the famous “Got Milk.” The campaign repositioned milk, a universal staple in practically all households, which had been maligned as an unhealthy, antibiotics-filled food to avoid, to the opposite: comforting scenarios of milk and cookies, as well as a nutritional drink appropriate at anytime.

The campaign stuck in the customer’s minds and was carried into the grocery store aisles while milk consumption rose dramatically. Genius!

The fact that the campaign fostered numerous copycats, such as Got Fish? Got Fleas? Got Freud? only added to effectiveness of the original USP. Even President Obama’s campaign slogan of “Got Hope” mimics the original campaign USP.

A strong USP (or lack thereof) for your business can be the driving force behind the success and failure. Is that really something you want to leave up to assumption? To occur haphazardly? Or instead, will you take a proactive, deliberate approach ensuring correct positioning of your product or service exactly where it needs to be for future success.


  1. Pingback: Conducting a Marketing Audit Assessment | Aviation Marketing Consulting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marketing with a Local Touch

Serving the Greater New York Metro Area Including the Counties of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and the Bronx; along with Fairfield County, CT.