The shortest definition of USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that I know of is:
“What do you uniquely guarantee?”
USP is THE defining question if you are marketing on the Internet.
20 years ago most businesses could afford to be vague about their USP, especially if they were local. If you owned a shoe store and there were only two other shoe stores in town, then if you sold Nike and the other guy sold Converse then that was enough. You probably didn’t even think of it as a USP. It was just a difference. Any difference would do.
The Internet of today is different. Online, you must be unique in all the world.
The question is: “Why should I buy from you, instead of anyone and everyone else?”
If you have a terrific answer to that question, then the entire World Wide Web tilts in your favor.
Those who have a strong answer to that question live the Internet lifestyle dream that everyone dreams about.
Which is: Customers come to you and you don’t have to chase them; you can run your business on your terms, from anywhere; your competitors fear you; and your sales machine is largely automated and runs 24/7. It’s the white picket fence of the 21st century.
Today I’d like to share my favorite guarantee “formula” which is:
IF you are [customer meets qualification] and IF you do [customer’s part of the deal] then with my help THEN you will achieve [result] OR [consequence to me, the vendor].
“IF you join AdWords Boot Camp and IF you enter the contest, follow the instructions and document your progress, THEN your Google campaigns will improve at least 30%; ALSO
IF your sales is at least $1,000 month your sales will increase by at least $10,000 per year…
OR your money back.”
(This offer is current. See www.perrymarshall.com/adwords/bootcamp)
“IF you are accepted into the Bobsled Run and IF you do the homework, THEN if you don’t recoup your investment in 4 months AND if you don’t make a bare minimum of $25,000 more in the next 12 months, you’ll get your money back.
Almost any business or product can be molded to fit this guarantee format. However it requires you to define:
1) Exactly who your customer is, and who is not
2) What your customer must do in order to qualify
3) What your customer will achieve
4) What you have to do for the customer to achieve that
Most companies need to adjust their product or service offering to make this work. Mostly they have to define exactly where the risk points are and make absolutely sure they can deliver.
Tom Hoobyar, when he was CEO of ASEPCO, had an incredibly strong guarantee for his pharmaceutical valves. The guarantee said that if the product was ever late or defective, the company would buy and install a competitor’s product. This was a VERY expensive guarantee to service ($40,000 per incident.) Nobody else had the balls to make that strong of a guarantee.
This guarantee altered the very culture of his company. It forced him to create systems that reliably delivered 100% performance. This guarantee was never equaled by his rivals and it ultimately brought him 90% market share in an ultra-conservative market, against competitors that were 100X as big.
Can you use a simple guarantee to re-invent your ad campaign from the Google ad on down, and put your business on steroids? I bet you can….
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