When marketing teachers talk about your "Unique Selling Proposition" or "USP", they nearly always assume that you have one, but just haven't figured it out yet.

But what if you don't have one? What if you really are just another "me too" marketer? Should you just give up and go back to your day job, or is there a way for you to succeed?

Before we attack that question, let's review what a USP is. In a recent article about headline writing, Clayton Makepeace wrote:

According to Rosser Reeves, the "father" of the USP, a Unique Selling Proposition must meet three criteria:

  1. It must contain a proposition (a benefit that people are willing to pay for) ...
  2. The benefit must be unique (not the same thing a competitor says about his/her product), and ...
  3. It must sell (be powerful enough to move the masses).

Oh yeah – I see tons of heads that shout a benefit, and in most cases those benefits are something prospects are willing to pay for. But heads that differentiate the product by presenting a truly unique benefit are as rare as hen's teeth.

And by "unique benefit," I mean a benefit that prospects are willing to pay for – and that your competitors can't (or don't) promise.

So how do come up with a USP? Let me offer some suggestions:

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