The Never-ending Search for that Hidden USP

10 replies
So,

I'm in the process of trying to come up with website copy for which there is no USP...yet.

I couldn't reject the owner, as he's still my boss, although if I'd been approached, i doubt I would have taken this on.


So, what's the longest you've spent on searching for that elusive USP? The one hidden so deep it took an oil rig to get to it.

How did you find it in the end? Was it a sudden flash of inspiration or did something you wrote down 2 days ago suddenly call out to you?

At the moment I'm writing down as many pain points as possible and every benefit. I've also looked at a good selection of competitors to see what they're doing.
#hidden #neverending #search #usp
  • You've probably already searched these but if you can't find the USP in the product it can be lurking in…

    The "Personality" (of the product/service - if there is nothing there you can "invent" it and make it real)

    The Service

    The People

    The Location

    The "thing" you don't do (this is always worth delving into - not doing the annoying thing that everybody else does)

    The "thing" you do that nobody else does (it can be minor but still important)


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      You've probably already searched these but if you can't find the USP in the product it can be lurking in...

      The "Personality" (of the product/service - if there is nothing there you can "invent" it and make it real)

      The Service

      The People

      The Location

      The "thing" you don't do (this is always worth delving into - not doing the annoying thing that everybody else does)

      The "thing" you do that nobody else does (it can be minor but still important)


      Steve
      Certainly. Working through that list right now, although I hadn't written it down so simply as you have.

      Interested in whether anyone else had a really tough job finding that selling point?
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by BudaBrit View Post

    So,

    I'm in the process of trying to come up with website copy for which there is no USP...yet.

    I couldn't reject the owner, as he's still my boss, although if I'd been approached, i doubt I would have taken this on.


    So, what's the longest you've spent on searching for that elusive USP? The one hidden so deep it took an oil rig to get to it.

    How did you find it in the end? Was it a sudden flash of inspiration or did something you wrote down 2 days ago suddenly call out to you?

    At the moment I'm writing down as many pain points as possible and every benefit. I've also looked at a good selection of competitors to see what they're doing.
    To me, finding a USP is more about strategy than creativity. Of course, creativity helps, but there are ways to deliberately focus the creative imagination towards achieving a specific goal.

    Personally, I've developed a system for find the USP in a company, product or service. So all I need is a few days. Then again, took me about 15 years to develop the system.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    I used to make finding my USP so much harder than it has to be.

    These days, I just ask myself... "Why would a prospect buy THIS over any other option? What's the single biggest reason?

    For some of my products... I've simply CREATED and invented a new USP... based on what the market wanted.

    In other words, I knew the market was clamoring for something specific.. so I crafted my USP to target that. In other words, I invented the USP.

    Here's something that I do, that a lot of marketers don't do.

    I'll take out a piece of paper and write down, in list format, ALL of the top selling points and potential USPs for a product or service.

    I make them short and powerful benefits that can act as a USP.

    Then, I go to my handy dandy Google Adwords account and create ads based on the different USPs.

    I put in my specific keywords and exact match them... and then let it run for a while.

    If one ad is a complete run away winner, and has a much higher CTR than other ads... I take a much closer look as that phrase as my USP.

    Since the market voted for it by clicking on it more, it makes me realize that it may resonate more with the market... hence it may be a USP to expand upon.
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    • Profile picture of the author skmsoumya
      I have an excerpt from an copyblogger ebook that might help you.

      The pure, refreshing taste of Schlitz Beer
      Back in the 1920s, Schlitz Beer was the number five brand in the American beer market. The company hired now legendary copywriter Claude Hopkins to do something about that unenviable position.
      The first thing Claude did was tour the facility where the beer was brewed.
      They showed him how the beer was cooled in a fashion that eliminated impurities. He saw the expensive white-wood pulp filters. His hosts told him that every pump and pipe was cleaned twice for purity, and each bottle sterilized four times before being trusted to hold Schlitz beer. He saw the 4,000 foot well that supplied the water, despite the fact that nearby Lake Michigan would have provided an otherwise acceptable source.
      When Hopkins asked why Schlitz didn't tell their customers about all of this rigorous attention to purity and quality, the response was "Every beer company does this."
      "But others have never told this story," Hopkins replied.
      Within months of the "new" story, Schlitz went from 5th place to a tie for first in the market.
      As in the above story start from the beginning of the lifecycle of that website. Ask your boss about each and every minor detail of that website. Then take a look at the competitions.

      Do this and you will find something which will be unique and new for your market.
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  • Now I hate to say this, but sometimes despite extensive research and endless sleepiness nights.

    Try as you might to find it.

    There just isn't a USP.

    Nothing "unique" about it.

    Same as just about everything else in its sector.

    Does it matter?

    A bit.

    But it's not fatal.

    There are still lots of benefits and emotional trigger points.

    Chances are the competition doesn't advertise them very well.

    But you can.

    All is not lost.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Now I hate to say this, but sometimes despite extensive research and endless sleepiness nights.

      Try as you might to find it.

      There just isn't a USP.

      Nothing "unique" about it.

      Same as just about everything else in its sector.

      Does it matter?

      A bit.

      But it's not fatal.

      There are still lots of benefits and emotional trigger points.

      Chances are the competition doesn't advertise them very well.

      But you can.

      All is not lost.


      Steve
      Indeed.

      One of my problems is that I would never buy any of the products I am currently writing for. I'm only writing for them because that's my (current) job. That won't be the case for much longer.

      The reason is because they won't provide any service above or beyond. So standing out is a bit difficult.

      Luckily for me - in this case - the competitors don't do this well. So I'm just taking something common and running with it, much in the same way as that oft quoted box from above. I'll reveal the hook when I've finished. Problem with that is...when I'm finished and when the rest of the product is ready never meet.

      sigh.

      Well, until I leave, that's what I'm left with. At least during the day. At night I have a screaming - well, kicking and punching right now - baby to deal with.

      But that's for another day (or product).
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      • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
        Originally Posted by BudaBrit View Post

        Well, until I leave, that's what I'm left with. At least during the day. At night I have a screaming - well, kicking and punching right now - baby to deal with.

        But that's for another day (or product).
        Ouch! Good luck.

        I've grown up with screaming babies all over the place... my Mum (or Mom for y'all? ) has been a 'childminder' for something like 10-15 years. I can only imagine what'd a screaming baby at night must be like.

        Anyhoo...

        I don't know what your product is... but you don't necessarily need to advertise the USP if you've got a hot story.

        When Roy Furr popped up yesterday, I got on his list and the first email I received was about finding the "big idea" for your copy.

        For example one I've used recently in the Forex market turned out to be a a Clayton Makepeace strategy of "prediction".

        Let me copy + paste a bit...

        First is the negative prediction. The market's going to crash. A blue chip stock is set for collapse. Western civilization is going to fall apart. Your broker's about to get shut down with half of Wall Street. The IRS is going to raise taxes - especially on investors. The list goes on... If your product or guru tells the narrative that there's a big negative event on the horizon, that's your big idea.
        Is that the type of thing you're after? It would still be possible to do this on website copy.

        Chris
        Signature

        Wealthcopywriter.com :)

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        • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
          Originally Posted by Chriswrighto View Post

          Ouch! Good luck.

          I've grown up with screaming babies all over the place... my Mum (or Mom for y'all? ) has been a 'childminder' for something like 10-15 years. I can only imagine what'd a screaming baby at night must be like.

          Anyhoo...

          I don't know what your product is... but you don't necessarily need to advertise the USP if you've got a hot story.

          When Roy Furr popped up yesterday, I got on his list and the first email I received was about finding the "big idea" for your copy.

          For example one I've used recently in the Forex market turned out to be a a Clayton Makepeace strategy of "prediction".

          Let me copy + paste a bit...



          Is that the type of thing you're after? It would still be possible to do this on website copy.

          Chris
          Took her an age to fall asleep last night, too, so I'm a bit slow this morning, too :p

          Thanks for the story idea. I've already got an idea for one that hits all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. But that'll come.

          If I'm honest, the two main reasons for posting this were to find out what others do, how they cope with it and to get it off my chest, sit back and find that new perspective.

          I managed, but the breakthroughs came from browsing some competitors websites on this idea.
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