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Slack, one of the most popular business communication platforms, was originally born out of a web-based game called Glitch.
As Glitch developed, the company building the game realized communication was paramount to its success. The Glitch Team, tired of firing emails back and forth, built a more efficient communication tool based on channels. Though Glitch eventually failed, the mechanism behind the product soared.
Slack took form, and with it came one of the best sales appeals of all time: “Slack replaces email.”
Successful? Absolutely. Slack’s products and marketing have led this company to a $7.1 billion valuation achieved in just five years.
Slack proves that clarifying your message will help you make money.
Your product or company may have many features that impress buyers, but successful marketing focuses on one central sales appeal. Why? Because when you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing. Today’s buyers are overwhelmed with options, so they need to understand what makes you different from your competitors quickly, or they’ll disengage altogether.
When you want to stand tall among competitors, a unique selling proposition (USP) sets you apart from others and clarifies the reason customers should buy from you and you alone. Why should customers choose you? What makes your product or company different?
It's your "competitive edge." It's the reason why customers buy from you, and you alone.
When you highlight one key point – your USP – and drive it home, again and again, it sticks in the reader’s mind. If you have any doubt, see if these USP slogans jog your memory:
-- 15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance
-- Don’t just fly, fly better
-- When you care enough to send the very best
-- The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
-- It’s the breakfast for champions
To build your USP, you’ll need to zero in on a key sales appeal.
This is the benefit that is most important to your target audience. If they are primarily concerned with cost, your sales appeal should focus on saving money. If readers are more concerned with performance, your USP may be speed, durability, or reliability.
Once you’ve isolated a key sales feature, evaluate your USP using these criteria:
1. The USP needs to be unique.
2. The offer needs to be desirable.
3. The sales appeal needs to be short enough to fit into a single sentence.
4. The language needs to be clear and specific.
5. The offer needs a little spice
Of course, your offer should be catchy, but dynamic USPs go a step above.
A USP has the spicy factor when it’s really memorable, when it makes you smile, or when it has emotional appeal and speaks directly to your own experience.
How do you know which USP is most important to your customers?
Through testing! This may include basic market research (like focus groups or marketing surveys), but you may prefer to perform sample A/B testing on various groups. For example, you could use two separate sales letters or post two different social media ads, each with a different USP. If one outperforms another, you have instant feedback to build upon.
Remember, you can always learn which sales appeal works best through a simple direct-mail test. Try a series of mailings, each piece highlighting a different USP, and take your results to the bank.
Make it loud and clear why your product is better than your competitors, and you’ll convert prospects into customers in short order.