In part 1 of this series I shared a research system that lets you uncover:
- Your prospects’ core fears and desires – so you can tap into the right emotions and trigger immediate action…
- The limiting beliefs that hold prospects back from taking action – so you can overcome resistance and move prospects closer to the sale…
- The features and benefits your customers value most – to help you identify the best USP to get them excited to buy
As you can see, Part 1 was all about your prospect and your market.
Today I’m going to focus on a crucial process you must implement if you want high-converting sales copy that increases your revenue. Understanding this process is as important as understanding your market.
But it’s often overlooked by business owners who make one HUGE MISTAKE!
Here’s what they do – instead of doing in-depth research, many entrepreneurs follow their intuition…or their own likes and dislikes to guide their copy. The truth is, this can work…as long as your personal preferences are the same as your prospects’.
In some cases this will be true.
But in most cases it won’t. That’s because you’re simply guessing at what to say to make the sale. Now any decent direct response copywriter hates guesswork! It’s why we value research so much. It’s a way of having greater certainty that we’re saying the right things to the right people.
This is especially important when you develop a USP (or Unique Sales Proposition).
Think of your USP like your product’s unique Superpower. It’s a device we use to position your product as different to anything else on the market.
Now, here’s something you might not realise about your USP – your USP will be different depending on who you’re selling to. It can also change over time, depending on forces happening in the wider market…or social trends that can shift consumer attitudes and behaviour.
Let me show you some examples of how a USP can change over time.
Here is a Rolls Royce Ad from the 1920s:
See how it talks about the appearance, style and comfort of Rolls Royce – making it perfect for the discerning lady to travel in her costume, to her desired destination?
Here Rolls Royce has positioned itself as the most tasteful car on the market for buyers who are concerned by their image.
Now let’s take a look at their ad from the 1950s:
Can you see the difference in messaging? The focus in this ad is all about noise levels. Now Rolls Royce provides a quiet sanctuary and is constructed with extraordinary levels of care. It’s for someone who cares about the quality and performance of their car.
And finally, here’s a Rolls Royce ad from the 1980s:
Now Rolls Royce has positioned this car as the alternative to low quality “throw-away” cars which break within a few years. It speaks to a desire for quality and lifetime value.
As you can see from these 3 ads the USP has evolved over time.
There’s a reason for this evolution – it’s because market desire shifts constantly. It’s why Rolls Royce cares deeply about what’s happening in their market AND what they’re competitors are doing.
It’s also why they work with master copywriters, like David Ogilvy – who took his research very seriously!
What do writers like David Ogilvy look for
when developing a USP?
- Your product’s most appealing features and benefits – I covered this in the first blog in this series, but the point is worth repeating here.
Entrepreneurs often get caught out thinking about features from their own perspective – not their buyers’ perspective. It’s why they can end up droning on about features and benefits no one actually cares about.
This will ultimately lose you sales, because you’re drawing attention to the wrong thing.
Different audiences will be drawn to different aspects of your product.
When researching your product’s most appealing features there are some things you should think about:
- Why does a particular feature appeal to your prospects?
- What tangible benefit does that feature offer to buyers?
- What emotional benefit does that feature provide?
- Is it actually unique?
- How does it differ from the competition?
The final question in the list leads me nicely to the next thing writers look for when developing a USP.
2. Your competitors’ products or services – Do you know what your competitors are selling? And do you know what they’re saying about their products in order to make the sale?
I regularly see business owners banging on about how great their products are with no consideration for how they’re positioned against their competitors. In fact many don’t even know who they’re competing against!
Let me ask you this question? Is it even possible to find something truly unique about your products if you don’t know what your competitors are saying? The answer is no.
Which is why it’s important for you to study your competition, so you can be sure you’re the ONLY ONE shouting about your unique superpower. After all, a superpower is not a superpower if everyone else can do it too!
You unique superpower can take a few different forms:
- Your product itself could be completely unique – this is rare for most businesses. But a never-before-seen product is its own USP
- A unique feature or mechanism – does your product solve a problem in a different way to your competitors? Do you have a proprietary method or a production method not shared by anyone else?
- Better results – can your product achieve a desired outcome better…faster…or cheaper than the competition?
- Unique values – is your business driven by a sense of purpose or a mission that’s unique to your market. Think Tom’s shoes or
- A new market – Does your product specifically satisfy the needs of a small group of people who are not currently served by anyone else?
As you can see it’s not enough to pluck a USP out of thin air. It’s based on much more than your own personal desires and preferences.
A USP can only be effective if it taps into the wants and needs in your market. AND if it positions you as the ONLY solution to a very specific problem.
Here’s a quick recap of all the things you must research if you want to create a compelling USP:
- The shifting attitudes, beliefs and desires in your market
- Your product’s most appealing features and benefits
- What your competitors are selling – and what they’re saying about their products
- Your unique superpower
When you truly dig in to the research you’re much more likely to uncover a compelling USP that helps your products sell themselves!
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