Derek Dunham

When our team is working with a client to develop a brand position, we run it through a three-part filter and ask: Is it true? Is it unique? And is it compelling? In this post, I’ll cover “unique,” and why it’s so important to land on a unique selling proposition (USP).

The USP is a concept developed by advertising legend Rosser Reeves for Ted Bates back in the ‘40s. Quite simply, it means finding the one promise you can make that the competition can’t.

The USP is as relevant today as it was back then. In fact, Michael Porter put a twist on the USP with his philosophy, “Aim to be unique, not the best.” At Varsity, we agree with that thinking. Our team is always searching for that core truth that makes a client unique in the marketplace.

It’s not easy to find a benefit that separates your organization from the rest, but it’s critical to do so. That uniqueness doesn’t have to be related to a physical structure or amenities. It can be intangible, like an attitude, a personality or an entire culture.

Even when you find a brand position that’s true and unique, it still won’t connect with your customers unless they find it compelling. I’ll cover that in a future post.