Tag Archives for " uniqueness "

August 8, 2018

Signs you’re hammering your ‘USP’

Conventional marketing wisdom says that you first need to figure out your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP). You then plaster it all over your ads, offices, walls… anywhere you can.

‘I’m a copywriter,’ goes the logic, ‘so therefore I must only ever write about copy…’

‘I’m an independent financial advisor, so therefore I must only write about financial advice…’



I think there’s a better way. The content you produce should first and foremost be a journey of discovery… for you.

If it’s not a journey of discovery for you, it probably won’t be for anyone else.

It’s best to teach the things you most need to learn. And it’s a good idea to write about them too.

You are your own first reader. You read what you’ve written before anyone else does. There’s value in that beyond generating sales.

Have a look back over the emails you’ve sent recently. Is there progression in them? Or are you hammering the same thing over and over?

June 29, 2018

What really makes you different?

I remember going to a business networking meeting a few years ago. A lady who worked in recruitment made the mistake of asking my what my ‘USP’s were’. As if I had a car boot full of them.

“Don’t go there miss!” I thought in my head.

“I’m still figuring that out really,” I said outwardly. “How about you?”

“Oh, our USP is customer service,” she said confidently.

I looked at her blankly for a moment. “It’s not though is it,” I replied eventually. “That’s just a benefit. Anyone can claim that.”

“Also,” I continued, “customer service isn’t really a selling proposition. It’s just a requirement of doing business and keeping clients. Something we expect.”

Which basically sledge-hammered that conversation…

I think a lot about uniqueness. One school of thought is that you get to pick your uniqueness. And that’s true insofar as how you market your business. You can tell me your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is anything you like. But is it really accurate?

You only really get to a real USP through years of trial and error, and deliberate steps to reflect and learn more about yourself. It’s one reason journaling can be so effective.

So what’s my USP? I’m not the only one talking about storytelling. And barely a week goes by without someone asking me if I’ve “heard of Ben Settle”. Which causes me to roll my eyes so hard they pop out of my skull.

I’ve come to believe my USP is more to do with output and logic. Breaking a communications problem down into steps, and producing a compelling set of ads, emails, mailers… whatever the format is.

It probably looks on the outside like I go down a lot of rabbit holes – AdWords, Infusionsoft, storytelling, Facebook ads. But mostly these are different expressions of output and logic.

So let me ask – what do you think your USP is?

July 19, 2016

How to stand out

I’m not an easy person to buy presents for. Three years ago on my birthday Linzi asked me where I wanted to go for dinner. Her treat.

I said I wanted to go to The Pineapple.

The Pineapple is a pub in Dorney, near Slough. The Pineapple is famous for only selling one type of food; sandwiches.

The sandwich menu covers five types of bread and over 50 filling choices. You can see the full menu here. It’s simple food done well in generous portions.

The reason I still remember The Pineapple, and the reason I still tell people about it is because they only do one thing. They don’t do steak. They don’t do pies. They only do sandwiches.

The Pineapple is pegged in my mind as ‘the sandwich pub’. I didn’t come up with that pegging by myself. They told me that was what made them unique, the very first time I went.

If you want to generate leads you have to stand out. To stand out requires uniqueness. Uniqueness does not stem from telling people about your many virtues – it stems from telling them about one.

Volvo = safety
Dominos = speed
Papa Johns = better ingredients
Wetherspoons = cheap
John Lewis = service

Are these brands good at other things? Yes, they probably are. Do they bother telling you about those other things? Not unless you ask.

You get to choose what makes you unique

Your customer only has room to label you as one thing. Like going on a first date, you get to choose what that one thing is when they first walk through the door.

Most people never choose and try instead to tell the customer about the 17 ways they are wonderful. Effectively this abdicates responsibility and leaves the customers to do their own labelling.

Once labelled it is very difficult to re-label. If The Pineapple were to introduce a line of quiches it would still be ‘the sandwich pub’ in my mind.

I am perhaps a walking example of how not to do all of this. If I had set all this out from the beginning I would be three years ahead of where I am now. I guess some of us have to learn the hard way.

So, I have a question for you. You get an email from me every day. What would you say makes me unique? What one thing?

Grab Maze Remarketing for 1 Penny!

Grab a paperback copy of Maze Remarketing: The 80/20 Approach to Profitable Multi-Channel Retargeting Ads. Just 1 penny plus cost-price worldwide shipping.