Marka Explains the ‘Unique Selling Proposition’

Last time, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) President Org, Marka the marketer, Zoot the salesperson and Numo the accountant discussed the materials and follow-up activities involved in the Customer Nurture Program. Today, Marka teaches the tribe how to create a “Unique Selling Proposition” that tells customers and prospects why FEI deserves their business. Remember, fire = print.

Marka stood before the tribe one afternoon and presented them with an important question: “Why are we in business?”

“To sell fire services?” Numo offered.

“Yes, we’re in the business of selling fire services. But what are our customers buying?”

“Our customers want warmth, better tasting food, safety and productivity,” Org volunteered. “Fire is means to an end.”

“Better,” Marka said. “What I’m looking for, tribe, is a unique selling proposition, or USP. The foundation of our promotional plan involves knowing exactly what FEI brings to the table business-wise and being able to communicate this in 30 seconds or less. When anyone hears FEI’s pitch, they should immediately know why we deserve their business.”

“We’ll always be known as the first,” offered Numo. “We have the name recognition that comes with Prometheus. We stand for quality.”

“It’s true that being both the first and the best-known brand gives us some advantage in top-of-mind positioning,” Marka said, moving toward the whiteboard with coal in hand.

“Bragging about being first isn’t enough, and anyone can say their quality is the best,” Org said, liking the direction of the conversation. “We need to be able to succinctly and accurately say why we’re different from Pyro, Flintstone and the others.”

The room was stumped.

Over the next half hour, the tribe came up with the guiding principles that would serve as the foundation of FEI’s USP. Numo suggested building on the company’s history: “If it wasn’t for Prometheus, we’d still be freezing in our huts.” However, Org insisted that the USP focus on FEI’s exciting future, not its storied past.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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