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What in Hell is the USP? And Why Do You Need One?

publication date: Jan 23, 2012
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    “Today, the USP is perhaps the most misused series of letters in advertising, it has been picked up by hundreds of agencies and has spread across the country. It is now applied, loosely and without understanding, to slogans, slick phrases, strange pictures, mere headlines – in fact, to almost anything which some writers consider slightly different from what they find in competing advertisements.”

I didn’t write this. Rosser Reeves, Chairman of the Board of Ted Bates wrote it over 50 years ago in his seminal book, Reality in Advertising. The intervening years, and decades for that matter, haven’t added much clarity to the situation as the U.S.P continues to be one of the most misunderstood terms in marketing today.

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