Unique Selling Propositions

To be honest, I’d never heard of a USP until the other day. I kind of thought maybe they were trying to say USB, as in a USB port in a computer. Such is life as a computer science student, I suppose. Anyway, a USP is actually a Unique Selling Proposition , and it’s basically the best and only way to a strong marketing plan. See the below article from the AuthorHouse author’s resource blog.

Defining and Delivering Your USP: A Crucial Step in Developing a Strong Marketing Strategy In a market where consumers have so many product choices, it can be difficult for a product to grab mind share when it doesn’t explicitly convey a unique selling proposition (USP) to the consumer. Think about your own personal shopping experiences. When there are 10 different products staring you down from the shelf in front of you and they all sell the same general idea/concept, how do you decide which product will meet your need? Taking the time to define your own unique selling proposition will help you target market and make your product stand out among the others jockeying for position in a consumer’s shopping cart.

For example, Enrique J. Salvo, author of The Gift Basket (AuthorHouse, 2004), sends his book to media neatly nested in a wicker basket. Bob Shumaker, author of the Schmooney trilogies (AuthorHouse, 2005), sends the message, “Find Your Gift.”

When the time comes to take off your writing cap and embrace your inner marketer, here are a few things to consider:
• Take some time early on to think about the target market for the book. Answer the question, “Who will buy my book and why will they want to buy it?”
• Does the book’s content lend itself to satisfy a niche market?
• What makes the story different from all of the others?
• Is there a feature you can “build in” to your book to make it more remarkable?
• How will you communicate your product’s uniqueness?

Understanding the answers to these questions will help you to remember to write your manuscript with your target audience in mind and will help you create a product that your audience will buy.

Communicating Value

After your product is created, your marketing plan should be completed or well on its way. When you draft and revise your marketing plan, consider what you will communicate to your potential buyer:
• What idea will your message deliver?
• Does it communicate value to the reader?
• Are your advertising words congruent with the writing style of the book?

Now that you know what you will communicate, it’s time to focus on how:
• Will you set up a newsletter for fans and media (print, electronic or both)?
• Will you create a Web site where prospective buyers can preview and then buy your book?
• Can you set aside a moderate budget for a creative direct-mail campaign for pre- and post-book release?
• Will you create a business reply card for insertion in your book to capture reader names? (Next book marketing…always thinking ahead.)
• Do you want to host an event for your book’s release? Will the event’s location mirror a setting or scene in the book?
• Will you set up a Weblog where you can post and readers can respond to topics related to your book?

The customer’s buying decision will ultimately reflect his or her own needs, but your ability to fit into that need structure will be tied to how effectively you communicate your product’s USP. To whatever degree you can make your product unique and then communicate that feature, the more successful you will be in your book publishing and marketing journey.

Article found here .