Historical Transformation of Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in Advertising Narration

Historical Transformation of Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in Advertising Narration

Bilgen Basal (Koc University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9790-2.ch013

Abstract

In this chapter, historical transformation of unique selling proposition (USP) concept will be examined. The significance and the functions of it will be analyzed in building a positive attitude towards the brand and ultimately the brand recall in advertising narration. In advertising history, the roots of USP date back to reason-why advertising concept proposed by John E. Kennedy, who went on to explain that advertising should give prospects reasons why they should buy the product being advertised and why it was a better buy than competing products. Later, Claude C. Hopkins believed that advertising should be built around a single selling point and developed the preemptive claim technique establishing a product's uniqueness. Hopkins's pre-emptive claim later became USP in the hands of Rosser Reeves. Even today, Hopkins's rules are a staple of marketing textbooks and the foundation of millions of advertisement campaigns. The term USP has been enhanced by the concept of a positioning statement, which was popularized by the marketing professionals and authors Al Ries and Jack Trout.
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Historical Transformation Of Usp

A prominent advertising executive Albert Lasker (1880-1952), with the help of advertsing and marketing legends John E. Kennedy (1864-1928) and Claude C. Hopkins (1886-1932) established modern advertising, as it’s known today. In the 1900s, basing on ‘direct response’ and ‘scientific advertising,’ they established the copywriter as crucial to advertising agency operations (Sivulka, 2012, p.103). Lasker's creative and powerful use of ‘reason-why’ advertising to inject ideas and arguments into advertising campaigns had a profound impact on modern advertising. They were the precursors of the consumer-centered ‘unique selling proposition’ approach that dominates the industry today (Cruikshank & Schultz, 2010, preface). The ‘pre-emptive claim’ or ‘unique factor’ of product later became the ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP) in the hands of Rosser Reeves (1910-1984). Even today, these rules are a staple of marketing textbooks and the foundation of millions of advertisement campaigns (Basal, 2017, pp. 39-46).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Scientific Advertising: It is the advertising based on fixed principles and is done according to fundamental laws.

Preemptive Claim: A unique factor that sets a product or service apart from its rivals.

Unique Selling Proposition: A unique selling proposition (USP) is the statement that refers to the unique benefit proposed by a company for its service, product or brand, which enables it to differ from its competitors.

Claude Hopkins: He is the advertising copywriter and the author of ‘Scientific Advertising’ and ‘My Life in Advertising’ books and developer of the ‘preemptive claim’ technique.

Rosser Reeves: He is the American advertising executive, who is responsible for the idea of USP, a pioneer of television advertising, practically the inventor of television advertising spots, a leader in political communication and the author of ‘Reality in Advertising’ book.

Unique Feelings Proposition: It is a proposition, which has a goal to communicate at all the points of interaction with the customer, to increase positive feelings and to decrease negative ones.

Reason-Why Advertising: It explains that advertising should give prospects reasons why they should buy the product being advertised and why it was a better buy than competing products or alternatives uses of the consumer’s limited budget.

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