Posted by: johnocunningham | August 7, 2012

A Unique Selling Proposition

Sixty years ago this summer, the late Rosser Reeves – former advertising executive and chairman of the Ted Bates Agency – took charge of the advertising campaign for General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s bid for the presidency.

Eisenhower won a stunning landslide victory over Democrat candidate Adlai Stevenson, capturing 40 states and roughly 56 percent of the vote.

Reeves positioned “Ike” as the likeable and trustworthy “Living Room Candidate” from the heartland of America, and the one person who could end the Korean War and clean up a series of scandals that was then emanating from Washington. Despite the fact that Eisenhower was 62, at that time the oldest person ever to run for President, he benefited from a well-developed image as a vibrant and energetic man (despite a heart history).

Reeves, the creator of many memorable ad slogans (such as “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”), said that every advertisement or sales pitch should convey a “unique selling proposition” that the competition either does not or cannot offer. He added that the proposition should be so compelling and so strong for the audience to which it is directed that it would move them.

In the world of law firms, there are very few unique selling propositions. Most firms pitch their “quality” and their “reputation” with self-lauding plaudits in repetitive boilerplate language, and offer very little in the way of substantive description about how they are actually viewed by clients or how they deliver high quality service.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for firms that can actually distinguish themselves with a “unique selling proposition.” For examples of such propositions, check out the relevant Web pages for Bingham (aka Bingham McCutchen – click on “Why Bingham? Learn What Sets Us Apart“) and for Collora LLP.   Note also the distinctive selling propositions in the ingenious ads that Bingham has created (click on “See our ads” on the Bingham home page).



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: