How to Use and Write a Single-Minded Proposition

Here's how a fantastic SMP can lead to first-rate marketing

Co-workers talking together at office space

Whether you're new to advertising, or a veteran, you may pay attention people speaking approximately the SMP (Single-Minded Proposition), or occasionally the USP (Unique Selling Point / Unique Selling Proposition).

These days, both the SMP and USP have been given a variety of recent incarnations, which include "the most vital one thing" or "key takeaway," but they're all one and the equal. However, the time period USP turned into invented by way of Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company many years ago.

In his e-book, Reality In Advertising, posted in 1961, Reeves gives a unique, three-element definition of the USP which is just as applicable today because it become over 50 years in the past. Reeves said that:

1. Each advertisement have to make a proposition to the customer. Not just words, no longer simply product puffery, now not simply show-window marketing. Each advertisement ought to say to every reader: "Buy this product, and you'll get this unique gain."
2. The proposition need to be one which the competition either can not, or does not, provide. It ought to be particular-both a distinctiveness of the brand or a claim not in any other case made in that particular subject of marketing.
3. The proposition ought to be so strong that it can move the mass tens of millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product.
Source: Reality In Advertising by using Rosser Reeves. Pub. 1961

So, what does this all suggest to you, as an advertiser? Well, it method which you cannot, and need to not, move forward with any campaign for any client without the USP or SMP.

The Importance of the Single-Minded Proposition

The SMP is, truely, the maximum vital series of words on any creative quick or job description. It's the guiding light for the entire mission. It's the North Star.

In brief, it is the foundation on which every excellent campaign is constructed.

If you're given a creative brief with out an SMP, send it returned. If you write a short without an SMP, you are not doing your job. If you, as a creative director, approve a quick with out an SMP, you're dooming your enterprise to a world of pain. And if the patron does not log out at the SMP, it is time to start again.

The SMP says "X marks the spot." It's now not telling you what treasures lie beneath, however it does inform you wherein to dig. Without it, you're scrambling round in the darkish hoping to stumble across a very good idea. And even in case you do locate it, you haven't any concept if it's the concept the customer without a doubt wants.

In quick, no SMP, no campaign. Or as an alternative, no appropriate campaign. 

10 Examples of Great SMPs

A superb SMP is memorable and will begin the wheels turning for the creative groups, and could be an idea so strong that, as Reeves said, can flow the hundreds to your route. There isn't any room for vulnerable, vanilla, homogenous thoughts. This should be a flagpole firmly planted inside the ground.

A superb SMP may also be catchy, like a headline. In reality, many innovative administrators use the SMP because the benchmark for creative. They will vicinity the SMP on the wall and realize that this is the idea the creative branch has to conquer. Some SMPs virtually come to be taglines, which can be nonetheless round nowadays.

Here are a few examples of brilliant SMPs that helped the creative department push out a few remarkable work:

  • Avis: We're Number Two, So We Try Harder.
  • M&Ms: The Milk Chocolate Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hand.
  • Nike: Just Do It.
  • DeBeers: A Diamond Is Forever.
  • FedEx: When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There Overnight.
  • Domino's: You Get Your Fresh, Hot Pizza Delivered To Your Door In 30 Minutes Or Less - Or It's Free.
  • AARP: AARP Gives You The Power To Make Your Own Rules.
  • Toro: Toro Makes The Tools. You Make The Yard.
  • Lexus GS300: The GS300 is The Kick-Ass Lexus.
  • Abbey Life: Don't Let Your Illness Cripple Your Family.

How Do You Write an SMP?

It's now not clean. Really. And it should not be. You are taking the very essence of the mission and boiling it down to a phrase that will empower the creatives and be embraced by way of the customers. That's no small mission. It's also the purpose that increasingly more creative briefs are being given to innovative teams with out the SMP in there. This is a mistake. The SMP is the inspiration of the entire marketing campaign, and it regularly wishes extra notion that

Start with the aid of mastering the service or product well.

Very nicely. In the case of the brand new Lexus brand, the engineers had been dealt with like millionaires earlier than designing the auto. They had a super perspective. So, devour the food. Wear the shoes. Become the patron. What do you like? What don't you want? Is there something that stands out greater than some thing else? Is there a feature that absolutely makes the service or product higher than the opposition?

Write down the fine features, and condense the listing.

Remember, this is a unmarried-minded proposition. You cannot recognition on three or four elements. "This is the fastest, cheapest, brightest, toughest, smoothest of its kind" is not going to paintings. You are throwing too many balls within the air, and consumers will most effective capture one or two. So, observe the list cautiously. Which of the features stands proud extra? Which one will assist you seize a larger slice of the marketplace? Which one is hands-down the one which you kicks the butt of the opposition? Got it? Then, circulate on to step 3. 

Find the blessings of that one function.

It might also have one terrific benefit. It might also have many. But you cannot sell a function to anybody. No one buys a drill; they purchase a device to make holes and flip screws, and they need the pleasant one for the cash. What are the benefits of that one first-rate characteristic to your clients? Write them down, and begin drafting your unmarried-minded proposition. For instance, if it became a new form of drill, the SMP can be "No other drill makes extra holes on a single price." That's a longevity SMP. Or, it could be "The best drill that makes holes immediately." That's a time-saving SMP. 

Put your SMP on an ad. This is the headline to overcome. 

The first actual headline on an ad for any campaign have to be the SMP. This is the pleasant area to start digging and becomes the litmus test for all other innovative. If your work does now not succinctly and creatively beat that SMP headline, maintain on going.