Origin In the early 1940s, Ted Bates & Company carried out extensive market research on successful advertising campaigns. In particular they identified two desirable attributes: the penetration and the usage pull. - - The pattern they found among campaigns that produced a high usage pull was the basis for the theory of the USP. It may also be known as the unique selling point. Definition In his book Reality in Advertising, Rosser Reeves (Chairman of the Board at Ted Bates & Company) gives the precise definition as it was understood at his company: Each advertisement must make a proposition to the customer: "buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit." The proposition itself must be unique - something that competitors do not, or will not, offer. The proposition must be strong enough to pull new customers to the product. Reeves also wrote that a USP does not necessarily have to be a verbal message. It can be communicated both verbally and visually. For example, a classic Clairol advertisement showing a picture of a model and just the headline, "Does she or doesn't she?" implied the USP, "If you use Clairol products, people won't even notice that you dyed your hair." However, Reeves warns against forming a USP based on what he calls "The Deceptive Differential" - a uniqueness that is too small or too technical that customers cannot observe the differences in actual practice.