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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What Prince Taught Us About Having a USP

A unique selling proposition is something that can dog the person looking to work a simple 9-5 so that bills can be paid on time but it’s necessary to survive in entertainment.  The legendary musician obviously did more than survive for nearly 40 years in an industry that is equally temperamental and chaotic.  The new entrepreneur can have the best of both worlds if they care careful about one thing besides keeping up with output…the right visuals.

This isn’t to imply that someone put on a pair of fancy heels and play the guitar better than Slash but in the ultra-competitive world of e-commerce, learning how to re-invent and shine is imperative.  It’s about taking a true look at self, then the competition, and taking inventory of what not to do.  The fun part is you may get the attention you weren’t expecting but staying true to your talents is what will get people buzzing.

A long time ago, in the early days of internet, I was playing around with some ways to advertise my services.  This was back in the days of PageMaker and I thought my creations were beyond outstanding.  One promotion intended for direct mail went something like “Don’t be a Chicken with Your Design” in the headline.  Sure enough, a pasted clip art of a rooster served as a logo with below text highlighting what I could do in terms of desktop publishing and copywriting.

Not only was it corny and imperfect and didn't get me any jobs but it did what memes do today.  It made people laugh (the only thing I liked about working in an office with a bunch of women) and it got their attention. It turned out to be a cheap and cheesy form of network marketing. Prince opening for the Rolling Stones in 1981 may not have been one of his better moments (I often compare it to Hendrix opening for the Monkees back in the 60s but a little violent) but it got his name known outside of those who mostly listened to R&B music back then.

So there’s nothing wrong with integrating self-expression with your true feelings in promotions, as long as it’s relatable to your audience….not everyone.  Had Prince copied Michael Jackson’s early boy-next-door image and seemingly timid mannerisms, celebrations of his life would not go beyond his hometown of Minneapolis.  Heck, he may have been out of show business by now and forced to do something else...like work a 9-5.

By keeping it fresh, consistent and believable, they will come back for an encore performance!

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