Brochure Writer Jay Huling - Jacksonville, FL - Copywriting Services
The Myth of the U.S.P. Exposed!
How to Write Brochures
That Your Ad Agency Will Hate
(but will make you a fortune)

Jay Huling
Judging from a lot of brochures coming out of ad agencies nowadays, a lot people must want to waste money.

Because that's exactly what their brochures are doing.

Probably because those who created them – the very people who profess to be experts – have no idea what they are doing and wouldn't be able to create a brochure that sells even if all the money in the world was on the line.

But their money isn't on the line. Yours is.

That's why I want to help you. Here are three tips to help you make sure your brochure sells.


Identify and communicate your top selling benefit right away – on the cover. It's your headline, your reason for being, your line in the sand. Give someone an incentive to stop, look, and open to page two. Sell me now. Make sure it tells who you are, what you offer, and what the prospect gets from you.

So many art directors just want the cover to "look good." That's fine. But make sure it looks good and sells. The person who said "a picture is worth a thousand words" never had to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door. If you just put a pretty picture on the cover of your brochure, that is a PASSIVE way of selling something. You are requiring the reader to interpret what that picture means to him or her.

In essence, you're simply crossing your fingers and saying a prayer. Don't do that. You want to direct . . . manipulate . . . persuade . . . and force communicate your message so the reader receives it exactly the way you want him or her to receive it.


You've no doubt heard of the unique selling proposition (USP). You've also heard of Bigfoot and the Bermuda Triangle. None of them exist. USP exists in the mind of marketing people. But not to Joe Consumer. Ask someone off the street what is the difference between Coke's USP and Pepsi's USP, and you'll have that person staring at you with a befuddled dear-in-the-headlights-caveman-seeing-fire-for-the-first-time look.

The buyer cares about what the buyer gets. Period.

The theory of the USP was first introduced by Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company and explained in his book Reality in Advertising

But apparently most "experts" have never actually read the book. Like preachers who've never read the Bible, they're dogmatic about something they know nothing about. And they lead you astray.

Rosser didn't teach that you "had to be unique." He taught that every ad must make a "unique proposition." But the key is that your proposition is something either your competition can't or -- and here's the key -- DOESN'T make.

Brand people always like to ask "How are we unique? What's our USP?" 

But as Rosser explained, that's not what USP is all about. You are not unique. So get over it.

Question: What is the difference between Tylenol and Excedrin?

Answer:  Nothing!

Both have the same pain-fighting ingredients. But one is "positioned" to relieve body aches and the other is "positioned" to relieve headaches.

But in truth they are not unique. Your challenge is not being unique -- it's presenting yourself as unique when compared to the competition.

So take ownership of your strongest benefit and promote that on the cover. Even if your competition offers the same thing. Make it yours and it will become yours.

I free you from the chains of this myth. You don't have to be unique.


Your ad agency will tell you, "No one will read all that." If that's what they tell you, this is one thing you know for sure:  Your ad agency is stupid.

The people who are willing to buy, want to buy, and have the power to buy are the people who want the most information about what they are buying. You must OUTSELL your competition. Give those people hungry for information exactly what they want:  All the things they get buying from YOU. 

Again, this is where you "out-unique" your competition. You might be a complete carbon copy of the other guy down the street, but if you tell more than he does, you will sell more. Because your complete story will be told. Whereas your competition will leave things out of mind, out of sight.

Let the skimmers skim. That's okay. But give strong meat to the mature who crave emotional reasons to buy your product. Because they are the ones WHO WILL buy.

And be sure to ask for the order. Call your reader to action. Tell them to do what you want them to do, whatever that might be:  Visit your store. Log on to your web site.  Call your 800 number. Whatever it is, call them to action. Tell them how to act and make it easy to do so.

Do it right and they will.

Follow these tips and let me know how it works for you.

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