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5 Optional Elements to Consider for Your Key Message Copy Platform

by | Jul 7, 2015 | B2B Copywriting, Value Proposition, Key Message Copy Platforms, Unique Selling Proposition | 0 comments

This is the fourth of a four-part series on Key Message Copy Platforms.

In the first article, I introduced the concept and benefits of a Key Message Copy Platform. A Key Message Copy Platform (KMCP) is a single-document repository which helps ensure that all the key messages used to promote a given product or service will be consistent across all your marketing content.

The second article and the third article each described the essential key messaging elements that should be part of every KMCP.

We’ll conclude this series with a look at five optional elements you should consider when putting together your KMCP.

1. Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Statements

The Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is one of the most powerful tools in marketing and advertising.

A product’s USP is a message that clearly sets the product apart from its competition and defines the reason for buying it. The classic example, of course, is the slogan for M&M’s candies: Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

But if a USP is so powerful, you may ask, why is it an optional messaging element? The reason is because many products simply don’t have a USP or haven’t had one defined for them yet.

Famed advertising executive Rosser Reeves, the most noted proponent of USP advertising, said that a true USP message must pass three tests. First, it must make a proposition: buy this product for this specific benefit. Second, the proposition must be one the competition cannot or does not offer, i.e., it must be unique. And third, the proposition must be strong enough to move the masses. In a crowded field, it can be extremely difficult to define a message that meets these last two criteria.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you can find a true USP, you’ve found your “tent pole” message, the main message you can build your campaigns on. Your USP will be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts.

How do you find your USP? Talk to your R&D folks. Ask them what’s truly unique about the product. What’s really cool or cutting-edge? What do we offer that no one else does? Ask them, “If you had to say just one thing about our product, what would it be?”

2. Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP) Statements

Emotional Selling Proposition is a term invented by Casey Demchak – the creator or the Key Message Copy Platform concept – to identify the most important human value benefit the product provides. Whether it’s peace of mind, reduced stress, fewer late nights at the office, or whatever, it’s the main emotional benefit the customer derives from buying your product.

I consider this section optional, because you may decide to cover all your human value statements in a single area, the “Explanation of Human Value” section described in Part 3 of this series. The main reason you may want to consider this separate section is if there is one emotional benefit that you really want to emphasize in all your marketing. This section lets you earmark that key emotional benefit for your content writers.

3. Testimonials from Product Champions

Peer-to-peer endorsement is extremely important in the B2B world. So if you have customer testimonials, you’ll want to include them in your KMCP.

Your KMCP lets you keep all your testimonials handy, in one place, whenever your content writers need them.

This section is optional, because you may not have any testimonials yet. But you can get them – even if your product is brand new.

Did your company bring in outside consultants for individual input or panel discussions during development of the product? Were there any pre-launch reviews by industry experts? Contact those experts for brief interviews. Engage them in informal conversations – you’ll only take up 10 to 15 minutes of their time – and get them to tell you what they like about the product.

Record the interview. From the recording take the expert’s best quotes, edit them into a brief testimonial – it’s perfectly legitimate to do so – and send the polished testimonial to the expert for approval.

By the way, try to keep testimonials brief. Busy prospects are more likely to read testimonials if they are kept short (two or three lines at them most).

If you have long testimonials from customers, look at breaking them up into a number of shorter ones.

4. Vocabulary Lists

You may want to include a pair of vocabulary lists in your KMCP. Those lists are:

1. Words to emphasize in your marketing content

2. Words to avoid.

Obviously, this section is for internal use. The most appropriate place for these lists in your KMCP is after the Product Positioning Statements (see Part 2 of this series), as positioning is essentially determined by your messaging vocabulary.

As you discuss and develop your messaging, it can be useful to keep a list of words that seem to help position the product properly, and another list of words that seem to detract from the desired effect.

Your content developers can then refer to these lists when they’re stuck for a phrase that conveys the right feeling.

5. Tag Line

The final optional section of your Key Message Copy Platform is for your tag line.

If your brand’s tag line is already well established, you may decide to leave this section out of your KMCP (though it really can’t hurt to include it). But if you’re building messaging for a new product line, you’ll probably want a space for developing a tag line and getting it approved.

Take-Away Points

This concludes our four-part series on Key Message Copy Platforms. Five optional sections you may want to include in your KMCP are:

1. Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Statements

2. Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP) Statements

3. Testimonials from Product Champions

4. Vocabulary Lists

5. Tag Line

Next Steps…

CopyEngineer is pleased to offer Key Message Copy Platforms as a new service. For more information, call CopyEngineer at (+39) 011 569 4951. Or drop me an email at

To find out more about any of my B2B copywriting services, visit my newly updated b2b copywriting services pages.

Oh, and if you’re not already a subscriber, sign up for Technical Response, CopyEngineer’s monthly newsletter. You’ll get next month’s article delivered to your inbox on the day of publication, and you’ll also receive a free bonus.

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