Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 57 seconds

As many of you know, I spent the week in Charleston South Carolina at a business retreat with about one hundred other CEO’s of remodeling companies. Many good things happened, but there was one loose end that had me stymied.



Right out of the chute, we dove into a powerful motivational speaker session by Boaz. We were two hours deep into a three-hour class when he made it clear that we needed to have a USP (Universal Selling Proposition) I didn’t even know what one was let alone that it was missing.

The We / You game

The rules of the game are that they need to be short and sweet; purposefully ambiguous that has a “we” and “you” statement within. The ambiguous part sets the stage for the hook. As opposed to we remodel houses, like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, by saying something odd, it lures in the subject to want to know more. An example is GE their USP is “We bring good things to life” Now that is a sweet USP.

The group went to work throwing out all sorts of “We and You” statements that had little or no zip or panache, I tried a bunch, I even tried some “You and We” statements. Flustered, I secreted my notes away for later. I figured it would be a good down time project.

Chicago underground

Chicago’s O’hare underground

Stuck at O’hare in Chicago for an extended layover, (the plane needed new brakes) or so we were told. I took another stab at it with some tepid results. Upon arriving back in Boise I typed up my notes and was satisfied to leave it as a floating To-Do, kind of like a Rubik’s cube.

I think we got one!

Debriefing my week of meetings with Alyne I left a We… blank at the bottom of my long list of attempts. She took one look at it and spouted of a zinger! “We create what you imagine” I love it because it dovetails with this blog post of a same theme. It is just ambiguous enough to leave the listener in suspense and it describes exactly what we do in five words. I felt like we hooked on to something big.

I quickly called Boaz to run it by him, nothing; I thought would be better than to get his seal of approval. I left a message and to my excitement, Boaz returned my call immediately.  Naturally, after I asked him how business was, we had a good laugh together (over the inside joke) and celebrated the new arrival. “Sounds promising, it’s anyone’s guess whether it will get traction,” he said. “Stare into their eyes when you deliver it, if it works you will know it. Come up with ten more if you’re unsatisfied until you have a winner.”

Sage advice from a pro. Look for us to incorporate our new USP into our marketing (if / when) it passes muster in the real world.

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