USP Marketing Definition – Unique Selling Propositions
Competition is natural in the world of business. Whether it is a brand, company, a small business or another business entity; it is always there. Both local and international businesses provide competition.
Customers are overwhelmed with a wide variety of options present. They prefer to quickly understand what makes one product/service/brand different from the other. Those who know the right way to position themselves and their products better know how to stand out.
Hence, this can be the reason business owners should be alert. They must understand and identify unique selling propositions to help take their branding and marketing decisions on a whole new level. Hence, the solution to this is none other than a unique selling proposition.
A unique selling proposition – What is a usp?
In all honesty , a unique selling proposition is something that makes the business better than its competition. This highlights a benefit, clear and specific, for the business to rise above others.
Making a deliberate and opinionated unique selling proposition (USP) helps businesses put focus in their marketing tactics. This even helps influence the branding, copywriting and other marketing aspects. In its fundamental spirit, a USP must quickly answer a potential customer’s questions when the brand comes in their focus
The USP plays into a brand’s particular strengths. It should be based on what makes the brand on the product quite unique and valuable to their customers.
Unique is now a generic term. Hence brands need to differentiate themselves around what they care for the most. Else, they will lack both a USP and an effective branding message.
Here are the components of a compelling USP:
- It should be assertive and defensible. Brands must have a specific position where their case can be heard against competing products.
- Must focus on what customers value. In short, no generic terms used.
- A USP is more than just a slogan. It needs multiple ways for communication.
Observing unique selling propositions of key brands – What do they have to offer?
Let’s examine key brands and their USPs that have helped them stand out from the crowd.
The first one is Avis, whose proposition is “We’re number two, We try harder.”
Ranked among the best top proposition examples, it does a great job of turning a lazy quality into a true benefit. Avis for many years has been the second largest car rental company, behind Hertz. It even had trouble remaining solvent.
The company underwent a complete makeover and hired advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernbach. It helped Avis create a new campaign to help fix its previous marketing follies. Thus came the USP and campaign of ‘We Try Harder’ and it helped the company catch a 35% market share.
FedEx’s USP = “When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.”
It is no longer its slogan but when it lasted, it was the best example of a worthwhile USP. It gave customers a guarantee that their packages will be there on time in one piece. The benefits? Package is secure, will be there on time and FedEx’s ability to do it.
Now the slogan is ‘The world on time’. Sadly, it isn’t as robust as the old one. The previous slogan was among the top proposition examples.
“They’ll fight over it when you’re dead” is the slogan on Saddleback Leather’s website. This sentence conveys the USP in their signature tone. The products last longer than people. The company offers a 100 year warranty backing the guarantee of the products lasting a lifetime.
“The Milk Chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
This is how a witty USP can attract customer interest and it worked quite well for M&Ms. In fact, it proves the product being meaningful to customers and being effective too. In such a case, M&Ms candy shell prevents the milk chocolate from melting or oozing. This is a definite plus point for most customers.
DeBeers brought the slogan “A diamond is forever” and this is the reason the company is famous. The slogan is used since 1948. DeBeers’ USP is of course, Diamonds are forever, because they do last forever. Hence the perfect symbol for eternal love.
Diamonds are by far, the most popular choice for engagement rings. No wonder AdAge magazine named it the best slogan of the 20th century.
Death Wish Coffee
Numerous coffee shops claim to have the smoothest coffee around. Death Wish Coffee centered its unique selling proposition (USP) which is “World’s strongest coffee” to cater to those needing an extra kick in their cup of coffee.
This is a great example of products developed on USPs. This was done for quite a large market. Yet the company isn’t in a position to attract all kids of coffee enthusiasts. It however does appeal to connoisseurs who love a strong cup of Joe each morning.