One marketing concept that has been introduced on the advertisements of the early 40’s was an idea called unique selling points (also more popularly known as unique selling proposition). The theory on USP explains that propositions are presented to the customers and these would eventually convince them to buy the products for the first time, or to switch brands. The term USP came from Ted Bates & Company; from an individual named Rosser Reeves.
Nowadays, USPs are used by major businesses and corporations to make effective marketing campaigns. It has long since evolved from its early 40’s version. Take a look at some of the most famous taglines of our time:
1. ‘We deliver’ for FedEx.
2. ‘Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.’ for M&M’s.
3. ‘Coke is it.’
4. ‘The Citi that Never Sleeps.’ for Citibank.
The concept of having taglines is to be able to sell the product with fewer words as possible. It’s like taking down two or more targets with just one shot—one tagline says it all. USP is now more than just a marketing term. It is now being employed on all types of media design, branding, advertising (and on all mediums such as newspaper, radio, TV, etc).
Creating a tagline for products is just a small aspect of having unique selling points. USP could also mean changing the design of the company logo—even the company logo itself is a unique selling point. There are many more aspects to having USP such as choosing the right color for a certain product or the creation of the right packaging. Unique selling proposition is all about visual and intellectual stimulation and being able to convey the message with just a single photograph or a single sentence (oftentimes, even mere logos work—it worked for McDonald’s with their golden arch and Nike with their swoosh sign).
Promotions could also be good ways to encourage more consumers to buy a certain product or even to prefer to buy a product above another one. Another method is to make more choices available to your clients. Which would make us conclude that unique selling points are almost synonymous with marketing strategies (in fact, it’s a small portion the marketing strategy itself).
The latest trend on USPs is: for very expensive commodities such as automobiles—they have to have longer accounts on the features and benefits; while daily goods can do away with mere taglines. Unique selling points could also be highlighted with values. It is not just about being distinctive anymore but also by conveying to the consumers the value of trustworthiness. A good business provides not only the goods but also satisfaction and dependability.
For instance, a pizza joint that states: ‘The Best Pizza in Town’ could be easily overpowered by another which has the tagline ‘We Deliver Your Pizza in 30 Minutes or It’s Free’. The first tagline simply states that they can provide you with a good, palatable pizza but the second one guarantees more than that. The game is now all about quality and dependability since the consumers are now well-educated.
Nowadays, USPs are everywhere. They’re on print ads such as newspapers and magazines; even on TV, radio, billboards, and on the Internet. It is so far-reaching that it’s no longer possible not to be touched by their power; they are the very essence of marketing campaigns.
Ultimately, it’s about answering your prospective buyer’s (often non-verbalised) question:
“What’s the reason(s) I should buy/get/use/accept this [item/service] from you rather than someone else?”
For more unique information about USPs, check out what Brett McFall has to say as part of http://www.worldinternetcourse.com