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What is the Unique Selling Point?

The Unique Selling Point or the Unique Selling Proposition (both abbreviated as USP) is a unique selling proposition. Alternatively, the German term Alleinstellungsmerkmal is often used. The point here is to differentiate a product or service from the competition by highlighting the USP in advertising and sales

  • Plays a very important role in marketing
  • Differentiation from competing offers is made clear
  • Is communicated in advertising messages to induce customers to buy
  • Necessary because of interchangeability of products and market saturation

Why the Unique Selling Point is necessary

In times of highly homogeneous market environments, increasingly fierce competition and strong market saturation, the Unique Selling Point is becoming increasingly important. If often interchangeable products or services are to be successfully positioned and sold today, from the customers point of view at least one unique selling point is required, which can be physical, social, monetary, local, psychological, temporal or other. Combinations of unique selling points can also occur. The sales object must stand out and be appealing, i.e. it must please potential customers by its unique sales promise. The consumers should be convinced to buy the product by communicating the USP. The successful highlighting of the Unique Selling Point – a term that goes back to the American expert and marketing strategist Reeves (1940) – is therefore an essential prerequisite for success on the market. In addition to pure marketing, the principle of the Unique Selling Point is now also encountered in a number of other areas such as art or politics. This central benefit promise is an important basis for every advertising campaign. Today, companies can no longer do without the application of USPs, as the enormous abundance of identical or similar products and services literally forces them to do so. USPs must be defined as strongly as possible and placed at the centre of the advertising message. If it is not clear to potential customers why they should choose this particular product, even the greatest marketing effort would be useless. Either one is really without competition (which hardly ever happens anymore) or one just stands out from the competition by means of USPs, other possibilities for a successful sale do not exist

Requirements for Unique Selling Points

Various requirements are made of the USP. First of all, the communicated unique selling proposition must be geared to the corresponding target group. Economic efficiency also plays a certain role, as the product should not incur high costs. The quality must be right if a higher price is demanded. In the case of discounters, low prices can be seen as unique selling points. Particularly interesting is the aspect of special features with which customers are to be won over. For example, a unique design can become a unique selling point and trigger the decisive buying impulse. Special features of the products can be unique selling points just as well as special materials or technical innovations. The USP can also lie in the pure product benefit, for example, a device can have particularly low consumption values or work particularly precisely and quickly. In the case of product-related services, the USP can be intensive consulting services, a very short delivery time or very qualified support services. The uniqueness will often also lie in the mere image of the brand. So it is not always necessary to offer an additional real customer benefit. Finally, it is crucial that consumers are made aware of the USPs or the special features. However, there is always a problem with potential imitators, so that there is often a permanent race. A good USP strategy is absolutely essential to ensure that advertisers can achieve long-term success. The effectiveness of Unique Selling Points has been constantly proven by market surveys and product tests.

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