Concept of Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Concept Of Unique Selling Proposition (USP) And Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
A company must decide how many ideas (benefits, features etc.) to convey in its positioning to its target customers. Many marketers advocate promoting only one central benefit. Rosser Reeves believes a company should develop a unique selling proposition (USP) for each brand and stick to it. Ries and Trout favor one consistent positioning message. The brand should tout itself as “number one” on the benefit it selects. Number one positioning includes ‘best quality’, ‘best performance’, ‘best service’, ‘lowest price’, ‘safest’, ‘fastest’ etc.
It may so happen that single benefit positioning is known as unique selling proposition USP may not be able to overpower competition, in which case a company should try to offer a unique combination of multiple benefit positioning known as Unique Value Proposition (UVP) in order to be successful. For example, an automobile can be positioned as a most fuel efficient, cheapest in its category, and providing best service.
A brand is a perceptual entity and exists in the perceptual world of customers. In their attempts to create a brand’s position, strategists must guard against some positioning errors as suggested by Philip Kotler (‘Marketing Management’, The Millennium Edition, Prentice-Hall of India).
Under positioning: Under-positioning is said to occur when your customers cannot identify anything special about your brand. Such perceived lack of differentiation is often the result when the differentiators chosen for positioning are not valued enough by the customer or are not forcefully communicated to the customer.
Consumers are bombarded with information about products or services from all imaginable media. Re-evaluating products or services every time they make a buying decision is impossible. To simplify their buying process, consumers organize products or services into categories, that is, they “position” the products, services, and organizations in their minds. A brand’s “position” is the complex set of perceptions, impressions, and feelings that the consumer associates with the brand compared with competing brands. These aspects may cover physical attributes of the brand, or lifestyle association, or use occasion, or the user’s image, etc. Supposedly, if every consumer were to have a mental map of the product category, the location of a particular brand in that map, relative to that of a competitor, is the position of the brand under consideration.
Solving the positioning problems enables the company to solve the marketing-mix problem. Seizing the ‘high-quality positioning’ requires the firm to produce a high-quality product, charge a high price, distribute to high-class dealers, and advertise in high-quality magazines.
A company can also choose a unique brand positioning from several positioning in Unique selling Proposition possibilities such as:
Product category positioning
Quality or price positioning
After a company has identified a number of alternative positioning platforms: technology, cost, quality and service, the company has to compare its standing on each positioning platform against its major competitors and then choose those platforms where it will be able to improve substantially better than the competitors. So, a technical service provider company can improve its service and position itself as ‘technical service leader’ rather than a ‘technology leader’.
The company should communicate the brand’s positioning through a positioning statement. Once the company has developed the clear positioning statement, it must communicate that positioning through all the elements of the marketing mix.
Quality is also communicated through other marketing elements; e.g., a high price usually signals a premium quality product.
A manufacturer’s reputation also contributes to the perception of quality. As important as positioning to a company’s success, most ads fail to communicate the company or the brand positioning.