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Creating Product Recognition--unique Selling Proposition

By Author: Arsenalo
Total Articles: 116

Rosser Reeves, one of the pioneers of advertising, coined the phrase "unique selling proposition." The unique selling proposition is a claim that differentiates one ad from another. In an era when advertising floods the environment, the unique selling proposition is even more important than it was when there were fewer products of the same kind and less advertising.

Crest toothpaste, for example, contains fluoride. When it was introduced, Crest was distinguished from other toothpastes by the claim, certified by a major dental association, that it would reduce the number of new cavities. Once the other products were able to make the claim that they, too, could Links Of London Jewelry reduce the number of new cavities, Crest lost its unique selling proposition. Other competitors then entered the market claiming that they whitened teeth; some claimed to freshen breath. Once the unique selling propositions of a product such as toothpaste are well known and accepted, a competitor can combine the unique selling propositions of all the others. Thus, toothpaste was marketed that promised fluoride and fresher breath: Double Protection AquaFresh.

It is also possible to adopt and extend a competitor's claim. A long-distance phone company, for example, urges you to use the phone to keep in touch. An airline extends the claim, arguing that flying there is the best way to keep in touch--an assertion that assumes you have granted the proposition that keeping in touch is a good thing.

A competitor can counter a unique selling proposition by co-opting it, as AquaFresh did in co-opting the claims of its rivals. Alternatively, it can undercut the selling proposition by granting that the product is unique but implying that that uniqueness is a disadvantage. Dove soap claimed as its unique advantage that it consists of one-quarter cleansing cream. A competitor responded by claiming that its product didn't contain any greasy cream. The unique selling proposition had been recontextualized by a competitor, and in the new context, containing cream was a negative, rather than a positive, attribute of the product.

The package may be the product's major selling point. When a deodorant is advertised as "a convenient roll-on," when a frozen dinner is advertised as offering "oven-to-table service," it is the package, not the product being packaged, that we are being sold. Once a mode of packaging has been widely adopted, it loses its utility as a unique selling point for any single product. We now take for Links Of London Bracelets granted, for example, that rolls of waxed paper, foil, or plastic wrap will come in a box with a serrated edge so we can cleanly cut off the amount needed. By contrast, the use of plastic containers for products once bottled in glass is sufficiently new that the "unbreakable" or "squeezable" bottle is still advertised.

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