What Sets Your Company/Product Apart from Your Competitors?
In this post, I will give you some hints for sticking out positively from the crowd. Customers choose what is noticeable, so being distinguishable and looking unique is critical for your business success.
There is a term used by marketers and salespeople which is sort of self-explanatory: unique selling proposition or USP for short.
USP is “the one feature or the perceived benefit of a good which makes it unique from the rest of the competing brands in the market. It is that very reason which motivates a buyer to purchase that product even though it might be costlier than other products.”
Simply put, UPS will make your product more appealing, attractive, and sexy than any other in its category.
How can you achieve that, you will ask?
How can you find something that you are totally crazy about as a manufacturer or inventor and that will be an absolute gamechanger for the buyers out there?
Here come a few tips and hints.
- Original concept. If you turn an everyday object into sought-after merchandise or, even better, if you create something that prospects have never heard of before but would die to have, then you are doing a good job as a product developer.
My favorite example is Tamagotchi. Something that did not exist until it was invented by Aki Maita in 1996. Tamagotchi is a keychain-sized virtual pet simulation game. The characters are colorful creatures with simple designs based on animals, objects, or people. Aki Maita must be a genius: she knew that people around the globe will love a handheld digital pet. It quickly became one of the biggest toy fads of the late 1990s and the early 2000s. As of 2010, over 76 million Tamagotchis had been sold worldwide. Not surprisingly, in 1997 Aki Maita won the Ig Nobel Prize for economics. It is a satiric prize awarded annually since 1991 to celebrate ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research, its stated aim being to "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think." The name of the award is a pun on the Nobel Prize, which it parodies, and on the word ignoble, i.e. not noble.
By the way, I think that the Ig Nobel Prize concept grasps the type of mindset you should have when developing your new line of products! No kidding! …and the Ig Nobel Prize is a USP, too.
- Stunning packaging. We all know people who are beyond themselves when they get something in a new, unusual, cool-looking packaging. One of my friends actually is more interested in the container and wrapping than the content and has a huge collection of them, reusing them for various purposes that you or I would never think of. There are entire product categories, especially among FMCG (= fast-moving consumer goods) where the same old product’s sales numbers will rocket high if it is offered in an innovative box or packet. Examples: perfumes.
Also, sometimes the packaging is the product. My fav example: the tiny can with the label “The Last Breath of Communism”, a little souvenir that is still on sale in some countries where the political system was socialist before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Of course, you should not open the can because the last breath of communism will vanish…
- A revolutionarily new look and feel of something. You can find zillions of examples of things that have been in use for ages, yet human nature (or the child in us) will make it irresistible if we see the same thing feeling or looking differently. Even though we have one or more of the old one, we will have the strong desire to own (and use) the new one because we all think of ourselves as great supporters of novelties and innovation.
Please note that while these examples may seem comic to you, a USP is a must and is no joke. If you want to share with us your examples, please do so in your comment.