Lisa Fahoury

Article Summary:

A "problem-based USP," this bold approach can transform a perceived disadvantage into your strongest marketing tool.

Problem-Based USP's (Unique Selling Proposition)

Struggling to create a memorable positioning statement for your company or product? Don't rule out using a weak point as the foundation. Crazy? Maybe not. Called a "problem-based USP," this bold approach can transform a perceived disadvantage into your strongest marketing tool.

The best-known use of a problem-based USP has to be Avis, the car rental company which ran a distant second behind Hertz until they coined the tagline, "We're Number Two. We Try Harder." Hebrew National is quite possibly the first and only company to use religious dietary restrictions as a USP, in "We answer to a higher authority."

L'Oreal's Preference hair color is priced considerably higher than the rest of the drugstore competition. But know what? "I'm worth it." And don't forget KFC, whose buckets of fried chicken were suddenly not greasy, but rather "finger-lickin' good!"

If you're struggling to stand out, don't settle for boring platitudes that do zilch to break you out of the pack. Finding a true point of difference is tough, and not for the fainthearted. But, ask a customer and they'll quickly put their finger on your Achilles' heel. Obviously, you're not aiming for "Slow and proud of it," but something more akin to "We will sell no wine before its time."

Best of all, your new USP is forever safe from the competition. Because who'd ever dare to compete on your weakness?





Copywriter Lisa Fahoury, a Certified Business Communicator and principal at West Orange, NJ-based Fahoury Ink, is the editor of "Creative Compost: Where Great Marketing Ideas Grow", a quarterly newsletter focusing on offbeat marketing and sales promotion strategies. She is also the creator of the "Think Like a Fish" seminar series on creative thinking. Fahoury can be reached at 973-324-2100 or at www.fahouryink.com

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