Does your packaging design have a stand out Unique Selling Proposition? Savvy packaging designers know that USP’s are not the sole domain of the brand. Products themselves should stand on their own with their own recognizable, distinctive attributes and USP.

Marketing 101: USP

One of the foundational teachings we learn in any marketing school is the value and importance of having a USP – Unique Selling Proposition. It is the “unique something” which sets a business apart from all other.

Whilst the majority of marketers get the USP concept, in many cases however actually coming up with a unique and compelling USP is not necessarily easy, which is why it is often neglected or out-sourced. When it comes to products and their packaging, the concept of USP creation equally applies. Products require their own “stand-out” USP to differentiate them on shelf. Author of “How to make money out of thin air”, marketing guru, Brian Sher teaches, “Branding is about trying to get your customer to choose you over your competition; USP is about getting your prospect to see you as the only solution to their problem.”

The USP that grew Google.

In the September 3, 2015 edition of The New Yorker online magazine, Sarah Larson wrote an article entitled, “Why You Hate Google’s New Logo”. In the article the author went on to detail how when Google first appeared, in the late nineties, it distinguished itself with a combination of both intelligence and friendliness.

Larson explains how “other search-engine sites were as cluttered and garbagey visually as they were inefficient functionally, simultaneously trying to sell and inform and bamboozle. AOL, with its goofy mailbox, bulky structure, and overpriced handholding service for the terrified, was obviously up to no good. Others—Yahoo!, HotBot, Netscape, Ask Jeeves, and so on—seemed well intentioned but were harder to parse. Google’s design, in comparison, was a revelation. It had true confidence. It didn’t need to pretend to be the post office or a butler. The white glow of a clean, bare screen, the brightly coloured, old-fashioned letters, the name that came from math and whimsy—it was all very promising, and its brilliance spoke for itself.”

The Nielsen research which explains the value of a USP on shelf.

In 2013 Nielsen conducted a global survey of “Loyalty Sentiment”, the results of which were published in a report entitled “How Loyal Are Your Customers?” A key finding was that, as consumers, we are more likely to switch brands for those products that we buy most frequently. About the report, Chris Sgourakis from BrandAide wrote, “This is counter-intuitive, as one would have expected that for everyday staple products, we choose the “default”. Rather, across all of the 16 categories surveyed, the survey found that loyalty was lowest for foods and beverages, namely alcoholic beverages (43% likely to switch brands), snack foods (39% switch), carbonated beverages (38% switch) and cereals (37% switch). The switch rates for snack foods were even higher in Europe, which Nielsen attributes to high levels of discounting of such products.

PREMISE: If, as Nielsen suggests, there is little or no loyalty for those products that we buy most frequently, then marketers should consider distinguishing their products with unique, stand out packaging design or a compelling USP or both, rather than simply discounting to woo consumers.

Contact us at hello@jamandco to discover how we at Jam&Co can help you develop a USP for your products and have them stand out above the competition on shelf.