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Reinventing the USP January 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — priyasurendran @ 5:57 pm

In 1960, Rosser Reeves, a highly successful American advertising executive, published one of the most popular book in advertising named ’Reality in Advertising’ .  In this book, he introduced and defined the concept called Unique Selling Propositions or USP for short. In ‘Differentiate or Die’, the author Jack Trout illustrates how the concept of Reeves’ USP has changed over the years from tangible differences between products to reinventing themselves every day by the corporates. From products, the focus of USP has shifted to creating new usage experiences as done by Gillette by reinventing shaving itself through their twin blade, shock absorbent razors.

Rural market offers even more potentials for USP generation. Till some years back the companies were carried away by the fact that pricing is the only unique selling proposition for the rural masses. Many companies initially made a whopping profit from the bottom of the pyramid by introducing scaled down low cost versions of the urban products. But with rising income levels and education, price no longer remains as a USP in rural India for the cos. Hence the MNCs are coming up with new products which give better benefits in the form of experience rather than price. For example, Hindustan Lever introduced “Brooke Bond Sehatmand” a tea with vitamins whose launch comes in the face of critical challenges that India faces, in eradicating micronutrient deficiency. Using a breakthrough coating technology, this new product of HUL guarantees vitamins in each cup that would help combat micro nutrient deficiency and in turn provide affordable option to better health for families.  At the same time compliance is also easy since they fit into daily lifestyles of communities in rural India.

Nokia who once became the biggest player in the rural mobile segment owing to its affordable mobiles no has started facing troubles due to the increased competition from the local players. Now the company has devised new strategies to improve their share by giving better customer support and not just low cost mobiles. This strategy has helped the mobile major to maintain dominance in the rural market in India and stay ahead of its competitors. All these examples cement the fact that even in rural market, the USP has shifted from pricing to usage experiences.