The Perils of Selling Price


For all the obvious reasons, we hope not.

A far more compelling argument for buying your product is its “unique selling proposition.” The “USP” is sometimes misunderstood. Although ideally your product possesses an essential feature that is truly unique, chances are it does not. The next best thing is for the customer to think it does.

This customer perception is created by advertising aggressively an important product feature(s). By doing so (in the absence of competitors’ claims) you establish ownership of these important features. The competitor is placed in a weak, “me too” position when he trys to overcome your advantage. The message here is that the first advertiser to describe his features or processes can be perceived as a leader and producer of a superior product. The customer thinks of this product less as a commodity and more as a better choice.

A case study regarding this that we like to relate involves Schlitz beer. Despite the fact that all beer at the time was made essentially the same way, Schlitz described their brewing process in great detail. They were perceived as unique and their sales went from 15th place to 1st place in six months. It’s an old story but it’s true! As the beer was just re-launched nationally, we’ll see how they position it.

Speaking of where your company/products stand in the eyes of your customers, and how that perception compares to how they feel about your competitors …


Now that the economy is on the fence, you may be facing different marketing challenges. Many companies in order to survive deviated from their ideal strategies.

With the economy hurting, it could be time to get back on track by asking these three questions:

1. Has your competitive situation changed?

Don’t formulate a marketing plan without first determining who’s survived, who’s disappeared, and who has emerged as a new major player and what you think the next six months hold in regard to these questions.

2. Is your key customer group unchanged?

When leads were hard to come by, some companies tried to be everything to everyone to win business. Customers acquired under these circumstances may not be the most profitable. While evaluating your customer base for potential profitability you will also learn who buys your products and who influences purchases.

3. Is your positioning still on target?

Check this by creating 25, 50, and 100 word statements that best describe who you are, the benefits you provide, and to whom you provide them.

Grant A. Johnson

Johnson Direct LLC