Man standing out from the crowd. USP, Unique selling point, Business strategy, Marketing strategy, Digital marketing

So, what is your USP?

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing

Almost every parent thinks that their child is the best, the most polite, the smartest…

Almost every manager thinks their brand is the best…

How objective are we in these estimates?

Sometimes, when I talk to new clients, I spend more time explaining that they don’t have a USP (unique selling point) that is good enough , than I spend developing a strategy.

Of all the questions in the brief, clients find it the hardest to answer this question objectively – why would I buy your product and not the product from your competitors?

The most common answers are: “we’re professional, our product is excellent, we care for our customers, we have a tradition…” As you can see, there’s a nice palette of cliche answers that you will also hear from their competition…

In a sea of similar brands, especially if the budgets are not spectacular, it’s very difficult to communicate another brand to a potential customer when the service and the benefits are the same as others.


Many marketing experts agree that the best marketing message of the 20th century was De Beers’ “A Diamond is Forever.”

1948: De Beers 'A diamond is forever' campaign. Marketing, Marketing agency, USP


This combination of a rational message (diamond quality) and an emotional message (love and diamonds are eternal) was so effective that the share of diamonds in the engagement rings increased from 10% to 80% over the next decades. Before that, engagement rings were mostly made of cheaper gemstones (rubies, sapphires…).

But that’s not all…

In order to set a price that is acceptable to everyone, optimized for profit and emotional, all at the same time, De Beers has created, in my personal opinion, perhaps the best marketing message of all time using a method called “framing”.

Framing is a concept in which a message is formulated in a particular way to influence how an individual or a group perceives a particular reality. In this case – the optimal price of the engagement ring.

Ask yourself how much you are willing to pay for an engagement ring? Can you even determine the value?

What if the ring you’re buying looks cheap in the eyes of your partner? Are you, in that way,  sending a message how much you really care about the relationship?

De Beers decided to answer those questions with the following message:

“2 months’ salary showed the future Mrs. Smith what the future will be like”

1982 De Beers Diamond Rings-Engagement, Wedding Mrs Smith Original Magazine Ad. Marketing, Consumer psychology , Advertising


Why is this message so good?

It gives the prospective buyer a very clear formula of what is considered to be an appropriate price for an engagement ring – 2 monthly salaries.

It also leaves room for the price of the engagement ring to be flexible – Brad Pitt has a far higher monthly salary than me, so it makes sense that the engagement ring he’s giving is far more expensive than the one I’m giving.

The example of De Beers’ marketing campaign clearly shows what it means to create the right USP.

Now that the business world has mainly stopped working, maybe it’s the right time to rethink about your USP.