If you have been working in the marketing field for any length of time, no doubt your work so far has been focused on the 'unique selling point' (USP) of whatever product or service you have been tasked with promoting.

However, has it become time to question this method? With the rise in customer-centric marketing, should marketers now be focusing on Owned Emotional Selling Points (OESPs) instead?

OESPs can be looked at as being better than USPs because they always focus on putting the customer first rather than the product or service you are marketing.


What are OESPs?

Owned emotional selling points can better help brand names to communicate with and align with their customer's emotions. They can touch on a pain-point that the target customer has and connect with them through this.

By connecting with the emotions of your target audience you can sell them products and services in a more natural way that offers them a genuine solution for what ails them or fulfils a need they have.

Rather than set out a marketing plan with the product at the forefront of your mind, it can work better to shift your focus towards the end customer to make your brand stand out in a hyper-competitive and very emotionally driven marketplace. This is why you should position OESPs at the top of your marketing plan.


Why USPs may not be the answer

1940's TV advertising pioneer, Rosser Reeves, was the guy responsible for creating the term USP. He believed that every product needed to have a USP and his methods were so effective that lots of consumers were convinced enough to switch brands.

Reeves is probably most recognised for coming up with M&M’s “It melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” However, when you think about it, doesn't all chocolate do that?

Unique Selling Points (USPs) are unique benefits that make a product different from another. The difference should be significant enough to influence the buyer to purchase your product over your competitor's product.

However, USPs don't really exist, except in our minds, and after decades of relentless in-your-face advertising, consumers started to wise up. These days if you try to use old-fashioned marketing methods you end up turning your target audience off.


Trade-in your USP for your OESP

People tend to forget what you say or do, but they will never forget how you make them feel. By creating and establishing a strong emotional link with your target customers for your brand through your OESPs, they will remember how your brand makes them feel, and it is feelings that leave the strongest brand impressions.

You can call it customer empathy or customer-centricity, but creating an emotional link with your customers should be the most important element of your marketing approach.

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash