Famous and Unique Selling Propositions – USP

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a unique selling point or slogan that differentiates a product or service from its competitors. A USP may include words such as the "lowest cost," "the highest quality," or "the first-ever," which indicates to customers what your product or service has that your competitors do not. 

Using a USP is a great marketing tool to help position and sell your product. Some marketing experts go even further and believe that unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you can't target your sales efforts effectively.

A strong USP provides a solid foundation for differentiating your product and giving you a leg up on the competition. These famous USPs have worked well to promote products and services successfully. 

01
Avis

Avis USP is "We're number two. We try harder"
George Rose / Getty Images

We're number two. We try harder.

This USP does a fantastic job of turning a drawback into a benefit. For a long time, Avis was the second-largest car rental company, after Hertz. In fact, Avis was struggling just to stay afloat.

As part of a total image makeover, Avis hired the famous ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach to come up with a new ad campaign. The campaign was so successful, Avis' market share went from 11% to 35% in just four years.

02
FedEx Corporation

FedEx Corporations When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight."
Robert Alexander / Archive Photos / Getty Images

When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

FedEx no longer uses this slogan, but while it was in effect, it was a perfect example of a compelling slogan. In very few words, FedEx was able to convey the message that it guarantees that it will deliver your package on time. FedEx replaced it with the slogan “The World on Time,” which is vague and doesn't contain a USP.

03
Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated Melts in your mouth, not in your hand."
George Rose / Getty Images

The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

The slogan for M&M's is an example of how even a rather off-beat USP can be catchy and compelling. Who would think of making a selling point out of the fact that a product doesn't melt if you hold it? Mars did, and it worked very well for them.

04
De Beers

De Beers' USP is "A diamond is forever."
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho / WireImage / Getty Images

A diamond is forever.

There's a reason this slogan has been around since 1948 and is still in use today. The slogan points out that a diamond, which is virtually unbreakable, will last forever and, therefore, symbolizes undying and everlasting love. As a result, diamonds became the almost inevitable choice for engagement rings.

It's no surprise that "Advertising Age" magazine named this slogan the best advertising slogan of the 20th century. Ironically, diamonds aren't even all that rare. However, the groups that control the majority of the world's diamond mines have been careful to only allow small batches of new stones to be mined, creating an artificial shortage. 

05
Domino's Pizza

Dominos Pizza's USP is "You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it's free."
Francis Dean / Getty Images

You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it's free.

While a bit long and wordy, this is an excellent USP because it's completely transparent and to the point. The terms are so clear that the customer knows they can hold the company to its promise. Sadly, Domino's no longer offers this deal because it resulted in a number of car accidents caused by delivery drivers trying to beat their 30-minute limit. This slogan is an excellent example of why it's a bad idea to overpromise and underdeliver

06
Geico

Geico's USP is " 15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance."
 Jared C. Tilton / Stringer / Getty Images

 15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance

This catchy slogan lets customers know that they can save money on car insurance without having to spend a lot of time negotiating for a lower rate or shopping around for a better deal. Plus, the company has an appealing icon—a speedy gecko—which is easy to remember, as it sounds like Geico and represents fast service.