7 Unique Selling Propositions By Top Brands: How They Established Themselves Head & Shoulders Above Their Competition

Many new businesses start out making the most common newbie mistake there is: being everything to everyone. In other words, trying to be the best in all aspects of business – price, quality, service, etc… This, however, is a huge mistake as no one brand can be the best at everything.

As the saying goes, when you attempt to be known for everything, you don’t become known for anything

Instead, businesses should really focus on one unique aspect of their product or service, which they can then market to their target audience as their unique selling proposition during their advertising campaigns. .

7 Examples of USP By Big Brands Across The Globe

The following are 7 unique brands that used 7 different unique selling propositions to effectively prove why they were different from their competition. The brands mentioned below come from various industries, different parts of the world, and have both physical and online presences, proving that using a unique selling proposition in one’s branding and marketing can be done no matter what is being sold, where it is being sold, or how it is sold.

1 – Avis: We’re number two. We try harder. 

Who said that a brand has to be in first place to entice customers to switch to them? Avis masterfully proved otherwise with their marketing campaign that admitted that they were not in first place when it came to car rentals but because of that fact, they went the extra mile to serve their customers.

At the time Avis rolled out with their “Number 2” campaign they were struggling to stay in business as the number one car rental company at that time, Hertz, held a majority of the market share. What did Avis’s unique selling proposition do for the company? It brought them from an 11% market share to a whopping 35% market share! Talk about turning a drawback into a benefit. This shows customers value transparency and authenticity more than anything.

2 – M&Ms: The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

This brand has one of the most memorable selling propositions ever created even though it seems rather ridiculous to say that your product will not melt when touched – looks like a desperate measure to offer a benefit because there really are no real benefits to choosing it.

It worked though and customers really liked that fact that they could hold milk chocolate in their hands without getting them full of chocolate. Remember, nothing was said about taste, quantity, or price, just the fact that M&Ms offered a hard shell that kept the milk chocolate inside. It goes to show that a USP can be more about perceived customer value than an actual value itself.

3 – FedEx Corporation: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

Now, this unique selling proposition really stands out when it comes to a delivery service. Actually, this unique selling proposition delivered two unique selling propositions in one. Namely, overnight delivery and secure delivery.

While FedEx no longer uses this slogan or guarantees this promise, it was responsible for bolstering them from a small courier service delivering local packages in Tennessee to a global delivery giant whose customers turned to when they needed to get a package to someone and somewhere quickly and safely.

4 – Singapore Airlines: The lengths we go to.

With this simple proposition, Singapore Airlines garnered a 5-Star Airline Rating mainly for their onboard staff service. Their unique selling slogan came with two distinct commercials showcasing the airline’s excellent food, service, and in-flight entertainment options. Actually, their unique selling proposition is more than just an ad but the company’s actual mission, which is why it is so effective. They don’t just say it, they do it.

Why fly Singapore Airlines? Because they offer a better flight experience than other airlines do, especially when it comes to longer journeys where comfort and service are not a luxury but a requirement.

5 – Mast Brother’s Chocolate: We take pride in working with our hands.

This chocolate company has a brick and mortar shop in Brooklyn New York but much of its business comes from its online shop. Their unique selling point is that all their chocolates and products are made by the Mast Brothers (founders & owners) themselves. In fact, even the wrapping is designed by them. What is left is a personal touch that provides customers with quality craftsmanship reminiscent of the 18th century.

As the Mast Brothers put it, “We are from the 18th century, back when craftspeople were revered and took pride in working with their hands.” Much like Singapore Airlines, this company does not just talk the talk but walks the walk as the owners can often be found traveling to foreign places around the globe in a sailboat, to find the best cocoa for their handcrafted chocolate treats.

This goes to show that customers value customization. This is true for most industries whereby customization enhances the perceived value of a product or service.

6 – DeBeers: A diamond is forever.

Advertising Age magazine named this USP the best advertising slogan of the 20th century. Who can argue with their decision as it is impactful and to the point and has virtually cemented the diamond as the only option when it comes to engagement rings.

DeBeer’s famous slogan actually turned this precious stone into a symbol of true and eternal love and at the same time cemented themselves as the true and eternal supplier of this love. They have used this USP since 1948 and are sure to continue to do so because after all, diamonds are forever.

The success of this campaign lies in associating diamond with eternal love. Think about how you can associate your product with an emotion. Afterall, people buy based on emotions and justify with logic. If you can persuade your audience emotionally, you will stand out in the market.

7 – Domino’s Pizza: You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.

Domino’s may not have the best-tasting pizza around but they sure do have the fastest. Not catchy but straight to the point, the message is clear – we deliver pizza fast. While Domino’s Pizza no longer uses this slogan or offers this guarantee as it resulted in a number of accidents by drivers trying to make the 30-minute deadline, it worked like gangbusters when they did use it.

A successful USP does not always have to be creative, short, and catchy as Domino’s has shown as long as the benefit of the proposition is clear and concise. Domino’s “30 minutes or less” slogan gave no room for confusion and it was apparent to customers why they should choose Domino’s for their pizza delivery needs over any other brand – they either get their pizza on time or their pizza for free.




How to craft your USP

Unlike what most people think, a USP doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or revolutionary in order for your business to stand out.

When done the right way, a USP can be simple yet powerful. Watch this video as we share 5 ways in which you can come out with a USP to dominate your industry:



Each of the above brands uses a unique selling proposition to cement their position in their marketplace and stand out in a specific area over the rest of their competition. While they all were from different industries and sectors and sold different products and services, they all delivered on the promise they promoted. The most catchy slogan will never stand the test of time if it is not backed up by real-life results.

If you want to use a USP for your brand, one that offers something that no other brand does, be sure to deliver on it or the only thing your unique proposition will deliver is a bad reputation.



Ted Chong

Ted is the director of Ice Cube Marketing. His insights on marketing has been featured in AsiaOne Business, Singapore Business Review , e27 and TechinAsia. He graduated with a 1st class honors degree in Business IT from NTU. While not planning campaigns for clients, he enjoys a good read on books related to psychology.



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