If you’re interested in business and marketing, then there’ll be a time you’ll learn about your desire for a great product offer. The Product Offer also knowns as Sales Proposition defines how a product or service is described and promoted to the customer. The product offer is generally presented in varying levels of details and depth depending on the situation.
As an opening or initial proposition, you’ll use such words to attract attention and interest in verbal and written introductions to prospects. So it has to be concise and quick.
Now, Let Me Identify and Compare The Three Core Approaches You Can Use To Develop & Propose Your Product Offer:
- FABs (Features-Advantages- Benefits) Model
- USPs (Unique Selling Point or Unique Selling Proposition) Model
- UPBs (Unique Perceived Benefits) Model
APPROACH 1: FABs (Features-Advantages-Benefits) Model
The FAB model helps you to identify the reason why the customers buy your product or service then enables you to spot out the features, advantages and benefits inorder for you sell such product or service. (Referencing: Dynamic Business Plan)
Normally, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact ways in which your prospects will benefit from buying your service or product. So, you’ll always find it easier to tell them about all the features of that product. Features like the size, weight, color, horsepower etc.
Unfortunately, prospects seem much more interested about the advantages of using your product or how they may benefit from buying your service. With FAB model, you can be able to listen to your customers, then relate the advantages and benefits of your product or service to their interests.
What Elements Make Up The FAB Model?
The FAB model helps you focus on your customers as you’ll look at your product or service via three angles:
- Features (F): Facts about the product/product label
- Advantages (A): What Advantages Does Your Product or Service Offer To Your Customers?
- Benefits (B): What Potential Benefits Will Your Customers Gain From Your Product or Service?
By asking questions to your customers, you can find out which advantages and which benefits are important for each individual customer. Once you’re aware of these, you focus your marketing explaining that your product deliver the advantages and benefits that the customers are looking for.
But the question in FAB Model is always this:
“What are the advantages and how do customers benefit from your product or service?”
Let’s look at an example of where you’re selling a WASHING MACHINE, I’ll relate your Features, Advantages and Benefits as Follows:
FEATURES: Your Washing Machine is 180 high by 120cm wide, white in color, it can wash upto 10kg clothes with spin speed of 1600RPMF
ADVANTAGES: It’s a standard sized washing machine that fits in your bathroom with a color matching perfectly with the interior of your bathroom and it’s high spin speed of 1600RPMF will absolutely dry your cloth within a short time.
BENEFITS: Installing this wash machine frees your housewife more time to carry out other house activities and allows your housemaid to use the time for washing clothes manually to do other useful things for the family.
To Me, FAB Model Has Its Limitation and This is Why I think USP Model Seems Preferable To It:
FAB Model only focuses on the features, advantages and benefits of a product without allowing you to relate your product to those of your competitors, talk more of identifying your product’s point of difference.
Using FAB, you’re focusing on just your product without emphasizing on whether or not such benefits make you unique or stand out against your competitors. Unique Selling Proposition Model to me is preferable to FAB because a lot of products are similar to yours and instead of highlighting your benefits, USB model helps you make your customer understand the advantageous point of difference which your product or service proposes that deems it more desirable compared to those of your competitors.
APPROACH 2: USPs (Unique Selling Point OR Unique Selling Proposition) Model
The strongest benefit for a given target sector is often represented by the term “USP” meaning Unique Selling Point or Proposal. Real or perceived uniqueness is obviously very important because it generally causes a prospect to buy from you as opposed to your competitors.
To define unique selling point in a simple way, I can say that:
“USB simply means what makes your business or product or service stand out over those of your competitors”.
It indicates what your business or product or service stands for and what you think make you stand out over your competitor. Instead being known for generality or jack of all trades, a business which utilizes unique selling proposition stands for a specific something and may eventually be known for that.
Most businesses tend to be Jack of all trades standing for everything and they want to be reputed for doing all things for everyone. They want to have the best quality product at the lowest prices, they want to sell the sweetest beverages and the most delicious burgers, all at lowest pricing.
The problem is that:
“When you’re attempting to be known for everything, you’ll eventually not become known for anything”.
Take for instance:
You’re in need of a great fashion designer to sew a cloth you’ll like to wear to an important occasion. And you came across these 2 different design companies.
Company A: which is general-based design company into interior designing, outdoor decoration, event management, shoe making, bead making and fashion designing.
Company B: which offers only clothing and fashion design services without any other activities.
Now looking at your choice ofcourse, you’ll possibly think of company A to be a design agency that recruits all ranges of designers to work on their behalf or for them and then company B, as a company with a team of talented people passionate and specialist in fashion designing. If you’re to make your choice, you’ll definitely go for the company specifically known for the solution you desire.
That not-withstanding, some general-based companies succeed. So I am not trying to infer that generally based companies don’t succeed because there are always large companies that have been known for several services and these kinds of companies tend to have several structured departments filled up with many employees that can deliver all the needed values appropriately.
But as a smaller business which desires to steal some market share from these large competitors, there’s a better need to stand out for something and eventually becoming known for that thing rather than trying to do everything at once. Remember, if you want to have a unique selling point, your business needs to stand out for something because that’s what you’ll be known for. And it’s not possible to stand out for everything.
A typical example of where a unique selling point was perfectly utilized to win the attention of large percentage of audience in Nigeria is the Recent Launch of a New Water Product Range Branded as “H2Oh” By Seven Up Company Here in Nigeria.
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE LAUNCH OF H2Oh AS I BREAK THE STORY DOWN BELOW:
Even With Its Unique Selling Point, Which They Stated as follows:
H2oh! is a sparkling flavoured water, packed with a refreshing taste that gives you a zest for life.
Would you believe that like it’s now over 6-7 months after it’s launch, over 65% Of people here in Nigeria don’t know that “H2Oh! is mere WATER”, I mean “ORDINARY WATER”. Just Table Water Like Popular ” Eva” Water.
Nothing is really special about this H2Oh except “BRANDING”. This new water product that suddenly grabbed the attention of audiences via their short video adverts illustrates a typical example of where branding was appropriately illustrated by a great but actually funny set of Smart marketing team.
What deemed H2Oh branding and adverts into successfully grabbing attention is what I attribute to 4 factors.
H2Oh was able to win the market by appropriately utilizing 4 great factors which actually work hand in hand together to make it “Stand Out”.
Highlighting the 4 factors:
“.. Water’s Gonna Be Jealous”
This tagline though actually funny, grabs the attention of audience. Like; who get the mind to tell us that the most important liquid in planet earth is going to be jealous of “WHAT”. That’s why I said is funny because nothing can actually compete with water, and the funniest part of this selling point is that what claims to be challenging the almighty water is actually water itself.
2. THE BRAND AMBASSADORS
H2Oh used the Currently Reigning High Profiled Celebrities To Tell Its Brand Story and Made Foolishly Acted To Make Us Understand That ” Water is gonna actually be jealous of it”. This is what I call “Illustrating Foolishness & Turning Smart With It”. It used the reigning ” Ebuka Obi-Uchendu” the popular fashionista who currently hosts our Trending Big Brother Naija Yearly and “Adesua Etomi”, a beautiful award winning actress who’s currently the wife of a popular musician, ” Banky W”.
Imagine if this video advert was to be a movie, you know. I was actually curious to know what Ebuka and Adesua was up to as soon as I saw there faces on the video thumbnail.
Hope you’ve watched the video advert? Watch the video below and you’ll understand very well these facts I state now.
3. THE PACKAGING + UNIQUE SELLING POINT/PROPOSITION:
There are two contributors to the packaging of this products and that actually make over 65% of people here to think “H2Oh is another Juicy Drink”. My dear, it’s just packaged to make us feel that way and eventually to make water jealous. And its packaging that differentiates its two ranges of products:
If you look at it well, you’ll see the first contributing factor to its package is the ” Appearance “. Of course, the container coupled with the green colorful graphics of its label is very eye-catching. The day my little sister wanted to tell me about H2Oh, she said:
” Sister, Have You Seen That Billboard of a Beautiful Actress Holding a Lemon Juice ?”.
The Second Contributing Factor To Its Packaging is its ” Flavors “. Anytime they talk about it as a lemon and lime flavoured or tangerine flavored water, someone might think it’s one of these citrus drink.
H2oh! is a sparkling flavoured water, packed with a refreshing taste that gives you a zest for life.
It’s just flavor, I mean scent. Of course you know that is an exciting selling point because you must’ve encountered atleast one pure water or table water that has an annoying odour that won’t even allow you to drink it. But H2Oh claims to add scent to their packaging and still that doesn’t make it different from ordinary water.
4. THE BRAND OWNER:
Finally the company that owns this product ” H2Oh “. Just the same way ” Eva water is owned by “Coca Cola” Company. H2Oh is owned by 7Up Company. This company is already a challenger, a luxury company with a great percentage of market share. Also they already built good loyalty based products with performing brand.
Imagine if it were to be a new player that entered the market claiming that water is gonna be jealous? How many people will agree to try the product? Or check out its advert.
Seeing 7Up Logo as a The Owner of The Brand Is a Huge Advantage.
APPROACH 3: UPBs (Unique Perceived Benefits) Model
The weakness in USPs leads to the UPBs Model Meaning Unique Perceived Benefits.
A UPB is essentially a customer oriented product offer. The problem with USPs and FABs is that they are largely formulated from the seller’s perspective, the products features after all. So instead of looking at the product from your own view point, you look at the need from your customer’s viewpoint. You can build up a UPB-based product offer that fits your prospect’s situation and motives much better than any list of arbitrary FABs and USPs.
First it comes down to knowing your target market segment or your target prospect type, extremely well. This implies that you should first decide which sectors or segments to target, and it also shows why the planning and preparation stage of your sales/marketing process is far more influential and significant than it ever used to.
Each targeted segment or prospect has its own particular needs and constraints, these combine to create the prospect’s or target sector’s very specific buying motive. So if you can identyify and then formulate a unique perceived benefit to meet or match a known or researched sector’s specific buying motive, you can create a very well fitting and recognizable product offer.
FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s assume your business offers “WEB TV”.
A likely attractive target sector for you would be families with limited space and little technical confidence. With children at school learning how to use computers, their parents (the decision-makers) would likely be interested in improving their children’s access to internet services at home, given no requirement for extra space and in a way that didn’t put pressure on their limited technical know-how at the time of installation and for ongoing support. If the package enabled the parents to upgrade their TV as well for not more than the cost of a conventional TV, then you are certainly likely to get their attention and interest, hence you’re too short away from creating some desires.
The UPB for this particular prospect might look something like:
You can now give your children important education access to the internet at home even if you know nothing about computer or don’t even have room for one.
The product offer above is described so that the prospect identifies with it and can immediately match it to its situation. Your web TV’s relevant benefits i.e. the customer saves space and don’t want to spend time understanding the technicalities – has been translated to match exactly why you believe that he/she might be motivated to consider buying it.
It’s now clear to see the difference now between a basic technical feature ( a TV with internet connectivity and a remote qwerty keypad) and an unique perceived benefit (your children will be better educated).
The feature does nothing to attract the buyer, the UPB does a lot.
There’s another reason to use tailored perceived benefits, rather than focusing on FABs and USPs: It’s easy for prospect to compare and put a price on what a product is (FABs or USPs), but it’s very difficult to value a real UPB. This means that you are far less prone to competitors’ threat if you sell USPs.
Developing a strong meaningful unique perceived benefit is not easy- it requires good insight and understanding of the prospect or sectors to be approached and a lot of thoughts, trials and errors to arrive at something that works well.
Remember that it’s important to adapt the product offer (UPB or Sales Proposition) according to its use in the selling process. For example:
- When cold calling, the proposition is generally broad, concise and more strategic in nature and amounts to “not more than a long sentence”.
- In brochures and enquiry follow-up letters, the product offer or proposition is more detailed, perhaps running to a few sentences or bullet points.
- In formal proposals and detailed presentations, the proposition can often extend to several paragraph