UEP is the new USP

Expert Tony Chapman shares five ways for marketers to win over consumers by building a "unique emotional proposition."

photo-1596436643132-6e58c3ae4cd4By Tony Chapman

The days of establishing and defending your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) are coming to an end. Categories are crowded and complex, and while brands believe slight nuances look significant on a competitive map, to the consumer, their differences can sometimes drift together in a sea of sameness that’s being pounded by a relentless storm of messages.

To stay afloat, brand custodians bail out buckets of promotions and price offers, but over time, they wash away brand equity. Consumers are incentivized to be promiscuous and trained to be treasure hunters, as the category goes from being valued to selling on value.

So how can you counter? You need to get to the heart of who matters: your customer. To do so requires an investment in your Unique Emotional Proposition (UEP).

Here are my five steps (which can be done in tandem with your existing marketing efforts) that will help you win consumers’ loyalty by winning over their hearts.

Segment your customer based on intent and motivation, not on demographics

Move away from segmenting based on demographics where you are obsessed with target audience age, income, gender, ethnicity, geography, and instead focus on intent and pursuit. Cluster people based on their unmet needs and how willing they are to fulfill them. We all want to get in shape, but not all act upon our desires.

Identify if there is a “yoda” role for your brand

Yoda didn’t defeat the evil empire, but he played an essential role in helping Luke Skywalker achieve his quest. Does your brand play a meaningful role in helping your cluster of customers get to where they need and deserve to go?

Stop telling your story, become a part of theirs

This step is so critical in shifting your mindset from telling the customer what they do to why they matter. No one cares if you have the fastest network, or if you are Canada’s favourite this or that.

Be a motivator of life, then a purveyor of goods

Invest in emotionally positioned messages that show empathy and understanding. Be a thought leader, curate relevant content, inspire and motivate. When customers are ready to buy, your brand will be top of mind as you have proven you have their best interest at heart.

Impress, not impressions

Stop counting media impressions. Most are annoying noise and pressure the consumer. Instead, impress the consumer with your higher purpose.

Do you need to invest in your brands’ UEP? Take a hard look at your brand and category and how it has performed over the past five years. If you are selling more volume through deals, promotion and pricing, you’re eroding your equity and your emotional connection to your consumer.

When you shift some of your dollars from marketing your USP to your UEP, you also shift your approach from transactional to transformative, and from mass to ‘my.’

April_CTMPodcast_CTM_1400x1400 (1)Tony Chapman is the founder of Chapman Reactions and host of podcast and radio show Chatter That Matters