Is "Unique Selling Proposition" (USP) overhyped?

Edmund Fong
Edmund Fong used Ask the Experts™
I am just thinking about this very cliched phrase that is so often used by corporate executives. And this dawned upon me when my friend asked me what is my USP when I decided to setup a store on an online marketplace.

I am thinking of this from 2 angles:
  1. From a business angle
  2. From a product angle

What really differentiate Supermarket A from Supermarket B,C, or D?

  • They will likely be selling the similar range of brands at likely the similar prices.
  • They will likely have the similar facilities like parking, children friendly facilities, etc
  • The level of service will likely be the same

So how can a business as such really differentiate themselves? And even if they do, how can prevent it from being duplicated.

And at the end, if they really came with something unique .. is it really a uniqueness that matter to the consumers?
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Principal Software Engineer
is it really a uniqueness that matter to the consumers?

Not generally.  Uniqueness is fine for the kiddie novelty section of the store, but rational consumers buy day to day based on economics including need, price and performance / quality.  Consider a hypothetical example.  "This is the only glow-in-the-dark duck in the USA!  And it's only a dollar!"  Maybe so, it's certainly unique, it's cheap enough, but T. C. Mits won't run out to buy it.  

(Irrational consumers, on the other hand ... buy anything made by Apple, no matter how badly it burns a hole in their pocket ... figuratively or literally.)
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

No further input from requester.   Sole comment was apposite; points awarded accordingly.

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