Unique Selling Proposition and Software Marketing
Trout is in love with Rosser Reeves' concept of the unique selling proposition (USP), which Reeves introduced in his book "Reality in Advertising" in 1960. Reeves would urge every software developer to say to prospects, "Buy my application, and you'll enjoy this benefit - a benefit that none of my competitors offers."
This is the type of product and service differentiation that Trout believes everybody has to emphasize.
Commodities, Differentiation, and Software Marketing
It's popular today for marketers to say that selling is out of fashion, and that people don't like to be sold. Other marketers say that there is so much commoditization in the software marketplace that it's impossible to build a marketing campaign based on differentiating. Trout does not agree. He simply believes that our alternatives are differentiating the software that we offer, or fail.
Theodore Levitt and Differentiation
In his book "The Marketing Imagination," Theodore Levitt argues that business owners can differentiate anything. If you think you're offering a commodity, then Levitt offers five suggestions for differentiating it. Translated into the software development industry, his five ideas might be -
Identify your software product
As an example, Chiquita puts a label on every banana, and turns a commodity into a differentiated product.
Personify your software application
Whether it's the Green Giant selling vegetables or Frank Perdue selling chicken, put a "human" face on your product to differentiate it from competitors' products.
Build a new generic category for your software
Tyson couldn't figure out how to sell small chickens. So they invented the name "Cornish game hens," and created a new product with a difference.
Create a new name name for your software category
Chinese gooseberry isn't a very dynamic product name. So, the industry changed it to kiwifruit, and sold a bunch of produce.
Reposition the entire software product category
Trout's example - pork, the other white meat - is easy to understand.
To sum up, you can differentiate any product or service, no matter how ordinary it is.
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