Beyonce’s Unique Selling Proposition

Beyonce won Video of the Year at this week’s MTV “2009 Video Music Awards,” only to hand the microphone to Taylor Swift so Swift could accept her award for Best Female Video–something she didn’t get a chance to do earlier in the show because Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech, with a rambling declaration that Beyonce should have won the Best Female Video award.

Beyonce’s willingness to bond, sister to sister, is part of her Unique Selling Proposition.

What’s A Unique Selling Proposition?

A Unique Selling Proposition focuses on the unique, genuine benefits that your product brings to your target customer.

Generally, USPs are a single sentence and are written plainly, but engagingly, so they’re easily understood.

Some Famous Examples…

  • Burger King: “Have It Your Way” – You’ll get a handmade hamburger, with whatever you want on it, and you’ll get it fast
  • FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight” – You can trust us to get the delivery done for you according to your schedule
  • Domino’s Pizza: “Fresh hot pizza delivered to your door in thirty minutes or less, guaranteed” – Pretty on the nose, right there…

USP Has To Be Genuine

Not just a genuine benefit, but a benefit your product can truly deliver on.

Domino’s USP sounded good, but was eventually replaced by a time-independent promise, at least partially because the 30-minutes or less guarantee had some unintended consequences.

Beyonce’s USP

Beyonce has strong roots in R&B, but she’s able to move to hip-hop, to dance, to pop, and make it look effortless, sound great, and feel genuine.

In fact, at Beyonce concerts, the audience will often sing back to her, letting her know she’s Irreplaceable.

Selling? Beyonce is attractive, which is usually a selling point. And talented. And, as a superstar with a superstar team, knows how to package it all together in a compelling way.

Take her award-winning song “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”: A catchy number about female empowerment, combined with a new dance people like to perform, and a music video that’s appealing to both men and women.

When her music is heard by her target audience, it says, “If you listen to me, if you buy me, if you dance with me, I’ll make you feel a certain way”–and then delivers on it.

Beyonce’s actions at the this year’s Video Music Awards cement her USP–her father/manager sums it up best:

“It wasn’t my decision to bring Taylor out. It was all Beyonce’s decision. […] My job is to execute and come up with some ideas, but ultimately that was Beyonce’s decision. I can only say it was a proud night for me as a manager, but more importantly as a father. I’ve always said the thing that makes me most proud about Beyonce is not how many records she sold or how many plaques she has or how many awards; it’s that she’s a genuine good person.”

Mathew Knowles

All USP, All The Time

After you’ve distilled your product down to its most highly motivational benefits, and eliminated the benefits your competitors also offer, make sure your USP is integrated into all your communications, internally and externally, so your customers can feel it and your team can deliver on it.

And, if you like that USP, you really should put a ring on it.

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Christopher Cummings

Blogs about product management. Loves Jesus, his family, comic books, video games, and giant robots. Occasionally crawls through mud and leaps over fire.

4 thoughts on “Beyonce’s Unique Selling Proposition

  1. Ooooo, Chris loves Beyonce!!! Seriously, though: Nice post. I like that you noted how Domino’s Pizza had a great proposition that they eventually relented on.

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