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Is it a USP? Is it a Video? Is it Brilliant? Yes!

YouTube, September 7, 2014 —  Brilliant advertisement from Swedish furniture giant IKEA goes viral on YouTube, with astounding re-positioning of their catalog as a hilarious spoof of Apple product-introduction style video.

Unique Sales Proposition

To grow and florish, a business needs to step outside the price-competition and selling on price as a commodity, and become something “different” in the prospect’s mind. Usually called a “USP,” for “Unique Sales Proposition,” we normally think of the primary USP for the company overall. (For example, Apple’s “Think Different,” or Coca-Cola’s “It’s the Real Thing,” or Federal Express’s “When it Absolutely, Positively Needs to Be There Overnight.”

And businesses often struggle to see a new way to view their business, focusing perhaps on a niche audience, and featuring one single part of their business that appeals to their target audience. For example, Domino Pizza stores were all originally adjacent to college campuses, and so Dominos focused solely and completely on speed of delivery, and their company USP became marketing history, taking them from a single store to a major US player in the pizza niche in only a few years. Their USP? “Pizza, fresh and hot, delivered to your door in 30 minutes or it’s free.”

Marketing Piece as a Valuable Product

However, your sales can blossom if you create a USP for every product your company produces. An in this case, Ikea focused on their catalog. Normally we think of a printed catalog as a marketing channel — and it is — but realizing that a printed catalog has an inherent value in itself that people enjoy, Ikea thought of creating a USP for the catalog itself:  The “BookBook.” And presenting it as analogue, in good humor, enabled Ikea to hold our attention while it quickly summarized all the things that people enjoy in a printed catalog.

The Power of Video Marketing

Video is, apparently, the most powerful marketing channel. It invokes more senses — vision, audio, and the images move with the power of both words and music streaming into the conscious and unconscious mind of the viewer. Further, flickering lights release dopamine in the brain which produces a mild “high,” creating further conditioning to watch television/videos. And we’ve all been so conditioned for decades. Done right, we can’t look away.

With this careful repositioning of the catalog as a desirable product, embedded in the power of a well-done video which found a way to catalog the virtues of a printed book, well …

Admit it. You might or might not be an Ikea-type customer, but at the end, didn’t you — at least a little — want one of those cool catalogs, yourself? 🙂

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