Emotional Selling Points – A new way of marketing thinking


Marketing is key to any business as it helps define the offer to customers and consumers and adds value to the proposition.

Often over the past 9 months I have spoken to numerous businesses that talk about their unique selling points as a key marketing tool, it is seen as the way of differentiating and adding value. This classic marketing concept was first coined in the 1960’s, it means “A unique selling proposition (USP) refers to the unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors.” This long term idea normally gets translated by businesses as either “me the owner or MD” or the functionality of what they do.

My question in response is ‘that makes sense to you, but does it really resonate with a customer or consumer?’ For instance if you are a recruitment agency what really makes you different? The answer then goes back to the process of how they work, BUT do consumers really care? You can argue on USP’s, how effective they are, do they work, do consumers care, are they outdated, all of which have some validity, they are in my opinion useful but are not the marketing answer.

I prefer to look for the Emotional Selling Point, a far deeper connection around winning hearts and minds with unique reasons to believe in a business or organisation. An emotional selling proposition (ESP) defines all the emotional triggers that prompt a person to buy. This idea gives a much deeper set of reasons for consumers to connect with a brand, its the magic that you talk about, it brings heart and mind together. Having flown to the USA many times with a number of different airlines, I will now only fly with Virgin Atlantic why because they are cool, they care about customers, they have personality – reality is they still fly London to New York the same as BA, United, Delta, AA etc but their emotional selling point resonates with me and the brand delivers this every time, they have my heart and mind. I love working with my clients on defining what it is about their organisations that makes them special, that has the emotional hook – its exciting to work on this and then use this to underpin the marketing. At university we were taught to sell the sizzle not the steak, it’s now time we start focusing on the ESP not the USP.

Simon Sinek in his famous Ted Talk talks about the Why I love this concept and live and breathe it myself, he cities Apple as a business where the WHY they do it rather than the how they do it makes them loved by customers. I believe the Why and the Emotional Selling Point go hand in hand, it’s the exciting part of the business, its the engine that should power your marketing and organisation.

If you want to unlock your businesses Emotional Selling Point please get in touch and let’s work together in finding it and connecting it with your customers and consumers.