How to create a USP in a parity market

It’s not easy to break into an established market where the major players are powerful brands who dominate a niche market.   And this is particularly true where product parity is the norm and it’s not easy to lay claim to a unique product offering.

The entry level market segment of the car market in South Africa has been dominated by Toyota and Volkswagen for many years but, let’s face it, those cute little hatchbacks all look very similar, and the differentiation is all about brand positioning and image.

There have been several new entrants, but Fiat hasn’t exactly done much to appeal to the 18- 24 sector lately.  Quite the contrary; the Fiat Uno was much loved by pensioners.  And reliable and cost effective as they might have been, this isn’t going to endear the Fiat brand to image-conscious first-time car owners.

So introducing the new Punto to compete with the Polo, the Fiesta and the rather more expensive Mini is not an easy task.  The new Fiat TV commercial, however, clearly positions the Punto in the same market segment.

The commercial makes clear reference to their competitors, but doesn’t make unrealistic promises of performance or superiority.   It gently pokes fun at the opposition, without denigrating them.   It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it clearly shows their target market that the Punto life is fun.

This TV commercial shows how advertising can successfully position a brand up against powerful competitors to create a USP.  And since my learner-driver son pointed this ad out to me, it looks like it has achieved its objective!

If you’d like to find out how to create an USP in a parity market, contact Ann and let’s chat.

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