Unique Selling Point

Unique Selling Point – Can’t Find One? Make One.

Conceiving a unique selling point in the 21st century is tough, especially in a field as mind-numbingly generic as the bottled water market. It’s a lucrative one – after all, we have to drink two litres of the stuff daily to perform at our peak. And that’s exactly what French company Vittel kept in mind when generating a unique selling point for their H2O.

Vittel commissioned advertising gurus Ogilvy & Mather to come up with something that would have them head and shoulders above the pack. They might have been expecting a great campaign, which is O & M’s bread and butter. What Vittel got was a remarkably simple unique selling point that no one else had.

Vittel created their own unique selling point

Vittel and Ogilvy & Mather found that only 20% of the French population reached that oh so elusive two litre mark. The solution? Make drinking the right amount of water easier and more enjoyable. Ogilvy & Mather designed a bottle cap that when screwed on tight, sets a one hour timer. Once 60 minutes is up, a flag pops out of the cap, reminding the consumer to, well, consume!

Vittel could have settled for an ad campaign that promoted the pristine location of their water source or the divine minerals in their H2O. But that would’ve been positioning their water as something more… watery than the rest. By giving consumers something they never knew they wanted – a water bottle with an alarm – Vittel have something far more powerful.

In reality, this is a fantastic execution of advertising 101 – inventing a need for the consumer. We see it thousands of times a day. “You need the latest processor in your smartphone”, “you need a foundation with more coverage”, “you need a bike with four more gears”… But Ogilvy & Mather didn’t really invent a need – they simply made consumers aware of a fact relating to their health, and provided a solution right there on their client’s product. If a Vittel consumer were to purchase another product, they would miss the alarm cap.

Sure – any water will fill up your tank, but as far as prospective buyers are concerned, only Vittel’s will actively help you get there. That’s a killer unique selling point!

– Magnus

Weird Business Ideas That Worked

High risk, high reward. It’s a common phrase in sport – playing a ball across the field and risking a turnover for the potential gain of a clean run to the opposition’s goal. It’s also common in business. The following weird business ideas demonstrate that even the most outlandish, obscure or otherwise ridiculous ventures can pay off big time.

Weird Business Idea 1: Pet Rock

It’s a rock. With a face. And people go bananas for them. I suppose without the emotional ups and downs and bodily functions of other pets this weird business idea’s appeal is easy to see. Another benefit: a pet rock will always outlive its family, avoiding the heartbreaking need to explain to a child what happened to poor old Rover.


Weird Business Idea 2: Sympathy Food

Here’s another weird business idea that makes sense when you think about it. If someone’s going through a rough patch, what do you buy them? I’m confident a significant number of you answered flowers. The problem with flowers is they die and make a mess, and there’s nothing quite like death and clean up to bring good cheer is there? Buying them a hearty, tasty, expensive meal will bring, as the website states “comfort and nourishment”. It’s delivered, eaten, and the waste is easily disposed of.weird business idea


Weird Business Idea 3: Cheese Sculpting

Remember back when you were a child and you used to arrange food on your plate to look like a smiley face? Sarah “The Cheese Lady” Kaufman has put that concept on steroids and multiplied it by 10. She makes sculptures out of cheese; yes, smelly, oily cheese. You might laugh at the idea, but The Cheese Lady is laughing all the way to the bank. Countless festivals, fairs and sporting events regularly commission her.Weird Business Ideas


Weird Business Idea 4: The Anger Room

Everybody hurts sometimes. And sometimes when you’re hurt, you want to hurt other things. That particularly human need is what this weird business idea satisfies. Put simply, The Anger Room is a literal room where clients select a blunt instrument and break stuff with it. The Anger Room supplies the equipment, all you have to do is select from a five, 15 or 25 minute session and go ballistic.

It just goes to show that if you can identify a niche, and fill it well, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous your weird business idea is. You just might be on to something! Disclaimer: Messages On Hold accepts no responsibility for failed business ideas, related costs and loss of dignity.

– Magnus