Examining Unique Selling Point (USP) And Customer Patronage In Business Organization
This study examined unique selling point (USP) and customer patronage in business organization. The hospitality Industry is comprised of individual hotels in which each one of them differs in the way that they position their products and services with the intention of catering for the advancing present day consumer needs. It is hence important for hospitality businesses to possess a unique selling proposition. The study adopted a quantitative research method which consisted of a survey questionnaire whereby questionnaires were distributed out to 80 respondents with feedback from eighteen of the respondents after which quantitative data was obtained. The results of this study concluded that the aspects of marketing in the marketing mix are viewed differently among different people but still some of the elements carry more weight in terms of what consumers may be willing to overlook during a hotel visit. In conclusion of this study, the main elements that marketing teams should put emphasis to are price and location. Although the product image and promotion are also important in marketing, they do not carry as much weight in a consumer purchase decision to a hotel.
1.1 Background to the Study
A unique selling point (USP, also seen as unique selling proposition) is a feature that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the position, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind or nature. The unique selling point is a marketing concept first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern in successful advertising campaigns in the early 1940s. The USP states that such campaigns made unique propositions to customers that convinced them to switch products.
Purchasing behavior is the decision process and acts of individuals involved in purchasing and using products, which includes social and mental process (Kotler& Armstrong 2004). Understanding Consumer behavior is vital as it helps marketers to predict all consumer actions involved before choosing to purchase one thing over the other. Consumers also get to know of other influential factors that determine the purchasing decision. Purchasing behavior is influenced by four factors which include cultural, personal, social and psychological factors. Most of these factors should be considered while trying to understand the complex behavior of the consumers. (Solomon, 1995)
The consumer’s decision making regarding purchasing and utilization of different goods and services is influenced by many internal and external factors. Among the external factors, the most important are; the qualities of the product itself, the brand and the package in which it is incased. Non-product related qualities are the external aspects of the product or service that relate to its consumption such as the price information, packaging or product physical appearance, user imagery and usage imagery. (Mullen, 1995) Demographic factors that influence the customer’s purchasing behavior are the internal factors such as age, gender, income, occupation, education, family size, religion, generation, nationality and social class. The market is hence divided based on these factors which differentiate customer groups as the customer needs. (Kotler, 2001)
According to Zeithaml (1988) Consumer perceptions of price, quality and value are important determinants of shaping behaviors and product choice. They are the key factors affecting consumer perception. Most of the consumer factors correlated with attitude include; personality, perceptual and socioeconomic (Batra & Sinha, 2000). Consumer perceptual variables that have been identified include price, quality perception, perceived quality, value consciousness, price consciousness, perceived price fairness, smart shopper self-perception, familiarity with goods, brand loyalty, perceived risk associated with purchase, risk averseness and general deal proneness.
(Garretson et al.,2002) cited by (Mutheu, 2014,6)
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There has been a problem in the hospitality industry in meeting the consumer purchasing decisions. In addition, there has been an increasing rate of competition between existing and new hotels in the need of catering for the advancing present day consumer needs and preferences and hence the importance of possessing a unique selling proposition. Furthermore, new business models such as sharing economy and AirBnB are increasing the competition.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of unique selling point (USP) on customer patronage in a business organization.
Specifically, the study tends to
- Examine the importance of the 4 p’s of marketing mix in consumer patronage.
- Examine the effect of price on consumer patronage of the organization.
- Examine the effect of location on consumer patronage of the organization.
- Examine the effect of product and promotion on consumer patronage of the organization.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the importance of the 4 p’s of marketing mix in consumer patronage?
- What is the effect of price on consumer patronage of the organization?
- What is the effect of location on consumer patronage of the organization?
- What is the effect of product and promotion on consumer patronage of the organization?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be of importance to the management hotels as it will be able to adopt unique selling proposition that will boost consumer-purchasing decision. The study will benefit researchers who may wish to develop the study further through subsequent researches and the academicians wishing to enrich their knowledge on the concept of customer purchasing decision.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study sought to establish the influence of unique selling proposition on consumer purchasing decisions. The study is based on international hotel customers’ perception of the various characteristics of hotels. The limitations of this study are related to number and nationality of the respondents. The study assumed that the participants honestly and truthfully responded to the questionnaires and interview.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Since the study was only carried out in only one province, the results may not be generalisable to the whole country. The researcher collected data on his own without research assistants.
Financial constraints were also anticipated in the current study. Although the researcher received assistance from the bursary, it was not possible to carry out the study at national level.
1.8 Organization of Study
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The purpose of the study was to analyze and unique selling point (USP) and customer patronage in business organization. Overall the outcomes of the research are aligned with other studies in the field. The results of the study show that price and place are the crucial factors influencing the consumer buying decision. The product’s features, which in this study were related to hotel facilities, aesthetics and service quality, were the second most key factors, with relatively similar importance across these subcategories. Promotion was perceived to be the least important for consumers.
The conclusion of this study is that hotel’s marketing managers and teams should primarily emphasize price and location in their marketing mix and marketing communications. This does not mean that product quality should be overlooked, instead the message is that product quality should meet expectations but it is not the main factor in marketing mix. Promotion activities were not in the focus of the study, but results indicate that consumers do not perceive promotion as important as the other elements of the marketing mix.
The results of the study provide interesting insight into consumer purchasing decision. However, the results are quite generic, as the study did not analyze demographic factors (gender, age, nationality, education level and profession) and how they influence the purchasing decision. Also, other factors such as reason for travelling and consumer’s choice of hotel type might affect purchase decision e.g. Tourists who book five-star hotels might for example have different preferences regarding the hotel’s characteristics than budget travelers. The research did not also evaluate the relative importance of the characteristics, i.e. how consumers perceive the dimensions of product, price place and promotion relative to each other. The questionnaire had diverse types of questions for each category, and the average values do give indicative idea on the relative importance, However, the questions are not comparable and thus the results cannot be considered to be exact. The questionnaire could be developed further to also gather information about how consumers see each aspect comparatively.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the USP of a company?
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) refers to the biggest strength of a company, that feature or service that makes them stand out from competitors within a particular niche. For example, providing an outstanding customer service or offering the fastest shipping.
What is a unique selling proposition (USP)?
Alyssa Gregory is former writer for The Balance Small Business covering small business management. A unique selling proposition (USP), or a unique selling position, is a statement that succinctly outlines how your business, product, or service is different from that of your competition.
What is a good USP for a moving company?
The moving supply company, for example, may create a USP that says simply, “Sturdy Boxes in 24 Hours,” aimed toward their overwhelmed customers who are getting ready to move and quickly need boxes that won’t collapse.
What is the economist’s unique selling proposition?
The Economist builds a Unique Selling Proposition around storytelling, which makes the company different from its competitors. Their initial claim is further supported by the following phrase: “ Enjoy unrivalled analysis of the issues that lie behind the headlines.
Does USP mean pharmaceutical grade?
USP grade meets or exceeds requirements of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). This grade is acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use. This grade is acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use. It is also used for most laboratory purposes, but the USP being followed should always be reviewed prior to beginning to ensure the grade is appropriate for that methodology.
What does USP mean in marketing?
What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? The unique selling proposition, or unique selling point (USP), is a marketing concept that refers to any factor or aspect of an object or service that differentiates it from competition and highlights its unique benefits to consumers.
What is a USP in business?
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a unique selling point or slogan that differentiates a product or service from its competitors. A USP may include words such as the “lowest cost,” “the highest quality,” or “the first-ever,” which indicates to customers what your product or service has that your competitors do not.
What are the best moving companies for long distance move?
For flexible long-distance and local moves, PODS, short for Portable On Demand Storage, is a popular choice. While the company doesn’t service six states, it offers flexibility on delivery dates and container size. Acting as both a residential and commercial moving and storage service, PODS is known to be one of the more budget-conscious options.
What is a strong USP?
A strong USP provides a solid foundation for differentiating your product and giving you a leg up on the competition. These famous USPs have worked well to promote products and services successfully. We’re number two.
What is a unique selling proposition (USP)?
Updated November 20, 2019 A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a unique selling point or slogan that differentiates a product or service from its competitors. A USP may include words such as the “lowest cost,” “the highest quality,” or “the first-ever,” which indicates to customers what your product or service has that your competitors do not.
What is a unique selling proposition in business?
What is a unique selling proposition? A unique selling proposition (USP) represents what your business stands for. It is that quality about your business that sets it apart from the competition. The unique selling proposition urges business owners to be very specific in terms of what they want to be known for.
What is a well-crafted and rehearsed unique selling proposition?
The answer: a well-crafted and rehearsed unique selling proposition. What is a unique selling proposition (USP)? A unique selling proposition, or USP, is a tool used by salespeople to communicate the key factors that separate your product from the competition.
What is your unique selling proposition for your purses?
Purses go through a lot of wear and tear, so you’ve designed your purses to be super long-lasting and durable. If your unique selling proposition clearly states that your purses are constructed to solve the longevity problem, you’ll be more likely to attract high-value customers. When you sell a product or service, you’re also selling a promise.
What is your unique selling point?
Your USP is a promise that only your business can fulfill. When it’s implemented consistently throughout your marketing and sales process, it becomes a key part of your company’s identity. When crafting your unique selling point, check in periodically to ask yourself, “Is this something my competition could say?”