Laser Branded Cornflakes?! Why’s that a USP?

Whenever asked to write about a new product or service part of the copywriter’s job is to come up with ideas on how it can be pitched. The aim is to give it a USP (unique selling proposition), which makes it sound more appealing than the other options available.

A USP can be anything that suggests a sense of superiority or added benefit, such as extra speed settings, a wider range of accessories or free upgrades. It’s the copywriter’s job to use the USP to give people a reason why they should buy a particular product.

With this in mind, it seems odd that Kelloggs should announce plans to start laser branding Cornflakes as a way of differentiating them from cheaper imitations.

Now, I’m sure it must be frustrating for Kelloggs to come up with all these cereals and then have them copied and repackaged by supermarkets under their own label. But are Kelloggs’ customers really going to care whether their morning bowl of cereal has logos in it or not?

People make buying decisions based on how a product makes them feel and the benefits it offers. When buying cereals this mental process generally takes place before they’ve opened the packet.

It seems to me unlikely people are going to buy Cornflakes because they’re ‘branded’ when this offers them no real benefit (unless they’re in the habit of fooling the kids with cheap cornflakes served from a Kelloggs box).

One of the most notable facts to come out of this story is that sales of Kelloggs Cornflakes have actually gone up during the recession, as people opt for the reassurance and sense of luxury of having a branded box on their breakfast table.

Perhaps Kelloggs should stop messing around with lasers and promote this in their marketing instead.

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