McD’s New Guarantee – Why USPs are Powerful

McDonald'sLast week I hit the drive-thru at the Mt. Gilead McDonald’s.
From my car, I snapped a photo of the “30 seconds or less” sign covering both the cashier and pickup windows.

McD’s is testing several versions of a new Unique Selling Proposition. McDonald’s Guarantee Also known as a USP, UVP (unique value proposition), USP (unique selling point) and many other terms.

30secondguaranteeThe McD’s USP says:

30 Seconds or Less
Guaranteed FAST
Valid 7 am-9 am & 11 am-2 pm
Starts At Next Window
Your order will be presented to you in 30 seconds or less or you will receive a coupon
for use on your next visit

A USP has 3 key components.

  1. Must be unique
  2. Makes a proposition
  3. Includes a promise

Unique + Proposition

No other fast food outlet is offering any kind of timely guarantee at the pick up window, much less a 30 second one. That is unique and a proposition.

A Negative Promise

Promises are a commitment to do something. A negative promise is what you commit to do if you do not keep the proposition. A negative promise is more powerful than just a promise and is more compelling to the customer. McD’s negative promise is that you will receive a coupon for your next visit. Nice idea, but not very compelling. In Australia, McD’s is offering a free cheeseburger as the negative promise (that’s a bit more compelling, and greasy).

Gut Wrenching for Business Owner

There are few great USPs with a negative promise in the marketplace. The reason is that it is a gut-wrenching experience for a business owner. It is a statement of “skin in the game” by the leadership which is most often based on the performance of his/her employees to deliver. Domino’s promised delivery in 30 minutes or less or the pizza is free. That is a strong negative promise but it put too much pressure on the delivery people who racked up speeding tickets and car collisions.

dscofficesystemsDuring one of our CMO strategy sessions, Bernie Reagan, President of DSC Office Systems, said that “the negative promise is brilliant when it works, and if it doesn’t, it is a fast way to go out of business.” DSC’s USP is called Copier Assurance. The details of it are so strong, that Bernie and his sales team only reveal them to qualified prospects.

Copier Assurance is much more than a “money back guarantee” which isn’t very compelling to the prospect. It is a common statement the customer hears, but just not motivating enough to take action.

Do you have a USP?

How does your business show “skin in the game” to your prospects?
How do you make it compelling? Share it with me and my readers in the comments below.

Stay Tuned

In the next Hot Marketing Tip, I will reveal the one of my favorite USPs. It’s impressive and will cause business owners to really think.

Posted in hmt

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