Exclusive Product Offering (EPO) – A Rose By Any Other Name

The Sid Lee Agency, previously known as Diesel Marketing, is not to be confused with Diesel, the innovative jean manufacturer. That’s particularly important since the Diesel website seems to have been hijacked as of this date. More significantly, the Sid Lee Agency has a blog, Conversational Capital, that is worth watching for all things connected with brand marketing.

A recent post, Sid Mourns Kozmo, is of particular note. This small snippet will give you a sense of the content:

Kozmo pitched an Exclusive Product Offering (EPO). With delivery guaranteed in 60 minutes, Kozmo was offering unheard-of convenience. Many urbanites challenged themselves to beat Kozmo’s hyper-efficient logistics only to fail miserably. Whether you call it EPO, USP or any number of other confounding acronyms, it’s clear that effective brands exist because they offer something unique.


There are one or two interesting points on this. Let’s leave aside for the moment that Kozmo shut down in 2001, which implies an astonishing amount of conversational capital. I’m thinking more on those confounding acronyms. Sid surprisingly uses EPO or Exclusive Product Offering for what Kozmo offered. Perhaps it’s an attempt to get some momentum behind this particular acronym. As of yet, few others have. There are only 149 Google mentions of that phrase and most of them are using the word Exclusive to imply a restricted number of points of supply. Hardly what Kozmo would have wished if it had survived.

As our beloved local English newspaper, The Gazette, is currently trying to convince us, Words Count. Perhaps Sid might have been better to push that Unique word rather than the Exclusive word. Exclusive is clearly not inclusive, whereas unique has a certain attraction. Unique Product Offering is a much more prominent term with 21,800 Google mentions.

Once you go with Unique, you might as well go with the old traditional Unique Selling Proposition (USP), that Rosser Reeves coined over 50 years ago. Now that is conversational capital. That particularly USP is used almost 3,000 times more often than EPO. There’s another more recent version of USP, which is Unique Selling Point. That too is creeping up in the ratings with over a quarter of a million mentions. Perhaps if we stick to that single USP acronym, since they all seem to mean the same thing, we’ll all be less confounded.

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