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How to Define and Communicate Your USP Effectively


Without a USP, surviving in business is almost impossible. Companies need that special something which keeps consumers picking them over the competition. It’s important to have that clear idea of what makes you unique. Actually developing this and communicating it to your customers can be easier said than done. This is why Innovate UK have put together a list of key tips that’ll help you settle on a solid and effective unique selling point.

Define Your Audience

“Know your audience – what they care about, know what matters to them and what makes a difference to their lives – only that way will you understand which are the problems that are worth solving, where you can make a difference and where you can truly do something new and innovative” – Mark Johnson, Head of Digital Marketing at KTN.

Having a honed-in appreciation of your target niche is imperative to the success of any product or service. When you begin to understand the behaviour of your consumers, you can begin to appreciate why they would pick you over the competition. This isn’t only important for highlighting your USP but for any future brand communication – you need to be sure your brand voice is one that’s heard by your ideal demographic.

Solve a Real Problem

“For many technology-based companies, it is critical to avoid focusing on the development of the technical solution before first getting a real in-depth understanding of the problem to be solved. Talk to customers. Reduce their problem statements to simple jargon-free language. Test the problem from different stakeholder perspectives and quantify the potential impact”. – Darren Ragheb, Head of Business Development at the Centre for Process Innovation.

If your business is purely there to entertain people, you can ignore this part. If it’s not, you need to solve a problem. The truth is, people won’t buy your product or service if it doesn’t make their lives better or more convenient in some way. Be sure you’re solving a genuine issue. You don’t want to waste your time and money on a problem that simply doesn’t exist.

Demonstrate Unique Benefits

“What is the real problem? Who is feeling the pain of it enough to pay you to solve it?” –Mike Pitts, Head of Urban Living & Built Environment at Innovate UK.

You’re likely to be entering a crowded marketplace. If this is the case, you need to know what your benefits are. They need to be unique to your product and aimed directly at your target audience. When you’ve highlighted traits that meet these requirements, you’ve got a key USP and marketing message. A great way to spread this message is by recommendations, you should never underestimate the power of reviews and positive feedback.

Get Paying Customers

“Validation ASAP is essential to see if your business has got traction. Get out there with your product or service and make sure people actually want to buy it.” – Stefano Marrone, Managing Director at Nuccobrain.

When you first take your product/service to market, it’s important to get people on board as soon as possible. The number of early adopters you achieve is a great signal of how well suited your brand is to a market. Achieving validation through sales, downloads or subscriptions is perfect evidence for establishing a demand. If you’re seeking investment, proving there’s a demand will strengthen your pitch exponentially.

If you’d like to find more startup business tips like this, subscribe to Innovate UK’s Youtube channel here.

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