No matter how well your brand is marketed, if it doesn’t have a clearly defined USP there’s little chance of success. Having a firm grip of what you stand for and what differentiates you from the market is intrinsic to actually making it in the tough world of business. Not only will your unique selling point get you noticed ahead of the competition, it will also shape your entire marketing strategy. The truth is, finding that one key marker which separates you from everyone else isn’t easy. Thankfully, Innovate UK have put together four essential tips to give you a hand with this.
Before you do anything, you need to understand who your product/service is aimed at. A lot of brands start out with only a vague understanding of their audience. Simply declaring an age group just isn’t enough. You need to get inside the heads of your demographic. What are their views, thoughts, feelings and buying habits? What do they do in their spare time? What do they do for work? What are their online activities like? If, like us, you’re selling to a business, which sector of the industry are they working in? Why is your product special in helping them generate more sales with their clients?
Once you’ve got this detailed understanding of your target market, you can appreciate why they’d choose you over the competition. This knowledge will also help when it comes to sharing your brand’s message. You’ll know how to communicate your USPs and what channels to use.
So you just spent a ton of money building your brand, developing your site and bringing your product/service to market. Then you find out that there’s absolutely zero demand for it. We see it all the time. This is the path you’re cursed to follow if your product/service doesn’t actually solve a problem.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as those working in the entertainment industry. In most cases, your product should improve our lifestyle, help us out somehow or quicken a process in some way. If you’re not offering genuine value, there’s little chance there’ll be any traction.
We often see startups build their brands around a problem which they have actually invented. You need to be sure that the issue you’re solving exists. Otherwise you’re throwing money, time and effort at something that’s doomed to fail.
If you’re able to offer the resolution to a problem that nobody else has yet resolved, you’ve got a bright sparkling USP ready to market.
We’re guessing you’ve got a list of benefits of your product/service. A few reasons why people should spend their money on it. Good, now it’s time to look at which of these are entirely unique to your target audience. Which of these have been offered just for that audience. Then consider, are there any other brands out there that offer benefits just for this demographic? If not, you’ve got a pretty good USP sitting there ready to capitalise on.
If you’re stuck about your benefits, send your product out to market research. See what your consumers think about it. In fact, this process could entirely redefine what your USP actually is.
There’s nothing better for a startup than seeing early adopters jump on board. If you can get paying customers from day one, you’re doing well. Interest in your proposition validates your idea. If you’re able to establish and demonstrate a demand in your market, investors will begin to look at you as a viable business. Not only will investors take a shine to you but so will other customers too.
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If you’ve successfully identified your USP and want to start getting the message out to prospective customers, we can help! Give us a call on 0118 380 0131 or send us a message to discuss your next steps.