The Importance of Defining Your USP

The first lesson of business is on the importance of a unique selling point. Without this, success is tough. Unfortunately, it’s so often overlooked. If you’re entering a crowded market, it can be terribly difficult to find one aspect of your brand that isn’t replicated among the competition. Fortunately, as part of the ‘Essential Business Tips’ series, Innovate UK can offer some insightful tips on the subject. 

The Consumer 
When it comes to understanding what makes you different, look to your audience. A solid appreciation of why they’d come to your brand is imperative. If you don’t know why your customer is shopping within your chosen market, you’re not looking hard enough. Here’s what you should know:

•Do they buy your product/service from a competitor?

•Can your brand actually fill a gap in the market?

•What is your niche?

•Are you aiming for a B2B or B2C audience?

•What channels can you approach/market to your consumer?

A perfect example of this is Mr Porter. The brand understands exactly how to speak to the modern man about fashion in a way he’ll listen. Consider their editorial ‘The Journal’, these articles don’t openly discuss fashion in the way its Net-A-Porter female counterpart does. Instead, the writers focus on the lifestyle of the modern gentleman, much in the way GQ would. When discussing fashion, there’s always a more practical and everyday approach to the writing. To illustrate this, consider their article “The Best Weatherproof Shoes” or “How To Throw A Really Posh Party”.

The Problem 
One of the best USPs to possess is the resolution to a problem. If you can lift the burden of a tough everyday task, activity or process you’re likely to get a lot of attention. One potential problem with this approach is coming up with a solution for a problem which isn’t really there. This will ruin any chance of success you have.

So you’re stuck somewhere you don’t know, you need a cab but can’t find any and you’ve run out of cash. Go back a few years and this would be a serious problem. Today, you have Uber. It’s no surprise Uber are taking over the public transport industry, you can order a cab with a few taps on your phone and there’s no need for cash. This is a brand that saw a problem and stormed the market with their solution.

The Benefits 
There’s a huge difference between telling your customer about your product and telling them what they can do with your product. Demonstrate and communicate the unique benefits that appeal directly to your consumer. Explain what it can do for your each individual.

To illustrate this, we’re going back in time a little to talk about some vintage Apple. Apple didn’t market the iPod in line with its competitors. Other companies were purely listing features. Apple instead led with one key tagline to sell this device; “1,000 songs in your pocket”. The truth is, some other devices could probably offer the same but it was the personal delivery of this message that created the USP.

The Validation
Nothing validates your idea better than paying customers. Whether it’s payments, subscribes or downloads these numbers demonstrate a demand in the market. This is especially useful when you’re looking for investment. So get out there and get your brand’s name heard.

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