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This post originally appeared on blog.startupdigest.com.

If you’re entering into business, you’re going to need a USP. Without one, you’re not likely to get far. A unique selling point is what separates you from the rest of the market and what makes users choose you over the competition. It sounds simple but how do you actually harness and develop the key point that makes you stand out. Innovate UK have put together a list of four essential tips to help aid the definition and development of your USP.

Understand Your Target Audience

Targeting a specific niche audience is key to the success of your brand. A highly focussed understanding of the buying attitudes, views and beliefs of your demographic is needed to truly appreciate your USP. Once you’ve grasped this, you’ll be able to articulate why they should choose you over the competition. This will also help when you begin marketing your brand.

Solve a Problem

When you enter into business, you should present an idea which solves a real world problem. The only exception to this is if your business is solely offering entertainment. It’s also important to ensure that the problem you discuss is something genuine. A lot of time and money can be spent on a resolution for a fabricated problem. Market research is a great way of gauging public reaction to your concept.

Demonstrate Unique Benefits

To develop a USP, you must first look at the benefits of your products or service. Search deeper and note which of these benefits are tailored directly to your niche audience. From this find the reasons why your customers would choose your product over the competition. This should leave you with one or more sparkling USPs. Now it’s time to push these benefits to the forefront of your marketing campaigns.

Get Paying Customers

There’s nothing quite like achieving your first few paying customers. Don’t overlook this. Get your brand out there and push your product/service where possible. The more early adopters you find, the better your chance of success. Paying customers are a clear validation of your concept. If you can establish a demand, your idea becomes far more appealing to potential investors.

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