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Positioning is intentionally defining how you are the best at something that a defined market cares about. Customers need to quickly understand your product, why it's unique and why it is important to them.
Positioning is vital to every tactic we use, every campaign we launch, every bit of content we create, and every sales pitch we make. If we fail at positioning, we fail at marketing and sales, and the entire business is at risk of dying.
Most products are exceptional when we understand them within their best frame of reference.
Great positioning considers all these aspects:
Your best-fit customers hold the key to understanding what your product is.
Make a shortlist of your best customers. The best customers understood your product quickly and bought from you quickly. They referred you to other companies and acted as a reference for you.
A positioning process works best when it’s a team effort from different functions within the company as they can bring a unique perspective to how customers perceive and experience the product.
Consider these outputs that all flow from positioning:
We have to consciously set aside our old ways of thinking to consider possible new ways to think about a product. This can be done with a common positioning vocabulary.
Get the agreement from the team that the product may no longer be best positioned in the way it was created with a certain market and audience in mind.
Understanding the customer’s problem isn’t enough. It is also important to understand the alternatives you are compared to.
To do that, you need to understand who your real competitors are in the minds of customers. Grouping the alternatives can help the team move to the next step.
List all of your capabilities that the alternatives don't, then group them broadly into "themes". To group points of value, take the perspective of a customer.
For example, attributes like “works on any mobile device” or “works without an internet connection” provide value to customers who would like to use the solution in locations with intermittent or no Wi-Fi. You could group those attributes as “supports remote environments.”
Once you have a good understanding of the value that your product delivers, then look at which customers really care about that value.
An actionable segmentation captures a list of easily identifiable characteristics of a person or company that make them really care about what you do.
The segment needs to be big enough that it’s possible to meet the goals of your business, and have important, specific, unmet needs that are common to the segment.
Pick a market frame of reference that makes your value evident to those who care about that value.
When you choose to position within a specific market, you give your prospects clues about what products they should compare you with.
Some ways to do this:
You can use a current trend to your advantage if it helps to reinforce your position and the value of your offerings. Aligning with a trend can help make your offering look current and relevant.
Once you have worked through your positioning, you need to share it across the organisation.
Positioning needs to have company buy-in so it can be used to inform branding, marketing campaigns, sales strategy, product decisions and customer-success strategy.
Once you have completed a positioning exercise, you can consider how to define a story of how a salesperson would pitch the product. The aim is that everyone agrees on how the positioning will translate into a pitch.
The team needs to agree on
Next, the marketing team will translate that into messaging to be used in marketing and sales materials, campaigns and the website.
How to find your product’s “secret sauce” and then sell that to those who desire it.
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