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List your true competitive alternatives

List your true competitive alternatives

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.

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The 10-step positioning process

  1. Understand the customers who love your product
  2. Form a positioning team
  3. Align your positioning vocabulary and let go of your positioning baggage.
  4. List your true competitive alternatives
  5. Isolate your unique attributes or features
  6. Map the attributes to va...

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The five (plus one) components of effective positioning

  1. Competitive alternatives. What would your customers do if your solution didn’t exist?
  2. Unique attributes. The features and capabilities that you have and the alternatives you lack.
  3. Value (and proof). The benefit that those fea...

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Isolate and map your unique attributes or features

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 va...

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Determine who cares a lot

Determine who cares a lot

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.

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Layer on a trend

Layer on a trend

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.

  • Only use trends when they have a clear link to your product.
  • Use a...

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Find a market frame of reference that puts your strengths at the centre

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:

  • Positioning...

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The signs of weak positioning

  • Your current customers love you, but new prospects don’t understand what you’re selling.
  • Your company has long sales cycles and low close rates, and you’re losing out to the competition.
  • You have high customer churn.
  • You’re under price pressure.

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The importance of positioning

The importance of positioning

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...

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Align your positioning vocabulary and let go of your positioning baggage

Align your positioning vocabulary and let go of your positioning baggage

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 creat...

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Form a positioning team

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:

  • Marketing: mes...

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Capture Your Positioning so It Can Be Shared

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.

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Putting positioning into play

Putting positioning into play

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 

  • How to define the problem
  • ...

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Aspects of great positioning

Aspects of great positioning

Most products are exceptional when we understand them within their best frame of reference. 

Great positioning considers all these aspects:

  • The customer’s point of view on the problem you solve and other ways of solving that problem.
  • The ways you ...

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Understand the customers who love your product

Understand the customers who love your product

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.

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tapra

Geologist

How to find your product’s “secret sauce” and then sell that to those who desire it.

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