The success of your company depends on the marketing you do, how you choose to present the benefits of a product or service, and which audience to target. How you position a product or service can make or break your company. Stop right there. Forget everything you thought you knew about product positioning. Connecting your product or service with buyers is not a matter of following trends, selling harder, or trying to attract the widest customer base.
Today, my guest is April Dunford, who has launched more than a dozen products and shares some of the biggest mistakes that startups, marketers, and entrepreneurs make with product positioning. Also, she’s the author of Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning So Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It. April’s book describes her point of view on positioning and offers a step-by-step process to perfectly position your product or service.
Some of the highlights of the show include:
- Career Change: Fake it till you figure it out. How hard can it be?
- Do it right, and the company grows quickly, gets acquired; you get bored and do another startup
- Definition of Positioning: How to win at doing something that a well-defined market cares about
- Perfect marketing execution won’t save you from weak positioning; marketing execution and results are only as good as positioning that feeds into them
- Who should decide the positioning for your product? Everybody
- Siebel Story: Too small to buy out beyond a billion dollars
- Positioning Pitfalls: People don’t do positioning deliberately; and when they try to fix it, they don’t follow a process but wing it or write a “Positioning Statement”
- Positioning Statement Components:
- Who’s your competitive alternatives?
- What are the unique capabilities or features that your product has?
- What’s the value that those features can enable for customers?
- Who’s my target customer?
- Is this a market that I’m going to win?
- Signs of weak positioning include:
- How a customer reacts to your product/service
- They compare you to a non-competitor; not in the right market
- Customer knows what you do, but not the value or why they should care