Most consultants think they are positioning but really they are simply creating a message, but this is not positioning. Our approach to positioning is based on segmentation, which is the correct way to position any product or service. You need to first correctly segment your market else the position won’t connect with the right people and you won’t understand the entire market. We also focus on perceptual maps which give an understanding of how the market perceives you right now. We also focus on competitors and how they are positioned and their likely reactions. In this way, our clients view the whole market, see how competitors are positioned and gain a much better understanding of their market. This is quite different from other ways of positioning which are much more narrowly focused, but it is far more powerful and long lasting.
Using the process we’ve created it can take 1.5 days on ground or 8 sessions online. This can be done over several weeks or shortened depending on your needs. The main driver of how long it takes depends on how much time it takes to get customers to answer a few questions.
The process we use takes the verticals and makes them a descriptor of a segment (not the segment itself). This makes your message much clearer and connected to your audience. Not all customers in a vertical care about the same benefits and focusing on a vertical (or size or some other observable characteristic) will result in wasted resources and an message that isn’t targeted correctly.
We have worked with several top media agencies in Los Angeles and when we are finished positioned a product we work with the agency to turn the positioning statement into great messages. Our clients get about 3 different messages to choose from – all are based on a differentiated and defensible positioning and become the basis for a messaging platform.
We have positioned products for companies entering brand new markets and when the competition is the status quo (customers don’t want to change from doing things the way they have always done it). We have positioned products for an entire technology company where the product managers were always focused on the product and not on customers. These are just a few examples of the wide range of situations we’ve worked with.
Strategy involves many questions and decisions. Among those we have consulted on include the following:
– How to understand your market & how competitors enter
– Market evolution and how to adapt your strategy over time
– Growth strategy options
– A 4-step approach to competitor analysis and gaming out the competition
– Ways to fortify your position in the market
– Decisions for developing a product line strategy
– How to identify and nurture the appropriate relationship with partners
– Ways to predict the future of your market/industry