Create a Powerful Positioning Strategy to Increase Sales | Ken Burke | Skillshare

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Create a Powerful Positioning Strategy to Increase Sales

teacher avatar Ken Burke, Serial Entrepreneur

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

17 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Positioning Intro

    • 2. Positioning 1

    • 3. What Investors are Looking For

    • 4. Ben and Jerry's Case Study

    • 5. Keys to Success

    • 6. The Positioning Framework

    • 7. Step 1 - Create Meaningful Attributes - Part i

    • 8. Step 1 - Create Meaningful Attributes - Part 2

    • 9. Step 1 - Create Meaningful Attributes - Part 3

    • 10. Viking Cruises Case Study

    • 11. Step 2 - Custom Attributes

    • 12. Step - 3- Evaluate / Rank Attributes

    • 13. Step 4 - Evaluating Positioning Rankings

    • 14. Step 5 - Positioning of Your Attributes

    • 15. Step 6 - Your Positioning Statement

    • 16. Common Mistakes

    • 17. Positioning 1

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About This Class


How do your customers see you? Market positioning is at the intersection of your offering and your customers – in the form of both the promise you make in the form of messaging, and customer perceptions of how well you deliver on that promise. Your goal is to uniquely claim a niche in the marketplace that encapsulates the value you deliver to your audience. To help define your claim, this learning stream provides a six-step framework for honing your positioning. You’ll examine the facets of your business to find the elements you deliver that resonate most with customers, use starter wording templates as a jumping-off point, and validate your work with seven key criteria. Multiple examples from product, technology, and service companies are discussed throughout – including how poor repositioning of one of American’s best-known brands damaged the company. Workshop exercises will guide you through creation of positioning statements that will form the basis of your marketing and messaging strategy at launch and beyond.

You will learn:

  • What cues can I take from my product or service offering to inform my positioning?
  • What other elements of my business plan and strategy are affected by positioning?
  • How do companies I know position themselves?
  • What role does competition play in positioning?
  • How can I identify which elements of the business to emphasize for positioning?
  • How can I find out what matters to customers about my offering?


Meet Your Teacher

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Ken Burke

Serial Entrepreneur


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1. Positioning Intro: So what's a target market anyway? Essentially, it's just a group of customers with a certain profile that are ideal for your product. Jeff Bezos, in the early days of Amazon, said, I need to be the best delivery, and that's gonna be my unique competitive advantage. It's really hard to compete with Amazon, and it's all about the delivery. Hello, my name is Ken Birkin. Welcome to create a powerful position strategy to increase sales. In this course, you will learn how to create a compelling positioning strategy for your business. Ah, positioning strategy is the foundation of your overall go to market strategy and your all important messaging strategy. The cool thing about position strategy is that you are 100% in control of how you want the rest of the world to see your business. I'm gonna teach you everything you need to know about how to create a compelling positioning strategy that will resonate with your customers and attract new ones to your business. There are about 10 different factors to consider when creating this strategy. So I want to walk you through each one of those and together we're going to get the right strategy for your business. Make sure you download the handiwork sheet and the course guy that comes along with this class. It will really help you. I am excited to be bringing this course to you. I'm a serial entrepreneur and recently sold my company Market Live, which was an Enterprise class e commerce platform that did over $2 billion a year in online sales during my 21 years of running. Market Live is its CEO. I have gotten an opportunity to experience many successes and many failures and learned so much along the way. So I've taken all that learning, and now I'm dedicated to helping ox manure start and grow there. 2. Positioning 1: positioning is not what you do with your product. Positioning is what you do in the minds of your prospect. That's a great quote because it's so important that you understand that positioning is all about your customer's point of view. It's the lens for which our customer experiences your product or service. Now it's critical that you choose the right lens and you focus that lens. That key is that you actually focus that lens, so you're positioning. Strategy is very, very clear. We want to make sure your customers understand your value proposition. They understand what they're getting out of your product or service. So I want you to ask yourself, How do you want your customer to see your product or service? This is from their perspective now. How do you want them to think about it? Your market position is actually equal to your customers. Perception of your brand, your product or your service. That's actually what matters. It's your customers perception that matters. That's what creates your market position. Here's the good news, though. The good news is that you actually can control what your customers perceive about you. You get to control the message you have enormous influence under their over their perception. So let's make sure that you utilize that you can establish your own identity, your own brand, your own image and what you want to represent to the rest of the world. You actually get to control it, so competitive positioning is a little bit different. That's how you're actually positioned against your competitors. So that's dealing with how the market deals without the industry looks at you how your other competitors look at you. That's not what positioning market position again. It's all about the customer, and that's what we want to focus on. So the good thing is again that you've mastered this. This is something that you do every day because every single brand, every single retailer, every business has actually taught you everything you need to know about your positioning strategy already, which is great. This is embedded into all of us because we got bombarded with every company every company positions. Every company figures this out for you because they want to make sure that you understand what their brand represents. So let's take a look at some well known brands and these air brands. It you're gonna already know the positioning of, but I'm gonna quiz you on this. I want to make sure that you get it right. Now. Let's take a look at Cartier. Well, this should be an easy one, right? Because everybody knows Cartier stands for high quality, high price, high design. That's what Cartier stands for. Now let's take a consumer brand like Dove. Well does, says Affordable skincare. Personal care, beauty for everyone. It's an everyday brand. You can find it anywhere. It's a great brand. How about HBO HBO. Very popular, high quality entertainment. They're considered one of the best quality entertainment organizations in the world. Complex stories and high production quality is what HBO is all about. How about ups? What is ups mean to you? Well, to me, it means reliable package delivery. They're the best. They've been around forever. They're very generic, but they get it done and get it out. And then, of course, finally, Budweiser. We all know Budweiser. It's the working man's beer. It's all American. That's what Budweiser says. So do you see how these different companies are positioning themselves and how you just in your brain, you just know them Why do you know them? Because they've done a great job at branding and getting those messages out there. So again they're looking at it from the customer perspective. How does the customer look at each one of these brands? So for consumer, there actually a good number of clues to the basic positioning strategy of every brand. So consumers, they don't know this. But let's subconsciously they're looking at these different clues, and they're forming an opinion about your brand and how your position the 1st 1 is quality . Are you low quality? Are you good, Average quality or you super high quality? How about price point? They're all on this range, right? This range or continuum is your price point. Press point communicates so much. Are you low price point? And then what does that say about quality or your high price point that actually also communicates something about quality. So all of these things price point is not just a number, and I want to make sure you understand that price point communicates so much about your positioning strategy. Where your product is sold is very key. Let's say you might be sold in a drugstore that communicates something versus a high end specialty retailer that communicates something else. How the product or service is sold is another clue. Let me give an example. Products that are sold via infomercial generally or thought of his lower quality products. I don't know if that's true or not, but in the minds of the consumer and how they perceive that, that's where their brain goes. Where or how the product is marketed is also very important. Let's say you're sold in high end magazines, magazines that are read by very rich people, right versus free magazines that are sitting on every street corner that also communicates the difference in your brand. So all of these things are clues to tell your consumer what you're positioning. Strategy is Pope. I forgot one messaging. I love messaging. What you say about your product? Are you? Are you? Do you talk about offering your product at a super discount, or do you talk about your product as high end elegance? Here's what happens in the mind of the consumer. What they do is they take all of these clues and they actually form an opinion about your positioning strategy. The good thing is that you have a lot of input to these clues, and you can influence these customers in a lot of ways. And that's what we're gonna do as we start to craft, are positioning strategy. So there are some things that I want you to consider house. You're coming up with your positioning strategy, these air, other things that you need to look at. For instance, the first thing is target market. Who you decide to target will inform how you position your offering overall, your product or your service. How about your product or service capabilities? There's inherent attributes and features they're actually inside of your product. That also helps dictate your positioning strategy. Overall, let's say that you've got a lot of features. Your super loaded with features got a lot of capability that's gonna dictate one positioning strategy. Or if you're light on features, as it compared to what the consumer really wants, you might position slightly differently. You're competition your competition. Condemn directly impact how you decide to position as well your problem statement. What problem are you trying to solve that also influences your positioning strategy and finally, your mission or your vision? How do you position your product to take advantage of the long term and what you really want to come up with overall, in terms of what your vision is that needs to be embedded in your positioning strategy because people will actually buy vision. In a lot of cases, they actually buy into your mission or your vision. And so we need to be able to communicate that in our positioning strategy as well. So why is positioning so important your business? And by the way, I think this is one of the most important things that you can do. It really does drive a lot of other strategies, including messaging and marketing, on branding and all kind of centers around. What is your positioning strategy? So in the in doing that, I think that it brings together a lot of different aspects of your business as well. In the one to sink package, it brings together all these different strategies that I just rattled off in a one nice package, and the result is informs your customer what's going on, how they should think about you, and it also informs your business strategy overall. So let's take a look at this some of the business strategies that I want you to consider first of all, your unique value proposition. And as we look at positioning and unique value proposition, this is going to determine what parts of your unique value proposition they're gonna call out. You might have actually different pieces of your value proposition that you really want to emphasize. This is gonna help you bring that out. Mawr, Your messaging strategy you're positioning actually dictates how you're gonna communicate. And what you're going to say about your product or service is Well, next is the future product development. What you gonna develop in the future? What new features are you going to add to your offering? What is gonna be your product and service mix? All of these things get considered as you start to look at your product. Positioning positioning also works very closely with the pricing decisions that you're going to make it actually work hand in hand together because if you've got a pricing strategy and you're really high end on the pricing side, then you're probably going to be positioned on the higher. And that's just the way the consumer brain works. So you're gonna need to keep that in mind and then your distribution models as well. What methods of distribution are you going to be using to get to your target market? And this is important where you put your product and how you sell it is also dictated, and a lot by what you're positioning. Strategy is, and each one kind of communicates together, as you can see from all of this, that the positioning strategy really is. It's the center of all of your key strategies, and it almost fit together like a big puzzle, and that's what I want. I want to make sure that you understand that that everything is interconnected, that if all of this doesn't fit together in one consistent package, then it's gonna be very confusing for the customer. And that's the last thing that we want to do is confuse our customer. That would be horrible 3. What Investors are Looking For: So why did investors even care about positioning? Why is this so important to them? Well, first of all, that they actually want to make sure that your position properly to optimize profits because that's what they care about. They care about making money, and you're positioning. Strategy actually dictates how you're gonna make that money. So I want to tell you it's OK if you're actually positioned in a lower market. There are plenty of great businesses that our position in a lower market. It's not always luxury and high end high prices. We just have to make sure that lower market has. There's enough market there and enough margin to actually make money. So if your position in the higher end of the market that's fine too long, great businesses are positioned on the higher end. But what your investors gonna look for us to make sure you're delivering value and we want to make sure also that your target market is big enough when you're positioned this way, because if you're really high valued, but there's just no, there's just a very, very small target market. Then they might actually question that positioning strategy as well does your positioning strategy. Is it consistent with all the other strategies? They're going to be looking at that, just like I told you to look at it for yourself. Were your positioning strategy resonate with your target market? I think that's an important one. They're gonna put themselves in the position of your customer. They might even be your customer. And they're going to say, Is this? This is actually makes sense to the customer, doesn't resonate to the target market. And then does your your positioning strategy support your pricing strategy, which I just went through, But they're gonna look for that because they're going to look for any inconsistencies and call you on it and say, You know what? Your misaligned here go back to the drawing board and we never want your investors to say Go back to the drawing board. Come back to me in three months. When you have this fixed, when you have this fixed, that's not good 4. Ben and Jerry's Case Study: I want to tell you A little story about an ice cream startup to friends got together in 1978. But one of the friends, one of the partners, didn't have a sense of smell, which creates a little bit of a problem if you're creating an ice cream company. So they wanted to create ice cream that you could identify with your eyes closed that you could identify using other senses, so they wanted to have lots of chunks in it. They wanted rich consistency. They wanted it to be handcrafted. And what was interesting is that when you start to look at how other ice cream brands are positioned, they got into a market without a lot of competition. Ice cream has been around for a long time, and there are a lot of very well established brands. Let's take a look at some of them briers, which is actually positioned as a mass market brand, and they had to compete with that, and then our friends at Haagen Das as well. Haagen Das is Ah is a premium brand, right? So they're competing with that as well. They had to figure out well, where do I get position. And then, of course, you have your your store bought brand. Every store really has their own brand of ice cream that they so it's may usually lower cost and such. And then you even have ice cream shops that are branded like 31 flavors or or Swenson's and other regional ice cream shops as well. So these guys had a lot of competition. They said, How we gonna differentiate from all that? So they differentiated their product. But they also differentiated their brand, and I think this is what's really important. They said. First, unique flavors. We gotta have unique combinations of flavors. They've got to be fun. They've got to be entered, entertaining. They have to connect to the home grown roots. They wanted to make sure that there their base connected to their home grown roots. So they're politically outspoken, whether you like it or not. That's how they were and they really a nonprofit was a really important tenet to their overall brand, and they talked a lot about it within their brand, and their customers began to know more and more about this as well, and they also said, Hey, we have to make sure we're premium. We want to be ultra premium, high quality ingredients, and we really want to shine and stand out from all the rest. So who was this crazy brand anyway, Right? Well, it's Ben and Jerry's, which you probably could have guessed. And we all know how the story ended. Ben and Jerry's actually created one of most unique brands. Perfectly positioned, they nailed it. 5. Keys to Success: I want to give you a couple of keys to success. First of all, you must be based in reality. Sometimes entrepreneurs gonna look crazy, and I don't mind that your aspirational I don't mind that you're positioning. Strategy is kind of where you want to be, but you can't be so far away from where you want to be, that it's untrue. And so give an example here. Let's say that your position in the high end of the market but you have a ton of service issues that's not gonna actually play well in the customers. As soon as they find that out and that word gets out, you're positioning. Strategy has blown. The other thing is, let's say that you're an end end software solution. Perhaps, but you only really have one piece of the solution again. Customers gonna find that out real quick, so make sure that you could be based in reality and be a little bit aspirational as well. Be clear and definitive that it's so important to the overall strategy. The customer has to get your positioning strategy like that. You might have 5 10 or 15 seconds to communicate it, and that's it, so make sure you're clear so they could be clear is well be true to your product. Don't try to be something that a marked the market saying that you should be, or that your investors are saying that you should be. Make sure that your true to the product that you created and then position that I want you to make sure that you find your own niche when you're positioning. Sure, you want to look at competitive positions and other types of variables as well, but find your own niche. That's what's really going to resonate with your customers at the end of the day. Also, be consistent. I think that's really important to be consistent in all of your messaging. And don't try to be everything to everyone, right? This is an entrepreneur problem over and over again. Don't position it that so everybody can buy my product. Everybody's gonna love me, in fact, than more narrow you are without being too narrow, but the more narrow you are. In fact, you're gonna identify were customers a lot more because they're going to know what you stand for. So I want to leave you with a little story of positioning gone wrong, and that company is, unfortunately, Sears. They were one of the largest retailers for 90 years. And then all of a sudden, in 1991 Wal Mart took over and they became the number one retailer, and from there sear struggle. They used to represent reliability and value in products, their brands like Kenmore Appliances and Craftsman Tools, which I grew up with diehard batteries. They were considered the best at a good price of quality. At a low price was their positioning for 90 years and the American public. They bought it and it worked. But then all of a sudden, they ran into this problem with Walmart, and they said, Let's reposition. So when Sears decided to do in order to compete with Walmart, what do they do? They went into soft goods. So in addition to all their hard goods that they had, they went unsold apparel and other types of merchandise in the soft goods area, including buying lands end buying Kmart. Unfortunately, the whole strategy didn't work. The American consumer was confused at what steers really represented. They didn't stand out any more. Customers were confused and guess what? They stopped going. And today Sears is on the serious decline, and probably, I would predict isn't gonna be around in the future. 6. The Positioning Framework: How do you want your customers perceive your product or service? This is really the question. This is the core question that I want to make sure that you answer, because this is how you're gonna master your positioning strategy. I want to make sure that positioning strategy is just not a slider to in your pitch deck that you tell do investors. And then you shove it in the drawer and you forget about it. This is actually the foundation of both your messaging strategy, your branding strategy and your marketing plan. Overall, it's critical that this all, like I said earlier, it pulls it all together and so very important. So it's very hard to sell anything without a clear positioning strategy. What you actually do is you just confused the customer, and the last thing that you want is a confused customer trying to buy your product or service That is bad. So positioning is gonna get that clarity in the mind of the consumer that you so much want . And really, I like to think of positioning is kind of the intersection between your or your business, and your customers needs meat, and this is how you describe what it is that your customers needs, really are you describe it through your positioning strategy. Another great question that I want you to ask yourself, How would your customers describe your product or service to their friends? I love that question. Think about that for a second because that's really when positioning strategy starts to resonate. It's when they could describe it to their friends. I think that really says it all. I want to give you a quote that I really like by Jack Trout. Ah, company can be incredibly successful if it can find a way to own a word in the mind of their prospect. I find that very interesting because that's really if you can own a word like some very successful companies. What is that word for you? What were do you want to own? Think of? It can be one or two words, of course, but think of that word and think what it is for your business. Let's take a look at some very, very successful companies real quick. Volvo. What were do they own? I say they own safety. Walmart What were do they own really easy low prices E trade. If you're familiar with the trade, they own the word online stocks. There's no question Red Bull. What they own is energy drinks. When you think of energy drinks, you think of Red Bull and my favorite one, which actually created a new verb in the world. Eyes, Google. And what? Where do they own Googling or Google it? Uh, and so that's synonymous. We don't say Go look for something we say. Just go Google it right? We don't search or something. We google it so this really represents brands that have really transformed themselves in their positioning strategy. So look for that word. So I want to make sure that you understand that you actually have a lot of control of your positioning, but you don't have full control over it, because what you do and how your business interacts with the consumers has a lot to do with how they experience your brand, and that translates into how they position you. So if they have less than a desirable experience with you, as much as you try to position your brand as a high end brand or a lot of service, if you're not really living up to that, then they're not gonna believe it in the mind the words going to get out there in today's land of social media and we live in this world of social media, you really have to be focused on backing up what you do with your product or service. Very important. Let me tell you a little story about my company market live, and we had some bad days. There were days and I mean years when I say days in our 20 year history where we couldn't live up to the promise that we had problems, we were backlogged on service requests 800 to 1000 deep, and in our business, that's a bad thing. And so we had to catch up on. We dug our way out of that and I gotta tell you, it took years to rebuild our reputation, but we did do it. We rebuilt our reputation, which was great. So one of the best shots that you have in establishing your positioning overall in the minds of the consumer is when you launch your product, that's a pretty good opportunity. So we got to get this right early on in the business. You can set that expectation of what kind of experience your customers going toe have with you and then define it for them and then fulfill on it, which is the most important thing. But you got to get the definition right that's so important. Now, to do this, I want to make sure that you have you look at all aspects of your business, all the different inputs that you need to make sure that you nail down. So let's take a look at the 1st 1 target market. What are the needs in the priorities of your customers? The product itself? What is your product do or what does it not do? How is it unique? Those air? Some questions you wanna ask your competition. How are you offering a similar or different product and what's in the market? Your problem statement, which is how you positioning your product or service to solve that problem and then your vision. What do you want to become? What do you wanna be? These are all important questions that you need to understand, so all of this helps you come up with us a sink positioning strategy that will resonate with your customers and their needs. That's really the key. Now we've got a framework. We got a framework for everything, and we've got a framework for this to our framework is a six step process to creating a precise positioning strategy for you. So let's go through it. Step number one. Let's begin by listing basic attributes of your product or service, and it's gonna be will take you what, Rocky right through what we call those basic attributes. And then we want to get creative here, and we're gonna actually develop some custom attributes that are gonna be unique to your business or your industry or your competitive set. Then the third step is we're gonna evaluate or rank these attributes. We're going to use a scoring system so that we could understand really what's important, your customers. What's important to your business. Overall, how are they aligned together? Step four is we're going to rank are positioning elements and essentially everyone of these attributes, whether their standard attributes or their custom attributes actually take on a positioning element, if you will, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna determine what's core to the overall definition of your brand, and we're gonna bring that out. Step five, we're going to describe your positioning for each one of these elements for each one of these attributes on. Then Step six is we're going to craft an overarching positioning statement for your business. Sounds good. Let's get started. 7. Step 1 - Create Meaningful Attributes - Part i: Step one list are basic business attributes. What we want to do is we're gonna go ahead and break down your business in the little bite size pieces so we can understand each attribute of it. And then we're gonna look at the overall integrated business strategy. And really, all we're doing is we're going to take everything that's part of your business. We're gonna narrow it down to the most meaningful attributes for your customer as it relates to your product or service. So when you remember that this is all based on customer needs, not your competition, we gotta focus on the customer. That's the key to this entire strategy. Now, trust me that as we go through this process, the most important attributes will bubble up, and that's gonna be key. I want to make sure that you understand that you can Onley position 5 to 7 core attributes in the mind of your customer because it's really hard to process on anymore so we can pick those and again, Like I said, they're gonna bubble up to the service. So don't worry. Let's get started. The 1st 1 is a level of service, and I always like to think of any of these is on a range. Like what? Level of service or you're gonna offer, I think kind of as different pillars, I think, from the bottom to the top. And it's kind of a range. Are we gonna offer very little service? Are we gonna offer white glove service? Are we gonna be proactive in tech services? How are you? How is your customer can interact with the customer community that you have. How is that gonna be supported? Maybe you offer all of that or you say, You know what? I'm gonna be on the low end of service. There's no frills. My product or service is fairly inexpensive. I'm only gonna offer email support, even even at that, nobody can call me so the different levels of service that there's a different range that I want you to keep and keep in mind there. The next one is product quality. Is your offering best of breed in terms of speed, power, reliability, safety? Do you employ top notch employees? Talent? Uh, let's say that you're a services company that might become a really important thing. Or maybe your product quality is just average, which is okay, or that you're going for a lower price point. You're trying to sell on volume, so your product quality is down here again. Acknowledge it, own it, because if you own it, then you can position it appropriately. Does your customer value quality for this type of product or service? And guess what? Not all customers say. Oh, I have to have quality in this product or service. Sometimes people are willing to buy lower quality products at a cheaper price and be plenty happy with everything. So give an example here, like Maytag, Maytag appliances, they actually built their entire business on reliability and the product quality. In fact, the Maytag guy, which has been on commercials for the last 25 years, basically sits. Board doesn't do anything because he's the Maytag repair guy because he never has to go out and repair anything cause he started. Things were so reliable, and they've drilled that in the mind of the consumer. Brilliant branding, by the way. But that's what I mean by product quality. Maybe that rings a bell for you as well. Product sourcing how your materials or how are your ingredients? Actually make made up of your product or service are using organic grapes and wine are using hand dyed fabrics for clothing. Does that even matter to your customers? I would ask that question to your customers Really care about this high quality materials or ingredients because a lot of cases in some cases they don't really. How about your sources of labour using top quality artisans to Bruce your product or using labour from developing countries? So let me give you a couple of examples. Let's take Bain and Company or McKinsey. They are known for having the best talent, providing high end services at a very high price. So that's how their customers are actually know them. That's how their position another example, is like organic yogurt. This is kind of an interesting one, because what we've actually found in the in the yogurt industry is that customers don't care that this that's organic. That's not something that they care about. So while organic yogurt could be positioned out there, when the customer looks at it, they either look past it or they just don't care. So they're not willing to pay the extra price for organic yogurt in today's world very interesting. So this product sourcing becomes very important because it fits into the overall equation of what your margins are, how much you charge for your product. And again, how are you positioned? Let's take a look at uniqueness now. Uniqueness is, uh, how unique is your product or service? We want to understand. Are you serving a unique niche? How special are you? Is another great question that you can ask, Are you a one of a kind or you commodity? Remember our pillar again? Kind of on the low end to the high end commodity being on the low end and one of a kind being on the high end? Where do you fit within that range? Ask yourself that question. Artisanal goods or a very specialized service offering could fall into this category of being more unique. Being higher on the range is having a unique product even important to your customers. Do they really value that extra status or exclusivity? Let's take an example of a one of a kind dress. Maybe it's Valentino on. They're willing to pay a lot of money for that dress because it's one of a kind. Nobody's ever gonna wear it. But you know what? A lot of basic black dresses air also sold, and they're sold. And those companies that make them make a lot of money. So be thinking about that as you look again as to whether not your customers really care about this. 8. Step 1 - Create Meaningful Attributes - Part 2: next is completeness of offering, and I like to look at two angles from completeness of offering both the breath and the depth. Breath is like, How wide is your product variety? How many different product lines do you have? Depth is on any one particular product line or even anyone product grouping. How deep, or how far do you go? Could also be a service. How, How deep does your service offer and go as well? So look at it from both perspectives. Are you offering a complete solution, or are you servicing a particular niche? So you're an expert in a particular niche, but you're not all things to all people, which actually becomes important as well. So be thinking about that again. Does your customer care about this? Do they care about that? You're a specialist or you're a generalised. And ask that question. Let me use an example here of a ski trip outfitter, just a local ski shop with lots of expertise and knowledge to share. Well, if I'm a skier, I might want to go to that. If I'm a really intense skier, and I really need a lot of expertise in order to help me get to the next level. That's the guy I'm going to go to. But you know what? I might actually go to Ari I, which is a little bit more mass market, good quality products. But you may not get quite that attention in that help. Or I could go to Amazon because I'm just looking for Price. I know exactly what I'm shopping for. So again, all those different customers actually exist in the offering in terms of how specialize you might be or not. And that's where we get breath versus depth in terms of completeness of offering get, look at that range and see where you fall within that range customizer personalized product features. This is another one of these attributes that customers may or may not value. So ask the question. Can customer shape their products to their own needs? Can actually create a custom product? Do they need to actually do this in order to get what they need? Or is this just a big hassle? And personalization or customization is just too much for them? By the way, there's a lot of products out there that are overly complicated because there's so much variety. There's so much opportunity to customize things that's not necessarily always good. But in some businesses it could be great. It's personalization important to them. Ask that question and then how simple or elaborate is it really necessary? I want to make sure that again, you understand that too many options can overwhelm the customer, so curation in some cases can be better. I love this company called Stitch Fix, which is basically be spoke clothing based on your profile. What they'll do is they'll actually assemble, Ah, custom outfit for you, especially for men. This is great, but I assume it's great for women as well, based on your profile and your knees and your needs. And every month they will send you a new completed outfit with the shirt, the pants, the Sox, the tie, whatever you need is all contained within one box. Pretty clever, but it's all based on you and for that type of business. Customization and personalization is a great positioning strategy and, actually, quite frankly, a great differentiator as well. Our next attributes price and price, is very important. It's one of the most important attributes that you can have because it communicates so much . It's so much more than just a number. It communicates quality, maybe uniqueness, maybe value. With pricing. I want to make sure that you understand that perception is reality. When you're dealing with customers and pricing, it's what they perceive. They perceive a lot from pricing and that becomes their reality. So setting pricing can be critical in terms of communicating your overall positioning strategy. I want you to remember this. There is that dilemma between price and quality because it communicates so much. What the in the mind of the consumer when you set your price high than the perception is that you have high quality. It's just one of those triggers in the customer's mind that always happens when you set your price low. Then they're assuming that your product is of lesser quality as well. So remember, Price also communicates quality in this process, sales and distribution model, and this also can communicate Ah lot about your positioning strategy. How you sell your product where you sell your product is very important. So do you sell direct consumer? Do you sell through retailers? Are you selling through low and retailers? Discount retailer is selling at high end retailers. Where are you? So you're distribution model can speak volumes to your customer about what you really represent. How about this? Like you're selling at a discount store like WalMart, that's going to say something about the product, product quality, product pricing. Or maybe you're selling at a high end department or rito chain like Nordstroms as an example. So are you using contracting outside sales team with limited knowledge about your product or service, or using a high touch sales team that really understands that your product or service and they have a great thought leadership embedded in everything that they dio. There's two different models there, right? And finally, the location of your business. Where's your business located? Are you on a strip mall? Are you in an upscale neighborhood or maybe an upscale mall? Perhaps our next attributes social responsibility and sustainability. Are you supporting an environmental mission? Eyes sustainability, sourcing top on your priority list these air questions that you have to answer for your own business and how you gonna communicate that to your customers? Just the company's mission. Support this or not. Ah, and then do your customers even care. Do they even value this? This is important because it used to go out there with environmental or sustainability message and your customers like I don't care, especially for that product or service. Then you're not really doing yourself good. It might be part of your overall mission. But communicating and positioning it to your customers may not mean anything and actually make drawing negative because they're gonna associate something that's sustainable with higher costs. Perhaps so you have to watch that as well. And they're gonna say, Wow, I'm paying more money than I should for this. Is your customer willing to pay an extra cost for sustainability or better materials or environment, environmentally friendly products or service? And that's a question that you have to ask is well, an example of social responsibility is really encapsulated by this company called Tom Shoes . And they're on a mission, this one of a kind model very important to their customer base that every time they sell a pair of shoes, they give a pair of shoes away and they bleed that through their entire branding strategy. And it's actually 1,000,000,000 brilliant. It really grabs me 9. Step 1 - Create Meaningful Attributes - Part 3: Our next attribute is ease of use. Is this a core component to your overall product or service, offering that it's easy to use or easy to maintain? Do you make that claim? Does your customer value ease of use within your product or service? And you might say, of course, people dio. But not everybody does. May may not be willing to pay for ease of use. In fact, if it's a lot more expensive, how about convenience? Convenience is a very important attribute. This flows through a lot of products or services. Does your product or service offer a servant certain level of convenience for your customer ? Are you open 24 hours? Do you provide delivery service? Do you provide one touch ordering? Or maybe it's everything you need all in one box. You made it incredibly easy to use. Or maybe it's an integrated solution. Or maybe does your product or service make somebody's like easier and a judge your customer even care about convenience? A lot of people put convenience into their product or service, and sometimes customers just don't care. It's not meaningful to them. Or maybe it is again. Look at that range in terms of where you sit in terms of level of convenience and how important it is your customer. Next is customer community. Do you make your audience or your customers part of your product or part of your service? Do they work? Are similar to a social network? Is this part of your core offering? And there are a lot of businesses out there where customers are actually part of the mechanism of the business overall, maybe they participate in the support process. I know Amazon sends me every once in a while. Hey, do you want to comment on this product? We saw that you bought it, and you can add that comment into our customer community so other people can ask, uh, get answers to certain questions. Do you provide a platform or a place where like minded individuals can connect up maybe your coffee shop? Or maybe you're a tech company that actually uses technology in which to do this? How much does your customer value This offering give me an example. Like Thinkgeek thinking is Ah is a website that really appeals to the nerdy type, right? Nothing wrong with that. Customers can share and celebrate this lifestyle of nerdiness, and they embraced that throughout the entire site and through their entire social network as well. Our next attribute is expertise, and I love this one. This is one that's really close to my heart because people love buying from experts. So is selling expertise quarter the value that you're delivering to your customers. Or maybe you've integrated this expertise into your overall value proposition and into your product or service, Or possibly have you developed a curated solution where that expertise has really come out ? One of my best favorite examples of this is Sir, Laptop. Sir, Laptop is a great retail. They're not just a retailer, though. They've integrated their expertise, their cooking expertise into everything they do. They don't just so cookware and other cooking. Ah, equipment. They actually integrated into everything they do. It's a brilliant example of that. Next is innovation or trendiness. Do you have a reputation for being on the cutting edge or being, Ah, highly innovative? Does your customers seek you out because you're innovative, right? These are questions that you want to ask. Are you two steps ahead of everybody else in the industry? Are you trendy. Does that really matter to your customers? One example here is forever 21. There are reliable source of trendy apparel all the time, and they certainly have a demographic in a following that go crazy for their trendy products. And another attribute I want you to evaluate is a product or service life cycle. How often to your customers seek out your product or service? Is it once in a lifetime, or do they seek it out daily, monthly or every year? Give an example of like a wedding dress? A wedding dress we hope is once in a lifetime. But a cocktail dress, on the other hand, might be every few months. Christmas decorations is another great example here, which really happens maybe once a year, for maybe a month or two vs an everyday department store, which people are going into constantly right, So you have to understand, where do you where you on that life cycle chain us for your overall customer experience. Another example might be a Christmas or Hanukkah Ah, store that specifically focuses on that holiday for 1 to 2 months, a year versus and everyday department store where you're going in all the time. So again, the frequency of how your customers are gonna interact with you is really important to the overall process. Now let's get to work. The first thing I want you to do is I want you to make a list of all the standard attributes we just reviewed if you want. And I prefer that you do is you go down to our website and you actually download the handy spreadsheet we've actually created for you. But if you don't download this spreadsheet, I want you to make on on that same piece of paper. A second column. We're gonna be able to jot down notes about that attribute and how it applies to your product or service offerings. We're gonna go through each one. We're going to see how it impacts you directly and want to make sure that you note that not every attribute has to actually apply to your business. So if it doesn't apply, just skip it. Now we're gonna rate in just a moment. We're actually gonna rate and narrow down this list even further. So don't worry about how much it applies. If it applies and you have a comment around it, just jot down the comment in the next column 10. Viking Cruises Case Study: Now I'm gonna use an example. I love this company. It's called Viking Cruises, and I don't know if you've heard of Viking Cruises, but they're very, very popular cruise line. And they're very famous for their riverboat cruises, which I highly recommend that you take especially the one in Budapest. Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna take a look at each one of their standard attributes And what are their notes? What would they say? Ah, each one of these standard attributes would represent to them. So let's take a look at each one of our standard attributes and what Viking Cruises has to say about each one of those standard attributes as it relates to their positioning strategy . The first attribute is level of service, and what we want to find is that what is their offering? What is their offering? Represent toe level of service? And that's the luxury hospitality standards. That's what they really representing stand. How about the quality of the product comfortable on board, launching unparalleled cultural experience? Ah, and that's really what they represent in terms of their product. Now their completeness of offering. In fact, they have a deep offering that focuses on places with rich cultural heritage. So they've got a great offering, customization or personalization. They really have a limited number of options here in terms of what you can do when you get to port of call. So probably not as important to their overall business. Their price. They're absolutely focused on the high end of the market, the sustainability. You know, it's not a focus for the cruise line, so we really don't have to worry about that one too much customer community. It's informal networking, but there is some networking because as you go in one of these cruises, you start meeting people, and that is in the social aspect of this is actually an important part of their overall business. But it isn't formal. They don't force it on you. It's not a quart of their business and expertise. Will they have very experienced staff? Celebrated chefs, subject matter, expert on cultural events. They really go wild in terms of their expertise, and their life cycle is targeting those customers that are frequent travelers that are very loyal to the brand overall, and they actually might do one or more cruises in anywhere between a 12. It's a 36 month period of time 11. Step 2 - Custom Attributes: so Step two is developing custom attributes. All that custom attributes are is an extension of the standard attributes that are custom to your business. So they're based on what's most important to your customer service as it relates to your product or service. So the question that I want you to ask is what attributes off my product or service are most important to my potential customer, and these are gonna be you can have anywhere between 5 to 15 to 20 harmony attributes that you really think that are important to those customers. We actually want you to write down. What you gonna do? A little bit of brainstorming. Let's get those juices flowing a bit and let's figure out a few different types of customer attributes that apply to different businesses. So we just give you a couple of different examples of some custom attributes that would apply to different types of businesses or someone will pick his restaurants so things like ambience, design, ah, seating options, kid friendly breath of the actual menu, sourcing of the menu ingredients, freshness of the ingredients. Does the menu change on a regular basis? The service speed or table service or the order from a counter pickup or delivery. It's also important entertainment. Do you have live music in your restaurant on parking? Which is a big deal for a lot of people as well. Those are just some things that would be really important for a customer. And when you start positioning, you want to look at some of these custom attributes, which, by the way, sometimes are more important than the standard attributes in your overall positioning strategy. Let's look at another business, a digital agency. So in this particular case, I might look at things like the principles advertising experience. I might look at the industry PR or marketing contracts, the staff's agility, their agility to move and react to different things. There breath of offering. Are they a full service agency? Or they focused on S, E O or other specific types of digital marketing design capabilities? Do they have them, or do they not have him? Social media experience? Some agencies have that some agencies don't very important customers these days. Search, advertising experience, email experience. Dedicated resource is for campaign management in tracking and overall accountability for your success, and also turnaround time is another important one if you're an agency or a digital agency. One last example is the bike shop would be important if I'm a customer going into a bike shop. Well, first of all, what types of bikes do they carry Mountain bikes, rode bikes or other things in store service? Do they do repairs to the do bike fittings? Do they have fitness assessments? Can you test drive the bike? That would be great. If I go into a bike shop and I can't test drive the bike. I might not want to buy financing its financing available? Do they offer a layaway plan? Sounds like old school, but layaways coming back. Community connections. Do they have weekly rides? Are they just more than just a store? Or they offering discounts, perhaps toe local clubs. Safety support, like reflectors, invests in other add on accessories that they actually sell. And maybe they offer rentals because that could also be important. So when you have visitors coming into town, you go right back to that same bike shop. So these air things again that can be important to your customers. Now let's take a look at our Viking cruise. Example. and see how they develop their custom attributes as it relates to their positioning strategy. Onboard food and drink, which is very important to a lot of people cruising. They wanna have great food and great drinks. So the Viking Cruises they have four star chefs they have on board wine masters. They're offering gourmet meals, daily guides on wine, tasting, a whole bunch that they really knock it out of the park. There, onboard activities, they've got things like guest lectures that provide previews of port of call and information about the destination. Cooking classes, wine making, basics, opera. Whatever it is, they got it covered onboard entertainment, classical and local showcase. Nightly family activities. No Children under 18. So one of the things about Viking Cruises is they don't really have family activities because they don't allow kids under 18 to actually go on their cruises. Onboard. Technology free WiFi in common areas, flat screen TVs, number and variety of ports of call 250 worldwide focused on European rivers ah, and Mediterranean destinations. Sounds pretty nice. Activities. In ports of call, they have a cultural focus that includes performing arts, food tours, local markets, wine tours, galleries the whole bit, So that's their positioning on all of their custom. Machu it's and you can see how custom attributes really bring the whole positioning strategy toe life and make it very specific to your business. 12. Step - 3- Evaluate / Rank Attributes: Now we're on to step three. We're going to evaluate and rank are attributes. And this is a really important step because he's gonna help us narrow down the list. We're gonna take both our standard attributes and are custom attributes. We've got a nice, big long list. Now we're gonna narrow it down into the key attributes that we want to focus on. The two areas that we're actually going to rank is one is business capability. So I want you to ask yourself, how strong is my business at delivering that this capability? Is it part of my core offering of my overall product or service? That's really important, Understand? So you want to know how capable are you at delivering the service of 2nd 1? How relevant is this attribute to my customer? And what we do is we start to rank each one of these and we'll get an idea of what the strongest attributes are that we really want to focus in on because we can really only position on maybe 4567 different attributes that the most right can't position on 20 or 30 different attributes. Customers are gonna get confused all right. So I really want to make sure that we focus on the customer. So make sure that we gotta ask ourselves, Doesn't custom really care about this. Actually, that's probably the most important thing that we can look at here. All right, so we want to rank on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being the strongest and simple ranking. Ah, system that we're gonna do now. If you're not sure how to rank, then you might need to actually do some additional research. Some things that I want you to look at his online surveys. That can always be a great way to say toe, ask your customers what's important, What's not important. They'll tell you. Trust me, social media. You can put a post out to social media, make it a game for them about giving you feedback. It's always a fun way of doing it. Online communities on just participate in online communities to figure out what's important . Toe those cruisers out there as an example in our Viking cruise example. What do they like? What don't they like? And you can post to these different communities out there. They don't need to be your community. They could be just in general to your target market. Also, ask in person. Focus groups are a great way usability testing. If there's any kind of app or our website could also be, or even any kind of software service at events or even on the cruises themselves and then phone surveys if you want to go a little bit further with that, so there's a lot of different ways that you can actually get to the customer and understand what's relevant to the customers. Let's take a look at Viking Cruises now and see how the supplies to their business. The first thing we're gonna do again. It's going to take a look at the business capabilities. How capable is their business of delivering this attributes? And then second thing is in. The most important, I think, is how relevant it is to the customer. How does it identify with the customer? So let's take a look at a couple of these first of all level of services we talked about. They have a high level of service, is very they're very capable of providing that, so we're gonna get out of eight on their customer raking as well. Level of service is very important to their customers because they target higher end customer with a lot of disposable income because they're targeting the retired customer, the wealthier, retired customer quality of product. That's always an important thing, and they nail it. They probably have one of the best quality of products out there, and so they rank themselves a 10. I would agree with that and also customers their customers at that echelon that sophisticated that. That wealthier customer also thinks quality is very, very important. So that's that's a that's a 10 for them as well. And then let's drop down the list a little bit. Look at sustainability now. Sustainability is not something that they're very that's not part of their business model. It's not really that relevant. So we ranked it a two and actually customers fortunately. Or unfortunately, it's not that important to customers either. So that's gonna have a lower score on both. Probably it will come off the list. Let's take a look at some custom attributes as well. I picked another one that's kind of low, which is family activity on board family activity. In fact, they don't offer it at all. So they get a zero on that and quite frankly, to that customer base. Not really that important onboard technology. I got to tell you, that's another one that they do provide a fair amount of on board technology. Not that great and, quite frankly, customers. We ranked a six because you know, customers care a little bit about technology. But when you're out there cruising, enjoying and you're retired, you really don't care that much about technology, one that I really like. And they rank very high on his activities at the Port of Call. That is a super important thing for customers were ranked out of 10 and they're very, very good at that. And we gave them a nine in terms of their business capabilities. So we have all this information in a spreadsheet that spread. She will actually walk you step by step through this process of actually ranking those, but I want to make sure that you understand how to rank them and what questions asked as your ranking them. So we're gonna make it really easy for you. 13. Step 4 - Evaluating Positioning Rankings: All right, We're on to step four now, which is making your selection. So what I want you to do is I want you to evaluate What we're gonna do here is we're going to evaluate the rankings that we've come up with. So there, a couple of different ways to do that that I want to walk you through. First of all, I'm gonna give you the easiest way is we simply just scan down the list and we look for the attributes that have the highest rankings. And you got to put a check mark by them and cross off the ones that have low ranking so that you're getting that that five list about 5 to 7 that are really pertinent to your business. You could have a little bit more. You could have a little bit less, but make sure they're pertinent to your business overall. Now that's kind of the basic one. Taken to the next step for you that want to go a little bit further. We actually can take each one of the scores for both business relevancy and customer, and we Adam up. So basically, we just take the the two scores Adam up when we get a total, and then we cereal rank the entire list based on the total that we have there. So all what will happen is is all the ones will float to the top. So I got one more way for you. Overachievers, okay? And how what we do here is we basically do what's called a weighted average. So you wait, How important is business capability to you and you given overall weight and you're gonna multiply each one of the attributes by that number and you take your customer relevancy and you say, How important is customer relevancy to my overall and you wait that as well. You then multiply that by the score that you have. And then you add the scores together and then you cereal rank. And again our spreadsheet will guide you through all of that. That last one is just for the overachievers. I know it sounded a little bit confusing, but what I guarantee you when you cereal rank these listings, you'll actually bubble up to the top. Those most important things that are going to guide you to how you really position your overall product or service and what's most important to do that All right. Now it's time to decide. This might be the hardest step, all of them, because what you have to do is you have to pick the best attributes for your positioning. I recommend between 5 to 7 attributes. That's a good gives you a good sense of how you can position your product or service. But if you do more than seven, it actually gets really hard for the customers to digest all that information. You start sending a mixed messages, and they get confused. You don't want that, so you can. You can drop down to three if they're really, really important attributes or four attributes, and they're just you just nailed them. That could be fine as well. I want to make sure that the customer understands exactly how your position they should be able to rattle off your positioning strategy. The essence of positioning is sacrifice. You must be willing to give up something in order to establish a unique position. Jack Trout actually really like that quote because it says exactly what I want you to do. You have to give up something in order to establish that unique positioning that you have. You are so much more effective if you focus your positioning strategy. Otherwise, you start diluting the messages. I said earlier. The customers get confused on That's not a good thing, all right, so let's go ahead and take a look at how Viking Cruises have actually created their positioning strategy and specifically their positioning statement. They picked three of the standard attributes and then a number of custom attributes. The 1st 1 is level of service, which they rank very high for, and it's very important to their customers quality of product and expertise. And I actually think those are the three most important ones. So they did a great job of picking those, and then the custom attributes that they picked is onboard food and drink, which we already said is wildly important to their customers onboard activities, the variety in the port of calls and activities in the port of call so you can see that they actually picked a good number of attributes, things that are very relevant to the business, and that's how they're going to craft their positioning strategy based on those positioning attributes 14. Step 5 - Positioning of Your Attributes: So we're on to step five, which is to articulate your market position for each one of the attributes. So what I want you to do is for each attributes we're actually gonna write a positioning statement for each attribute. This will help us in all of our marketing material and everything we're gonna do going forward. So again, make sure that you describe the positioning statement as it relates to the target customer that you have. It's all about them. So make sure that you say how you're going to fulfill their needs. So there problem. Why should they care? Hit him right Between the eyeballs on this, this has got to be a really powerful statement. So with Viking cruises again, I'm gonna give you use that as the example and we're gonna go through some of their positioning statements. So what will they say about level of service? The onboard concierge team and hospitality staff offers personalized care, satisfying travelers, expectations for high level quality of service and comfort. I love that one. That sounds great. So great positioning statement What I say about quality designer Scandinavian state rooms on board and cultural expeditions at Porta Call combined with a rich experience that appeals to the passenger seeking intellectual enrichment and luxury. Wow, that's very powerful. Expertise experience concierge and cultural guides on board provide introductions to port a call while destination cultural expeditions connect travellers to local food, art and history. Thes unique insights into local heritage and customs. Satisfies passengers. Desires for lifelong learning experiences on board food and drink. Four star chefs and onboard wine experts oversee casual alternatives and formal seedings alike, all of which meet or exceed passengers. Expectations for fresh local specialties onboard activities. Previews of ports of call seminars on the topic, such as history and opera, give passengers enriching experience while in route, number and variety of ports of call. In addition to the flagship itineraries along the waterways of Europe, more than 250 heritage cultural destinations on four continents tempt our audience of seasonal travelers with culturally significant ports of call activities. At ports of Call's performances, food tours and museum visits are all part of the Viking experience, giving our culture and passengers unique insight into local heritage 15. Step 6 - Your Positioning Statement: all right. Our last step is Step six, which is really developing a sink positioning statement. Now this is optional because we've already got such great positioning statements on every one of our attributes. We can use that through our entire business. But if you want to put it all together into one perfectly wordsmith overall statement, I encourage you to do that as well. We've included a number of templates to help you create these positioning statement. So let me give you some examples here. Let's take a look at the statement for Viking Cruise Toe Wealthy older travelers. Viking is the one cruise line that combines rich cultural activities with luxury comfort to provide the thinking person's Cruz Pretty nice statement, wouldn't you say? Now, I think there's a couple of key things that we need to look at. First of all, there's actually a little formula that that a position statement actually followed. So it's basically just inserting the target market, then inserting the brand and saying is the one and then saying what category you're in that and then list the benefits. Now there's one other important point I want to make mention of Is that you the use of the word one. The use of the word one narrows you down and gives you that exclusivity. It says Viking is the one cruise line that combines. So what they're doing is essentially they're narrowing it down there, narrowing down the lens to a single position, and it's actually very, very important. It's very effective. It makes you stand out amongst everybody else in the industry. Here's a few more positioning statements to get your mind going and give you some nice examples here. The 1st 1 is hardly Davidson Harley Davidsons, the only maker of big motorcycles built to capture the freedom of the open road for influential, rugged rebels and wannabes. How about one for Converse? Cover says with styling That's timelessly retro. Converse sneakers signifies cool for the bold individuals of any age. Another example that I want to take a look at is the difference between Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, which is kind of an interesting one there in the exact same industry. But they are positioned completely differently. Dunkin Donuts is America's everyday provider of coffee, donuts and snacks on the go Interesting. Now Starbucks says something different, they say, for coffee lovers. Starbucks is the only brand that provides quality coffee with wholesome snacks and destination cafes designed for lingering. So you can see, I think it's very interesting to see the difference in Dunkin Donuts and how it's kind of for the every day American and where Starbucks is positioned as, ah, higher brand to um, or a fluent customer. You see the difference just in reading those two. So I think it's a good comparison of the two. Now, the last thing that I like you to do is not a formal step, but I want to make sure that you do. It is Wells. I want you to validate your work by checking to see if it actually applies to seven basic questions that we're gonna ask, because I want to make sure that your positioning statement holds up over time, that you've got the right components to drive the creation of the unique value proposition messaging strategy and all of your marketing is going to really feed off of this positioning statement. That's why I want to make sure you ask these questions first. Question is, does it identify your brand's unique value to your customer? We want to make sure that actually resonates with your customer and says, What? A My unique. How my unique doesn't apply across your entire business. Make sure that it's not just a segment of your business, but it's your entire business. Is it easy to understand? Well, investors be ableto read it and go, I get it. I get exactly how your position is it difficult to copy how unique of the claims that you're making in your positioning statement. The harder it is to copy, the more unique it is, the better it is right, and that is it positioned for long term success? Does a statement really in the test of time, through all the growth of the business that you're going to experience because your business is gonna change as you grow? And can this positioning statement really hold up for it? Next, is Kenya brand own it? Is it a line with the core capabilities of your overall business? Very important. And then, finally, will it help you make more effective and brand decisions? This is important thing back to Ben and Jerry's. Think back to how they position their business and how they use that to make all of their branding decisions, so I want to make sure that it's embedded within your entire business for long term success . 16. Common Mistakes: There are some common mistakes that I see entrepreneurs make over and over again when they're developing their positioning strategy, so I don't want you to make them. First of all, positioning strategy is not the same as competitive analysis, so I want to make sure that you focus on the customer, not your competition. In fact, the next mistake is avoid comparisons to competition as part of your overall positioning. That's actually a bad thing to do. There are a couple of exceptions. One is if you're the dominant leader in the industry and you're an upstart, you're trying to disrupt the industry that might work. In that case, the other one is that if you're one of two big players and everybody knows it, so it's the difference between, like Mac and PC and you go at each other like that. That can also work in that case, but that's a very rare case where that does work. Positioning is not also a tagline or a marketing campaign. It's an overarching strategy, so make sure you're not just so focused in tow individual marketing campaign, but your overarching strategy that's really driving the messaging strategy and marketing programs for the long term, not the short term. Next positioning should not be overly aspirational. I do like positioning statements to be aspirational, but not so far that your customers can't believe it, cause there's no way that you're going to deliver it. And in fact, if you make these statements, you might damage your reputation overall. So you want to make sure you assess your capabilities honestly. So I believe very much that great positioning leads to a great launch and a great business . It's a crucial step, so make sure that you nail this. I want to make sure we get this down and we really rocked the industry. As we come out of the gate with our new product or new service, I want to make sure that also as part of your overall unique value proposition, it's integrated in all your messaging and its integrated also in your marketing tactics as you execute them. So creating this is a great investment of time and energy, and I understand that, but this is gonna pay off many times over 17. Positioning 1: Now you're ready to fill out your prep work sheet for your positioning strategy, but first want to give you a couple of tips. I want to make sure that you ensure that you come from the customer's point of view. This is really important that you actually state everything your product or service clearly and accurate on how it's gonna help your customer. Next, make sure you position your business to reflect what you're actually delivering so important. Now be true to your product or service. Avoid the temptation of being everything to everyone. That's probably the biggest mistake that you could make. I want to make sure that you also established expectations with customers through your positioning strategy on exactly what they can expect. What you're going to deliver. As you're filling out the worksheet, I want you to ask some really important questions. First, is it easy to understand? Is your positioning statement easy to understand? Will it be difficult to copy? Will it hold up over the test of time? Do you have the right components to complement your other business strategies, like your value proposition or your messaging strategy? And finally, are your brand attributes clear. One thing that I absolutely want you to remember is this The way you position your product or service is 100% in your control. Customers will create their initial perception about your product or service by what you tell them to think. First thing, I want you to dio make sure you read the instructions and we've got some handy tips for you to get the brain going. Alright, So first step in this entire process is just a brainstorm. I want you to brainstorm your attributes. We call them general attributes easier, standard attributes that every company has associated with that. And I want to make sure that you indicate what you're offering is how does your business apply to these standard attributes? Next step is to create custom attributes these air attributes that are specific to your business or your industry that are not considered industrywide or business wide type of attributes that everybody has. So then you can listed makeup is many custom attributes is you want, and then indicate also how you're offering. You want your offering position for that attributes. And next, the third step is evaluating and scoring all attributes both the custom attributes and the general attributes we actually want to understand, first of all, what your capability is. So what's your capability of actually delivering that attributes? And then the second thing is, how relevant is that? A tribute to your customer. We have to understand both of the dimensions of every attributes in order to really be able to score it and pick the most important attributes for your positioning statement. So this is step for where we're actually indicating, what are the best attributes from the exercise that we did earlier. And you know, you can choose anywhere between three and seven attributes somewhere around there is absolutely fine. And then I want to make sure that you also understand what the capability that you have and how relevant that is of the customers. Well, just kind of carry that over from the prior worksheet because it's so darn important. Step five is actually writing your positioning statement. So for each one of the attributes, I recommend that you write a statement for each one. It could be one or two lines. It doesn't need to be long altogether. When you bring it all together, you could make an overall positioning statement as well. But when I'm building the slide, I actually like to keep each one of the attributes separate so that it really draws in the investor or the reader of my business plan to those key attributes that I want them to focus on. All right, I want you to jump into the worksheet, get started now on building your company positioning.