It’s a Make-or-Break Proposition
The window of opportunity to market a new product is short. It requires all hands on deck to develop standout positioning and communicate it effectively. In this make-or-break situation, it makes sense to involve an experienced positioning professional. Here’s why.
Time is the Enemy
New ideas have a “shelf life” — an increasingly shorter one. If it is a good idea, it will be mimicked. Being forced to deal with look-alike products happens sooner rather than later. The first-mover advantage will be lost to a skilled second-mover if market leadership is not achieved in a timely fashion.
Accelerating the Communications Journey
Many companies take too long to hit their stride in communicating effectively. That is time that can never be recovered. That time is crucial for building effective competitive barriers and to make available cash stretch as far as possible in order to cover ramp-up expenses.
As a make-the-market specialist, positioning is part of every project I undertake and my goal is to break new ground and make the most of that precious time by bringing clarity to communications.
At the moment I am working with nine different start-up companies and their founding teams — each a part of the B2B incubator, 9Mile Labs. As a result of the workshops that I am conducting with each company, I have been reminded of the value clear positioning generates. For example:
- Hit the Bulls Eye: Emerging companies have a lot to say about how they do what they do. However, what a prospect needs to hear first are the Whys. More on how to accomplish this is available at: Why Me? Why Now? Why this Product?
- Standout Fast: In the first few seconds of your interaction with a prospect, they will decide to either go-forward or stop. Use that time wisely by cutting through the clutter and clearly communicate why you are different from all the rest. More on how this is achieved is available at: Positioned Clearly.
- Use an Appropriate Analogy: For one of the 9Mile Labs start-ups, a successful communications concept from the telecommunications industry was applied to a retail situation, generating immediate understanding.
- Speed-Up “Discovery”: The “fit” message can be understood and market tested before you ramp up a sales team. Avoid the pain and expense of the “one-salesperson-to-one-prospect” discovery process that chews up so much time.
- Lower Cost of Sales: When the “fit” message is clear, you can bring qualified buyers to the business through cost-effective marketing tactics, rather than seek prospects through high-cost, personal selling tactics. More on how to do this available at: Practice Systematic Marketing.
Be prepared by asking yourself, “Of all the things my product can do or deliver, when competition copies me, what is the most important thing I will fight for in order to standout?” The answer will take you a long way towards knowing how to position yourself in the present.
It’s a Make-or-Break Situation
Achieving standout positioning and effectively communicating it is challenging work. It is one of the hardest things a marketer has to do. As in any other significant endeavor, frequency and depth of experience matters.
A typical marketer will position or reposition a product only a few times in their career, which reminds me of a conversation that I had with a physician friend. He told me when picking out a surgeon, choose someone that does that same procedure often. That advise makes sense in marketing situations as well, because positioning can make-or-break the success of a company.
That is why positioning is a specialty. A specialist offers the experience built with frequency, provides frameworks that speed the outcome, and provides feedback on what has worked or not worked in other situation. Combined, this means that obstacles are removed, performance is optimized, and precious time is saved.