Leaders Are Readers Series #7: Positioning The Battle For Your Mind by Al Ries, Jack Trout, et. al
"We're in a competition for attention ." ~ Gary Vee
Leaders Are Readers Series Episode 7 POSITIONING: The Battle For Your Mind by Al Ries, Jack Trout, and Philip Kotler
1st step to good marketing planning is RESEARCH. Resist the temptation to focus on the product, price, place, and promotion before doing your research. The best strategy to propel your business will come from the findings in the research stage.
Never make assumptions based on a small sample. Research 101. Ask enough of the right questions to enough people and then look at what the data is telling you.
2nd step is SEGMENTING the market.
From the research, you now understand the customers, preferences, pain problems, and different groups begin to emerge. The aim of segmenting is to find the group within the market that :
1. Will be BEST served by your offer/solution,
2. desperately NEEDs your solution the most, and
3. can AFFORD it.
(Note: the consumer is not always the buyer, For example, students may need your career coaching the most but of course, they don't have any money, but if the school is the buyer of your program for their students it still works, or if a company that is a big employer in your area can see the benefit of your services to their recruitment process, they could be the buyer, and the students remain the consumer. )
3rd step is targeting. Avoid making offers to people who don't feel they have to have your solution. A perfect example of a great product-customer match: if you have an adult acne solution, your customer is a person who has a job, who is tired of living with this acne condition and will try just about anything to get rid of this problem. Your solution sells itself, meaning if you can just get your potential customer's attention their interest is already there, they just need to be certain of a few check box items before purchasing.
Step #3 is HUGE! I have made this mistake many times before, and I see a lot of people doing this. Don't hesitate to go back to the drawing board and admit that your business is broken. If you're spending time, money, and energy on something you need to persuade the potential customer that they need it. You're in the wrong business, with a few exceptions. Never ever persuade, that's a form of manipulation and if it does lead to a purchase it's followed up with poor reviews, refunding requests, and always remember that bad news travels faster and further than good news. It's not worth it. As a startup, word of mouth is key to growth.(See previous Leaders Are Readers book review)
Step #4, is POSITIONING, the focus of this book. Now that you have a solution that will sell itself to your target customer, the real work begins (I know! lol. The work really hasn't begun).
Positioning is a long-term play.
Make sure you listen to the podcast episode on this book, it's short, to the point, and packed with positioning tips. Let's start with the authors' definition of positioning; this is key to how you will approach this process:
"But positioning is not what you do to a product.
Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.
That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect."
How do we POSITION our product, service, company, career ...?
"... straightforward, clearly defined explanation of the basic positioning premise."
Simply state the position to be occupied in the mind of the prospect. No need for poetry, simple clarity is all that's needed. The complex part comes in stating a position that isn't occupied. A position that can't be occupied already has a market leader in it. For example, the #1 computer manufacturing company in the world is already taken. The moment those words are stated, the mind of the prospect thinks IBM, and when they see your company's name attached immediately it screams fraudulent claims. That position is occupied!
Where can your company be #1? Perhaps, 'the #1 maker of custom computer designs for creators, made by creatives down under.' It's long-winded, but you get the point. Would your prospect immediately think of a company? If not, then that is an open position in the mind.
"The basic approach of positioning is not to create something new and different,
but to manipulate what’s already up there in the mind,
to retie the connections that already exist."
People take things literally therefore whatever position you want to establish, whether for your product/service, company, personal brand etc. choose words that "trigger the position you want to establish." Make sure the words are pleasing to the ear.
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Listen to the podcast episode on this book here ⬇️
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