Positioning…USP…Big Idea. Whatever you want to call it – positioning is vital to any successful product or service. In fact, if you look at any of the world’s market-leading products you’ll notice they have super strong positioning.
Positioning is what sets these businesses apart from the competition. So they become the ONLY choice for customers who refuse to buy from anyone else.It means they get to dominate their market…attract loyal buyers…and charge premium prices for their products.
But that’s not all.
Market leaders also do something else that practically guarantees customer loyalty. Not only do they position their products strongly. They also DE-POSITION the alternatives (more on that in a minute) so they remove product choice from their customers’ buying decision.
What Makes Good Positioning?
When most people think of positioning, they think about the unique features of a product that make it better, faster or cheaper than other products in the market.
This is NOT positioning.
That’s because positioning isn’t just about expressing what makes your products better. It’s about shifting a belief that the OTHER WAYS of doing things are so much worse than your way, that they’re actually OBSOLETE. In short, other products can’t get a look in when compared to your products or services.
Think about it this way…
If you own a family car there are hundreds of options to choose from when you buy your next motor. You could buy a car with a boot. Or you could buy a car with a big boot. You could even buy a car with the world’s biggest boot.
The reality is, the difference between a car with a boot and a car with a massive boot is not life-changing. It doesn’t trigger a big a-ha moment in the mind of the buyer. It means any of these cars could be a viable choice.
How to Make Your Products the
When you get your positioning right, you remove choice from your market. It means the only options for your buyer are “Do I buy it?” or “Do I NOT buy it?”. Instead of “Do I buy product A, B, C, D, E or nothing?”
Here’s how to nail your positioning:
- Step 1- Identify your target market.
- Step 2 – Understand their fears and aspirations.
- Step 3 – Identify how they’re currently overcoming their fears and achieving their goals.
- Step 4 – Explain why their existing solution is no longer good enough. And present your new way to solve their problem (this is DE-POSITIONING).
- Step 5 – Provide proof to back up your claims.
If we go back to our car example, how do we remove choice from the car-buying customer?
- Identify your target market – Families with young children
- Understand their fears and aspirations – Cars are dangerous. How do I get my family from A-B in safety and comfort?
- Identify their existing solution – A Volkswagen Estate Car
- Present the new solution – Other estate cars are not built with enough roll bars or side airbags to protect your children in an accident. Only Volvo is designed to keep your family safe.
(Notice how Volvo has effectively discredited all other cars. The implication is that you’re a fool if you don’t buy a Volvo. And nobody wants to be a fool!)
- Provide proof – Volvo has double the number of airbags, and a roll cage made of an ultra-strong proprietary material that can withstand higher impacts than any other car on the market.
Positioning – Volvo is the ONLY car that can keep your family safe. Buying any other family car puts your loved ones in danger.
A Seed of Doubt
In effect, for positioning to be effective, you need to plant a seed of doubt in your customer’s mind about every other product in the market. You need to speak to your buyers’ core fears and frustrations to de-position the competition. At the same time, you need to bind your solution to those doubts and fears, and show proof that your product is the ONLY way to solve their problem.
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