Creation of a software product and management of its development. Product positioning
Course table of contents
1. The Role of the Product Manager and the Framework
2. Market segmentation and competitive analysis
3. Custom personas
4. Testing hypotheses
5. Product positioning <- You are here
– To be continued
In past posts, we’ve talked about how to understand your customers using so-called user personas and how to test hypotheses about your product’s development. But if you have already done work on the formation of persons with potential and existing customers and already understand for whom the product is being developed and what it should be, the question arises: “How to position it correctly?”
You can approach this task in different ways, but in most cases, a fairly easy and versatile positioning method is suitable. To do this, it is enough to use the “formula”, which includes three variables:
1. What problem does the product solve?
2. For which segment is it created and are people willing to pay for it?
3. Why is the product better than the solutions of competitors in the selected segment?
The answers to these questions allow you to find the correct positioning. You can use the following example for product positioning as a template – just insert your words!
By the way, this is exactly how Apple positions its products: “The iPod is a universal digital player, it was created for everyone who wants to listen to the existing music, it can store 10,000 songs, and it is easier and more convenient to do it than other players offer”.
How to position your brand?
Brand positioning is not the same as product positioning. But in today’s market conditions, brand positioning is equally important, because every product manufacturer wants to reach out to all possible customers. This means that the company should be recognized.
We live in a time when most physical goods are produced in China and distribution is global. Quality alone will no longer win the market, at least because people don’t know about good quality until they buy your product. The task of brand positioning is to share its values with the consumer, to remain in the hearts of a certain category of customers. And it is highly desirable that this is your target audience.
So, brand positioning isn’t all about promises. You need to choose metaphors that speak to your company’s values.
Consider one example: Let’s say a bank claims to be a small business partner. He can focus on a high level of service, reliability, desire for cooperation.
But for brand positioning, emotions are needed! You can pick up such metaphors – way, road, joint movement… For positioning, a slogan like “We are on the way!“. The emotional presentation described in the green hexagon above will be easier to perceive and try on, because many entrepreneurs need just a fellow traveler bank, and they want to gain confidence in a partner and feel support.
Try to define who your client is, what your niche is, what you have to offer, and how you prove your company is better than others. The main task of brand positioning is to lead a person to the first purchase or order. And in order to differentiate yourself from competitors you need to use some advantages. The picture below shows 5 examples of competitive positioning.
You can do something better or create a product for a specific audience. Finally, you can make not only the cheapest, but also, on the contrary, the most expensive. I remember in Moscow there was an advertisement for “The Most Expensive Burger”. The restaurant actually used gold leaf, cuttlefish ink and so on for serving. As a result, the burger cost about 5 thousand rubles, and there were people interested in it. People wanted to eat this particular product. In general, anything is suitable for positioning, if you are sure that it sets you apart from other players in the target niche.
The way to the client’s heart
To make things even clearer, let’s look at the process of moving to the first purchase or order from the customer.
1. First, a person has a need. It depends on lifestyle and personality characteristics. And as a result, he realizes that he needs something.
2. When the need becomes conscious, the time comes to search. A person searches for information on the Internet, social networks and other sources. The older generation goes to traditional shops, compares and compares.
3. An opinion is formed in a person.
4. Based on the collected information, a choice is made. The consumer finds what, in his opinion, will help satisfy the need in the best way.
5. The person makes a decision and makes the first purchase.
When a consumer feels close to your brand and gets to know the product personally, we can already work with quality, service, functionality, warranty, and so on. But for the first purchase, you need to get right into the heart.
This is why positioning is broadcast in all the content that we create: in unique “selling” expressions, content marketing, advertising, e-mail newsletters, webinars, and even in scripts for calling.
Proper positioning also makes it easier to find partners, helps you choose the right websites to target, find relevant influencers, choose the right conferences and do SEO effectively.
There are many examples of successful positioning on the market. Take, for example, car brands that everyone knows well. Many people use cars, but people want completely different things from personal transport. Someone needs more affordable cars, while others need status cars. Someone likes to drive fast and wants a car with a large engine, while others prefer a slow and calm, but economical drive. That is, not everyone wants to buy an expensive and powerful car. Therefore, car brands have successfully divided the market and occupy different niches.
Telecommunications operators are another example. In Russia, this market was initially very highly competitive and the companies fought for each new client for years. Over time, the entire market was divided, and all operators had all the clients that can only be in our country. As a result, now everyone has about the same quality, prices and even coverage. But initially the positioning of companies was different for different categories of consumers.
The largest Russian mobile operators use different logo colors (and this alone can become a reason for loyalty). An orientation was set for different categories: Beeline focused on young people and progressive people. Megafon tried to show that it provides reliable and high-quality services. Tele2’s slogan is “Other rules”. The operator offered other tariffs, it was more affordable. MTS, one might say, was the most impersonal. But it also helped him position himself in the market, stating, “We bring connectivity for everyone.” In addition, fans of red chose MTS.
Unique distinctive competencies
However, in addition to external advantages, well-thought-out slogans and content, companies strive to offer the consumer some kind of unique value. Deep competitive advantages help in its formation. A set of skills, resources and competencies helps to create a truly special product, even in today’s globalized world.
You can leverage new technologies, your industry position, market position, price, unique business processes or manufacturing know-how, focus on customer satisfaction, or just be the first in history.
Unique competencies are a combination of tangible and intangible resources, as well as company capabilities, including human skills, know-how and technology. The presence of such competencies helps to build an optimal strategy for product development, which will create competitive advantages in the market.
At the same time, it is worth remembering the main advantage of any company. After all, technology, supply, quality, sales channels – all this can be replicated. But a well-structured business model will not be so easy to define from the outside and, moreover, to copy. Therefore, your unique way of doing business is the coolest advantage. Of course, verified processes are a characteristic of a mature company. But they do not appear instantly, and the leaders of their markets acquired them in the process of growth, developing their product, increasing efficiency at every stage of development.
In the next article, we will start talking about building business processes and choosing a development strategy. It’s about the roadmap and its features. If you want to know why you need it, and what mistakes you should avoid while sketching it, subscribe to our blog so as not to miss the next post.
→ Video recording of all lectures of the course available on YouTube
Lecture on positioning, resources and competencies: