This feature list is the foundation detailing what you currently offer your audience. It should not be used for positioning, as customers don’t distinguish between brands based on facts and features.
Define your audience by answering who you serve, who derives the most value from your products, and who in turn provides the most value back to your business.
Capture your audience’s expectations of similar products within your industry by doing user and market research, including reading support tickets, customer complaints, and reviews.
Use user and market research to understand your audience’s baseline expectations for your industry. Consider both quantitative and qualitative research to get a well-rounded view. Leverage any prospect or customer data you may have in internal systems and tools, for example support ticketing systems or sales call analytics and intelligence. You can also review customer complaints and online reviews for a better understanding of these expectations.
Outline your current customer journey and compare it to a typical customer journey in your industry to reveal gaps and opportunities to create a better experience for customers to find, buy, and use your products.
Create a customer journey map to learn the level of awareness customers have around their pain points, how your customers approach your industry, where they research potential solutions, and what their typical path to purchase entails.
Find the pain points and issues within the customer journey to identify potential positioning opportunities.
Analyze what your brand brings to the industry and customer journey that might be different from your competition or better address a common pain point.
Pick a differentiation strategy that best demonstrates your value using the ways your brand delivers on customer expectations and addresses pain points that your competitors do not.
Choose two core factors of differentiation based on your audience’s preferences from common differentiators, such as:
- Product innovation
- Brand experience
- Strong expertise
- Your values and brand purpose
- Technology innovation.
Avoid trying to differentiate your brand based on price, which is volatile, risks cutting into your margins, and threatening business profitability.
Use the layers of value positioning to identify and differentiate your brand using attributes your customers value.
Position yourself on one or more of the attributes for which customers look:
- Rational: providing functional utility to the user.
- Emotional: giving the customer a positive feeling.
- Self-expressive: reflecting the customer’s self-image.
Nike's value positioning
Nike’s brand appeals to its audience’s emotions by providing them with a positive feeling, while also making a fashion statement that aligns with the customer’s positive self-image:
- Functional benefits: High-technology shoe that will improve performance and provide comfort.
- Emotional benefits: The exhilaration of athletic performance excellent; feeling engaged, active and healthy.
- Slogan: Just do it.
Create a summarizing positioning statement that describes who you serve, what they value, and how your product uniquely provides the benefits they seek.
Structure your positioning statement like this:
Our company serves [audience] by providing [products]. We are unique because we [value] so they can [benefits].