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A product that sells itself is the ultimate dream for SaaS owners, but you might be wondering how to make your product irresistible.
What makes a memorable product, and how can you stand out in a crowded market?
Today, we'll take a look at five vital elements of memorable product positioning and how you can start using them to follow through on your vision.
But first, let's answer a crucial question:
The renowned marketing author Al Ries said:
“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.”
In other words, product positioning is all about finding a place for your product in the consumer's mind. It's about understanding what people think of your category and then figuring out how your product is different.
For example, if you're selling a new type of toothbrush, you must identify the already existing problems and desires in the market and position your toothbrush as the solution.
If you find that most people think of toothbrushes as a necessary evil, you might want to position your toothbrush as a luxurious item that makes brushing fun.
If you discover that people are looking for an environmentally friendly option, you could position your toothbrush as a more sustainable choice.
The key is to find the right way to frame your product so that it stands out in the mind of the customer.
Now that we understand what product positioning is, let's take a look at the five vital elements of memorable positioning.
If we all solve similar problems and we all craft similar solutions, how is it possible for anyone to stand out?
The trap many founders (especially rookie founders) fall into is they believe if they mimic successful brands in the industry, they'll be successful too.
The key to success is not copying your competition, but finding your unique selling proposition (USP).
Your USP is what makes you different. It's what makes you special. It's the one thing that nobody else in your industry can claim to have.
SpaceX, for example, has a powerful USP: they're the only company that can send things to space.
Rolex has a unique selling proposition, too: their watches are built to last a lifetime.
Your USP doesn't have to be as flashy as being the only company in your industry that can do something extraordinary. It can be as simple as being the most affordable option or the most user-friendly option.
The key is to find something that makes you stand out and then focus all of your marketing efforts on communicating that to the world.
Who are you selling to?
Once you know your target market, it's much easier to identify their needs and desires. Then, craft a message that communicates how your product solves their problem in a unique way.
Make sure all of your marketing materials (website, social media, ads, etc.) are consistent and support your unique selling proposition.
What are your product's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
Make a list of all the ways your product is different (better, faster, more affordable, etc.) and all of the strengths your team has to offer.
Also list any weaknesses your product might have and how you plan to overcome them.
Finally, make a list of any potential opportunities for your product and the threats it might face from competition.
Not everyone will understand your unique selling proposition immediately. In fact, some people might not get it at all.
That's why it's important to test different versions of your message with different audiences to see what works best.
The goal is to find the combination of words and images that resonate with your target market and make them want to learn more about your product.
At the end of the day, it's all about iteration. Keep testing and tweaking your message until you find the right one.
If you aren't using the power of story in your product strategy, you're missing out.
Smart founders use stories to give their products an extra punch and personality. And great companies from Tesla to Apple to Google use stories to paint strong narratives around their brands.
Why is narrative so important?
Because it helps people understand your product in a way that goes beyond features and benefits. It helps them see the world through your product's eyes.
Start by identifying the emotional needs your product fulfills.
People don't buy products. They buy solutions to their problems.
Your job is to identify the emotional need your product fulfills and then craft a story around it.
For example, the emotional need that Tesla solves is the need for innovation.
That's why their narrative is all about racing to the future.
Apple, on the other hand, solves the need for creativity and self-expression.
That's why their narrative is all about changing the way we live our lives.
Once you identify the emotional need your product fulfills, it's time to start crafting your story.
Your story doesn't have to be complicated.
In fact, it'll probably be abstract.
But it should be memorable and help people understand why your product is different (and better) than the competition.
Some helpful ideas include:
A metaphor is a figure of speech that helps people understand your product in a way that goes beyond features and benefits.
For example, the company Dyson talks about their products as machines that ” suck up dirt.”
That's a powerful metaphor that helps people understand how their product works.
People love stories that are personal to them.
That's why it's important to find a way to make your story relevant to your target market.
For example, the company Warby Parker tells the story of how they started the company after they lost a pair of glasses on a trip.
That story is personal to their target market and it helps them connect with potential customers.
People are emotional creatures and they respond best to stories that focus on the human element.
For example, the company Airbnb tells the story of how their founders met and how they struggled to find a place to stay while they were on vacation.
That story focuses on the human element and it helps people connect with the company on an emotional level.
Your product might have a lot of features and benefits, but if you can't boil it down to one big idea, you're in trouble.
The big idea is the heart of your product and it's what people will remember long after they've forgotten the details.
For example, the big idea behind Apple is “Think different.”
That's a powerful statement that helps people understand the company's philosophy.
The big idea behind Google is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
That's a lofty goal, but it's one that Google has been able to achieve.
What's your big idea?
You need to find a way to communicate it clearly.
For example, you can use a slogan, a mission statement, or a tagline.
Look for inspiration in the company's mission statement. By getting back to the basics and focusing on your company's mission, you can create a powerful narrative for your product.
In every good story, there's an enemy that needs to be defeated.
For example, the enemy in the story of Apple is Microsoft.
The two companies have been battling it out for years, and Apple has always been the underdog. But they've managed to stay afloat by focusing on their big ideas and creating a powerful narrative.
Your product might not have an enemy per se, but you can still find a way to create tension by highlighting the differences between your product and the competition.
Heck, your enemy can even be the status quo.
The idea is to create a conflict that your product can solve and present it concisely.
This creates a polarizing effect that helps people understand the difference between your product and the competition.
This is the hard part.
No matter how good your messaging is, if the experience sucks, you're screwed.
People will talk, and they'll talk fast.
The experience is the most important part of your product and it's what will make people come back for more.
It's also what will make them recommend your product to their friends.
For example, the experience of using an iPhone is different than using a Samsung phone.
The two companies focus on different things and that's reflected in the experience of using their products.
Make sure you focus on the experience and make sure it's up to par with your competition.
If you want to stand out in 2022, you can't ignore product positioning. The good news? You don't have to start from scratch.
Start with your audience and work your way backwards. Find a way to connect with them on an emotional level and focus on the big idea behind your product.
Create tension by highlighting the differences between your product and the competition and make sure the experience is up to par.
If you can do all of that, you'll be well on your way to creating memorable product positioning.
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