We asked one of StartCon 2018’s speakers what she thought companies can do better to position products for market. For now, we’ve got to keep the author a secret but we’ll reveal who she is when Early Bird tickets go live – September 18th 😉
The first thing companies need to do to better position themselves is to do it deliberately.
The majority of startups start out with a sort of “default” positioning based on the market they were thinking about when they first conceived of their product. So for example, you may have originally set out to build a better email app. or accounting software for small businesses. But then you iterate on the product, adding and removing things as you interact with customers, at the same time the market itself is evolving as competitors change their products and move in and out of the market.
Fast forward a year and suddenly the best capabilities of your email app look more like chat, or your accounting package is being used more for financial planning than accounting. If you are still positioning your offering as “email” or “accounting software”, your best features really don’t line up with that positioning as all. The result is confused customers, weak messaging, low conversion rates, and long sales cycles.
Great positioning should make your competitive advantages obvious to customers. To get there we often need to let go of our pre-conceived notions of what market we operate in and can win, while opening our minds to the idea that there may be a better way to frame what we do. If you have never deliberately worked through your positioning, it’s likely much weaker than it could be.