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Top 5 Reasons Your Product Positioning Falls on Deaf Ears

product positioning

Think about a time when you met someone new in a social or business situation and you instantly hit it off. The reason you hit it off so quickly is because it didn’t take long to figure out you were both on the same page with whatever you were talking about.

If you create your product positioning in a way that does the exact same thing, your marketing and sales efforts will yield noticeably better results.

Here are five reasons your products aren’t instantly hitting it off with your target customers.

1. Your Target Customers Aren’t Convinced You Understand Them

The majority of your product positioning narrative is too focused on getting target customers to understand what your products do and how they’re beneficial. It seems completely logical.

Here’s the thing. Your target customers don’t engage because they understand you. They engage because they’re convinced you understand them.

Effective product positioning boils down to telling your target customers things you know they’d agree with. Convince them you think just like they do and they’ll automatically assume your products are great before they ever engage.

2. Your Product Positioning Isn’t Conversational

High tech companies have a language of their own, and it’s not the same language your target customers speak.

If you want your product positioning to create that instant connection, stop telling your target customers how you’re optimizing, maximizing, transforming, empowering, delivering actionable intelligence, driving growth across the value chain, and all the other buzzwords that amount to nothing more than fluff in their minds.

Use words and phrases they use in everyday conversations. It’s the easiest way to convince them you understand their world and the things they’re dealing with. That’s what leads them to the conclusion your products are uniquely valuable.

3. You’re Speaking To The Wrong Audience

Your product positioning is too one-dimensional. It’s focused on users. Throwing in generic executive benefits like improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, improving profitability and driving more revenue won’t help your cause. There’s not enough value context at the user level to make those executive claims credible.

If you want to engage decision-makers and influencers, you have to communicate how your products make users measurably better at their job in ways that impact higher level initiatives and priorities that are critical to those decision-makers.

Now you have full value context because the storyline is 80% about what they do and more importantly, why. Your product is merely the proof point that eliminates the obstacles.

4. Your Writing Is Bland

Proper corporate-style writing is out! It’s bland. It doesn’t energize anyone.

If you want to convince your target customers you understand them as well as they understand themselves, your positioning needs to make bold emotional statements they’d agree with, and they need to be written conversationally (#2).

It doesn’t mean your writing style has to be irreverent or unprofessional. It just means you have to write with a lot more conviction.

Here’s how your target customers perceive you. In their minds, you’re dealing with a lot of organizations just like them. They expect you to know what everyone else is doing and why they’re doing it.

Give the people what they want! Create positioning that leads them to the conclusion you understand the world they live in, you know exactly where they want to go (#1) and you can take them there.

5. You Don’t Net It Out

Get to the point as quickly as possible. If a prospective customer scrolled your product webpage, would the bold headlines tell a story that creates an instant connection?

Let’s say you’re scanning your daily newsfeed and you see an article titled, The 3 Worst Habits of People With Desk Jobs.”

When you click on the article, you want the list right up front. If it’s not there, you quickly scroll to find it. If you have to scroll too far, you abort and go to the next article.

Don’t create product positioning that does the same thing!

The Bottom Line on Product Positioning

Your product positioning has to be crafted in a way that quickly endears target customers to your products emotionally. It’s your easiest path to differentiation, especially if your products don’t do anything drastically different than the competition.

The magic of good marketing and sales still comes down to making your buyers feel comfortable. Remember, they’re most comfortable with what they know. Build your positioning around that!

Click here if you want to experience the easiest way to learn product management, product marketing, pre-sales demos and customer success with our unique hands-on learning format. Be sure to check out our Product Management Framework that simplifies everything by making customer outcomes the starting point for building, marketing, selling and delivering strategic value.

Or enroll in an on-demand course and learn at your own pace.

You’ll walk away knowing exactly what good product positioning looks like for you. You won’t have to figure it out after the training.

by John Mansour on September 6, 2022.