10 Step Positioning Course of: An “Clearly Superior” Guide Abstract – Half 3



That is the third and closing abstract of April Dunford’s “Clearly Superior” e book on positioning. On this abstract, we undergo Dunford’s 10 step positioning course of which can aid you implement your new positioning assertion and acquire vital buy-in from the opposite purposeful groups in your group.

By Sarah Threet, Advertising Guide at Heinz Advertising

You may suppose you understand every thing about positioning, however you most likely don’t know every thing about methods to DO positioning.  

For a myriad of promoting targets comparable to beginning ABM, eager to make higher content material, and rising income, the foundational enter that we reference again to each time is positioning. Failure to place your self appropriately has pricey outcomes as a result of you find yourself investing in a black gap quite than in your greatest match.  

That is the third and closing e book abstract weblog on Dunford’s “Clearly Superior! Tips on how to Nail Product Positioning so Prospects Get It, Purchase It, Love It”. On this abstract, I’ll spotlight the 10 Step Positioning Course of. I extremely advocate studying Dunford’s e book and to grasp these factors intimately; I’ll solely be summarizing however Dunford has an incredible writing voice and makes use of improbable examples to additional illustrate these factors. 

Step 1. Perceive the Prospects Who Love Your Product 

To win extra buy-in to your product, you’re going to wish to grasp higher what there may be to like about your product – from the client’s perspective. To get this angle, a key advice is to supply a survey. Nonetheless, in case you survey your whole buyer base, it may be tough to discover a sample, as totally different demographics of shoppers are going to understand totally different worth out of your product.  

Whose opinion of your product issues probably the most? Greatest-fit clients are those that rave about you, refer you, and might be a reference for you. In the event you already know who these clients are, they’re who we propose you deal with surveying. In the event you can perceive what they love about your product, they are going to be your best stream of progress. 

This assumes that you have already got numerous very pleased clients to survey. If that’s not the case, you’re not but able to tighten positioning, and you want to proceed testing on your best-fit. Dunford says to think about it has a fishing web. Possibly at first you suppose you’re going to catch groupers, however you as a substitute pull a whole lot of tuna. You wouldn’t have been in a position to catch tuna had you began by positioning your “basic fishing web” as a grouper web. Hold your positioning unfastened whilst you check and see who bites.  

Step 2. Kind a Positioning Group 

A positioning course of works greatest as a staff effort, bringing in advertising, gross sales, and buyer success, to collect all inputs of buyer notion. Forming this staff usually helps expose every staff’s assumptions about your attributes, worth, and goal market. Keep in mind, it’s a standard drawback that advertising, gross sales, and CS aren’t aligned, and this misalignment will hinder your income progress. You will have everybody’s perspective, engagement, and buy-in on your positioning and go-to-market technique to work. 

Positioning is intertwined with the general enterprise technique and must be led by a enterprise chief. That chief wants to realize purchase in from each purposeful group’s chief. Regularly, advertising is the purposeful group that surfaces the necessity for positioning as they’re those who really feel probably the most ache from weak positioning, however they can’t “personal” the positioning alone because it is part of the general enterprise technique. 

That is how positioning impacts the purposeful teams: 

Advertising: Messaging, focusing on, and marketing campaign planning to execution 

Gross sales: Goal buyer segmentation and account technique 

Buyer success: Onboarding and account enlargement technique 

Product: roadmaps and prioritization   

Step 3. Align Your Positioning Vocabulary and Let Go of Your Positioning Baggage 

If in case you have all the time considered your product in a technique, as competing in a selected market, or fixing a selected drawback, then it may be exhausting to see it in another mild – we seek advice from this as positioning baggage (or much more broadly, tenured bias). It may be tough to implement change with this angle, and much more so when purposeful teams outline the product and positioning otherwise.  

Your positioning staff might want to let go of positioning baggage as a result of finally the market goes to alter, and so will the notion of that market. Dunford makes use of an incredible instance in her e book about Arm & Hammer repositioning from baking soda to a deodorizing product.  

Dunford recommends being aware of the presence of your historical past in your present place. How has the market and the terminology you utilize modified since first conceptualizing your product? This consciousness may open your thoughts to future repositioning.   

Step 4. Record Your True Aggressive Alternate options  

Prospects don’t all the time see rivals the identical method that we do, and it’s their perspective that issues most! The options of your product are solely as distinctive and invaluable as your buyer perceives in relation to alternate options. And people alternate options aren’t all the time rivals! 

Perceive what a buyer may substitute you with in order that you know the way to categorize your resolution. Fairly often, the choice could possibly be to “rent an intern”, “use excel”, or another “enterprise as normal” excuse. That is widespread as a result of, as you could know your self, change is tough, and adopting a brand new product means switching prices.  

Step 5. Isolate Your Distinctive Attributes and Options 

Upon getting an inventory of aggressive alternate options, the following step is to isolate what makes you totally different and higher than these alternate options. Begin by itemizing each totally different attribute you’ll be able to consider – even in case you suppose it could possibly be perceived as damaging or in case you are unsure of the worth it holds.  

For each attribute you will want proof, even for issues that appear nebulous. Your opinion of your personal power is irrelevant with out proof. Third-party validation is all the time a wonderful method to have proof ought to you might have one thing much less quantifiable (plus, referrals and suggestions are strongly most well-liked by many prospects).  

Step 6. Match the Attributes to Worth Themes 

Attributes (options) are a place to begin, however clients care extra about what these options can DO for them. Options allow advantages which will be translated into worth for purchasers. Options can have a number of worth factors, and a mixture of options can equate a worth too.  

Dunford contains the next desk, which I’m an enormous fan of. It helps to map the good thing about a characteristic to a objective that the client is making an attempt to attain. 

Dunford table


You must start to see a handful of themes emerge out of your listing. To start grouping these factors of worth into themes, you’ll want to contemplate it from the angle of your prospect. The objective of this train is to group comparable worth factors right into a restricted listing of worth clusters. Once more, we wish to deal with probably the most essential issues that our best-fit clients love.  

Step 7. Decide Who Cares a Lot 

Keep in mind that simply because you might have a number of distinctive attributes that ship worth, not all clients are going to care about that worth in the identical method. Entrepreneurs often seek advice from this as “segmentation”, an idea that Dunford criticizes can be extensively misunderstood, like positioning. She argues that helpful segmentation must transcend demographics and firmographics. 

Dunford focuses once more on the best-fit prospect. Until your enterprise goals require extra income from extra clients than are simply in your best-fit class, it’s ultimate to not make your positioning too broad, as you’d be spending cash making an attempt to make “simply okay” clients pleased, when you can be retaining your “model evangelists” and fine-tuning your product.  

Step 8. Discover a Market Body of Reference That Places Your Strengths on the Heart and Decide Tips on how to Place It. 

You wish to make your worth apparent to those that are going to care most about it; choosing a market that does that is more durable than you could suppose. Moreover, choices and markets evolve, and the angle of prospects might evolve too. By selecting to positon inside a sure market, you’re offering contextual clues to your prospects on how they need to understand the product, however how that prospect perceives the market could possibly be totally different from you.  

Dunford recommends: 

  • Use abductive reasoning 
  • Look at adjoining, rising markets 
  • Ask your clients (with warning and understanding of their very own bias) 

There are totally different approaches for isolating, focusing on, and profitable a market: 

  1. Head-to-head: positioning to win an current market 
  2. Large fish, small pond: positioning to win a subsegment of an current market
  3. Create a brand new recreation: positioning to win a market that you simply create 

Dunford goes additional into element about these approaches, the benefits and downsides, and when to make use of them – If something, I may write an entire new weblog on simply this step, however I like to recommend studying her e book.  

Step 9. Layer on a Pattern (Rigorously) 

When you’ve developed your market context, you may take into account layering on a pattern. That is optionally available, however will be highly effective, if carried out with warning. As soon as once more, I may write a complete weblog simply on this subject, however the massive takeaway is that the pattern ought to reinforce your positioning, not muddy it. 

Dunford grahic


A few vital factors to contemplate when deciding if a present pattern aligns together with your positioning: 

  • Describing a pattern with out declaring a market could make your product cool, however complicated. 
  • Developments ought to solely be used when there’s a clear hyperlink to your product. Make the connection between the pattern and your market apparent.

Step 10. Seize Your Positioning so It Can Be Shared 

Rounding again to the subject of buy-in: positioning doesn’t cease after conception – it requires adoption from everybody within the firm. The frequent grievance about positioning statements is that they’re too unfastened, contrived, awkward, and will be tough to memorize. 

The bottom line is to seize the positioning in a documented method that particulars each part of the place, breaking it down for advertising, gross sales, and product, exhibiting how each part interacts with each other. 

Right here is the template that Dunford shares in her e book, and you may obtain it to be used on her web site at AprilDunford.com 


Dunford template


As for placing all of it into play and getting these nitty-gritty particulars, and hilarious story examples, I extremely advocate Dunford’s e book. It’s the perfect of what I’ve personally seen so far as laying the bottom for methods to view your positioning after which HOW to implement and iterate upon it. 


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