Why it is important to position your product correctly

January 23, 2011 | By More

How you promote your company or product isn’t just about what you say. You may have spent a lot of time, money and effort and created beautiful brochures or even a stunning website. You might have even engaged consultants to help you to target your market, develop a marketing campaign and funded an expensive roadshow – if you have the money to do all that.

Often it is how you say it (or sometimes not say) that matters to the potential customers.

Let me illustrate with a short story. I was having tea with an entrepreneur discussing how the current school system is too focused on the paper chase – that parents push their children only to get the best grades. Those children who resist being pushed or those who are less capable often get low grades.  Sometimes this over emphasis on grades result  in children later in life not knowing what they are really passionate about because they were never had the time to explore what they like when they were younger.

Children in classroom

She explained her private tuition school is different. Her teaching method focuses on hands-on activities to enhance the learning experience. They use this to teach maths, science and other subjects. As a result students there improve their grades because they enjoy the subjects and also learn about the practical side of the subjects.  The funny thing she said was although the school has been around for 6 years, it was only in the last 6 months that they saw a big increase in enrollment. What happened recently? I asked.

The main change, she explained, was to emphasise in their brochures and roadshows that the students have better grades after attending their school. Before that, they had been telling potential parents that their school is better because they have activities that stimulate the children’s minds to learn better.

Ah-ha! The brochures were the same. The roadshows were the same. Even what they did in the school was the same.  But how they said it changed!   It was how the impression of the school was positioned in the mind of the parents.

They had changed from describing what the children did to describing what the children achieved. Parents were looking for that. And when they heard it confirmed in the school’s brochures, they signed up in droves.

All the school had done was to re-position itself to show the benefits – which itself aligned with what the customers had problems with!

The same can apply to your product or service.

Are you merely providing a web site development consultancy or are you advising on how to evolve from a bricks and mortar business into the virtual internet world?

Are you creating an online payment system or a new business model for mobile phone applications?

How you answer these questions will drive the way you run your business – and tell your customers and investors what you are about.

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About the Author ()

EngTong, pioneer and innovator. Graduated from Imperial College London with an MBA from Cranfield School of Management. Lived in Scotland, England, California, Beijing and led teams in Italy, France, Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia to do the impossible. Now based in Singapore and believes the future is to blend the sophistication of western management practices with the strength of Asian Values. Trained as a Chartered Engineer. Member of IET, Associate of City and Guilds and a certified SixSigma Champion.

Comments (2)

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  1. PS says:

    Now I truly appreciate the significance of knowing your k value 🙂

    • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2017/10. Is its parent directory writable by the server? ET says:

      There are two aspects to this discussion: the first is to understand what quantifiable benefit your customer is looking for. This requires a deep understanding of the real technical benefit to the customer, even if she does not know it. In our discussion of your example, it is the parameter known as the ‘k-value’.
      The second is how to communicate it. The typical mistake in any marketing strategy is focusing only on the second and not enough time on the first.