Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


That is the third and last abstract of April Dunford’s “Clearly Superior” guide on positioning. On this abstract, we undergo Dunford’s 10 step positioning course of which is able to provide help to implement your new positioning assertion and achieve vital buy-in from the opposite purposeful groups in your group.

By Sarah Threet, Advertising and marketing Guide at Heinz Advertising and marketing

You would possibly suppose you understand the whole lot about positioning, however you most likely don’t know the whole lot about methods to DO positioning.  

For a myriad of selling targets reminiscent of 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 expensive outcomes as a result of you find yourself investing in a black gap slightly than in your greatest match.  

That is the third and last guide abstract weblog on Dunford’s “Clearly Superior! Tips on how to Nail Product Positioning so Clients Get It, Purchase It, Love It”. On this abstract, I’ll spotlight the 10 Step Positioning Course of. I extremely advocate studying Dunford’s guide and to know 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 Clients Who Love Your Product 

To win extra buy-in to your product, you’re going to want to know higher what there’s to like about your product – from the shopper’s perspective. To get this attitude, a key suggestion is to offer a survey. Nonetheless, should you survey your whole buyer base, it is likely to be troublesome to discover a sample, as totally different demographics of consumers 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 can be a reference for you. For those who already know who these clients are, they’re who we recommend you concentrate on surveying. For those who can perceive what they love about your product, they are going to be your best stream of development. 

This assumes that you have already got various very comfortable clients to survey. If that’s not the case, you’re not but able to tighten positioning, and it’s essential proceed testing to your best-fit. Dunford says to think about it has a fishing internet. Perhaps at first you suppose you’re going to catch groupers, however you as a substitute pull lots of tuna. You wouldn’t have been in a position to catch tuna had you began by positioning your “normal fishing internet” as a grouper internet. Hold your positioning unfastened whilst you take a look at and see who bites.  

Step 2. Kind a Positioning Group 

A positioning course of works greatest as a staff effort, bringing in advertising and marketing, 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 and marketing, gross sales, and CS should not aligned, and this misalignment will hinder your income development. You want everybody’s perspective, engagement, and buy-in to 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 achieve purchase in from each purposeful group’s chief. Steadily, advertising and marketing 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 and marketing: Messaging, focusing on, and marketing campaign planning to execution 

Gross sales: Goal buyer segmentation and account technique 

Buyer success: Onboarding and account growth technique 

Product: roadmaps and prioritization   

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

When you’ve got all the time considered your product in a technique, as competing in a specific market, or fixing a specific drawback, then it may be exhausting to see it in some other gentle – we check with this as positioning baggage (or much more broadly, tenured bias). It may be troublesome to implement change with this attitude, and much more so when purposeful teams outline the product and positioning in another way.  

Your positioning staff might want to let go of positioning baggage as a result of in the end the market goes to alter, and so will the notion of that market. Dunford makes use of an incredible instance in her guide 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 employ modified since first conceptualizing your product? This consciousness may open your thoughts to future repositioning.   

Step 4. Checklist Your True Aggressive Alternate options  

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

Perceive what a buyer would possibly change you with in order that you understand how to categorize your answer. Fairly often, the choice could possibly be to “rent an intern”, “use excel”, or some other “enterprise as common” excuse. That is widespread as a result of, as chances are you’ll know your self, change is difficult, and adopting a brand new product means switching prices.  

Step 5. Isolate Your Distinctive Attributes and Options 

After getting a listing of aggressive options, the following step is to isolate what makes you totally different and higher than these options. Begin by itemizing each totally different attribute you may consider – even should 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 have proof, even for issues that appear nebulous. Your opinion of your individual power is irrelevant with out proof. Third-party validation is all the time a wonderful method to have proof ought to you have got 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 might be translated into worth for patrons. Options can have a number of worth factors, and a mixture of options can equate a price too.  

Dunford contains the next desk, which I’m a giant fan of. It helps to map the good thing about a characteristic to a purpose that the shopper is attempting to realize. 

Dunford table


It is best to start to see a handful of themes emerge out of your checklist. To start grouping these factors of worth into themes, you’ll want to contemplate it from the attitude of your prospect. The purpose of this train is to group related worth factors right into a restricted checklist of worth clusters. Once more, we wish to concentrate on probably the most important issues that our best-fit clients love.  

Step 7. Decide Who Cares a Lot 

Do not forget that simply because you have got a number of distinctive attributes that ship worth, not all clients are going to care about that worth in the identical manner. Entrepreneurs often check with 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 small business goals require extra income from extra clients than are simply in your best-fit class, it’s supreme to not make your positioning too broad, as you’d be spending cash attempting to make “simply okay” clients comfortable, when you possibly 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; selecting a market that does that is tougher than chances are you’ll suppose. Moreover, choices and markets evolve, and the attitude of prospects could 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 
  • Study 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 present market 
  2. Massive fish, small pond: positioning to win a subsegment of an present market
  3. Create a brand new sport: 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 guide.  

Step 9. Layer on a Development (Fastidiously) 

When you’ve developed your market context, you would possibly contemplate layering on a pattern. That is non-obligatory, however might be highly effective, if carried out with warning. As soon as once more, I may write a whole weblog simply on this subject, however the large takeaway is that the pattern ought to reinforce your positioning, not muddy it. 

Dunford grahic


A few necessary factors to contemplate when deciding if a present pattern aligns along 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 might be troublesome to memorize. 

The hot button is to seize the positioning in a documented method that particulars each element of the place, breaking it down for advertising and marketing, gross sales, and product, displaying how each element interacts with each other. 

Right here is the template that Dunford shares in her guide, and you’ll 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 guide. It’s one of the best 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. 

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