I offer 10 pieces of advice for proper positioning:
- Rather than focusing on revenue growth, focus on being the best at what you do and stake it out as your position.
- Growth is not a strategy nor a position.
- Align your core competencies to select key success factors in your industry and line up your resources behind them; this is your position
- Know what your prospective customers use as buying criteria and how much weight they place behind each criteria. Use statistical survey data, not conjecture from within your company.
- Look for unsatisfied needs in a market. If you can satisfy these needs, there is good potential for higher profit margins.
- Know your unique selling position, value proposition, differentiated features and benefits and be able to articulate it.
- Make sure every single person in your firm understands the market position and why the firm has chosen that market position.
- Know the definition of your ideal prospect as aligned with your position.
- Don't imitate your competitors. If one of the competitors holds a strong market position, it's not wise to attack them directly; try to outflank them in a sneak attack.
- Your position should clearly show what your firm does and, maybe more importantly, what your firm does not do.
A strong market position will be highly differentiated, highly relevant to your target market and defensible. Don't try to offer every possible product, service or feature to a very broad market. Instead, stake out a specific position based on what you're good at. A quick test is to ask yourself or your colleagues, "What business are we in?" If you can't answer, you don't know your market position.
Have I piqued your interest? For more about positioning, read this book.