How do you decide product positioning?
This is a big question! I’m assuming we’re talking about new product positioning vs re-positioning an existing product. If you’re working on a mature product, it will be very difficult to change the position of that product in the market.
For a new product, I would research and consider the following perspectives:
- Company vision, narrative, and category - What is the vision for the company? What’s the narrative? Is there a category you’re trying to create or win? How does this product fit into the story of the business?
- Product-market fit - What does the product actually do? What are its key features? What are the use cases? Who is it for? Are the personas known? What does this product do that is 10x better than the next best alternative?
- Competitive positioning - What are the competing products in the space? What are these competing products good at? Is there white space where your product can wedge itself into the market?
- Adjacent offerings and services - Does this product interact with an existing suite of products? Does it come with professional services?
- Ecosystem - How does this product engage partners within your ecosystem? Why should your partners care?
Once you’e done this research, it’s time to put on your Geoffrey Moore hat and build a few 2x2s where you choose the x-axis (key benefit) and y-axis (key differentiation) such that your product is farthest in the upper right corner vs the competition. By this point you should have a pretty good sense of how you might position the product. Draft up some positioning statements and start testing them with sales, with customers, and with analysts.