How often have you sat in a meeting where the product has been described as a list of things that it will do – its features and functionality?
You may have done this yourself – it’s a very easy habit to slip into. While this information is really important, and your customers will need the spec, your product proposition needs to be VERY clear in respect to why it should appeal to a prospective customer.
You need to apply the “So What?” test.
Let me give you an example:
“Our new patented active PA system has a frequency range of 100Hz to 10kHz, is rated at 1000 watts RMS and weighs only 10lbs per speaker”
Now apply the “So What?” test! This sentence is totally meaningless – there are loads of active PA systems out there that do this. Why is ours different? Who would want our product and why should they choose ours over brand X? The place to start is with the consumer – who would benefit most from our product and what is there need – feel their pain! How would our product remove this pain?
So how about this …
“Many travelling professional musicians need high quality PA equipment that they are familiar with and trust. Equipment at venues is of variable quality which means that musicians tend to take their own gear which up to now has been based on bulky, heavy, traditional technology or they make do with the venue’s gear and suffer the potential consequences to their reputation.
“Our new, patented active PA system has high power and superb clarity, performing at least as good as Brand X (the benchmark
competitor). “BUT weighing in at only 10lbs per speaker means that the whole system can be carried in a small bag in the back of a saloon car rather than a van.”
So not only have you just defined how your product solves real pain felt in your target market, you have given yourself some crucial pointers as to who to target and what messages will appeal to them.
Start with the ideal customer
Start by identifying the target customer – in this case traveling musicians – and define their pain. Follow this statement with a clear affirmation of how your product or service solves that pain and hey – you’ve just created a positioning statement.
Really take time to get this right – test it on friends in the business – a proper product positioning statement is important because this statement will drive everything you do to market and sell your product. It defines the type of people you need to reach without wasting a drop of your marketing budget on people who will NEVER buy your product.
Written by Matthew Simmons