- by Rory Ramsden
Well actually there are 4 secrets which you can use to position your product or service ready for a product launch. Just about any brand will fit into one of them. They are: first, biggest, best or different. And the most powerful is the last one because when you uses a new and original concept, you can also make yourself the ‘first’ into a new and lucrative market… and by implication be the best and the biggest as well
Being “different” is not just important. It’s life or death in a crowded market place. It gives you a competitive advantage because you’re also saying that you are on the cutting edge… That you are a thought leader… That you are an authority because you have the expertise to read the market and short circuit the traditional way of doing things and come up with a completely new approach.
If your looking for an example of company that has made differentiation more than just a virtue, look no further than Apple inc. They have made billions of dollars from always looking for the difference that will make the lives of their customers more enjoyable. And ultimately that is what has made the company such a powerhouse.
If you could bottle that ethos, you would make a million bucks as well
They were the ‘first’ to launch a tablet computer. It was so ‘different’ that, before the product launch, many pundits were skeptical about its chances. Now they have the ‘biggest’ slice of that market and their competitors are rushing to catch up. HP have given up the unequal struggle. So being ‘first’ is important too but it comes second to being ‘different’
By making a virtue of this, Steve Jobs has made Apple the ‘biggest’ company by value in the USA. Claiming that you are the Walmart of your market, on the other hand, might mean that you are perceived as selling on price rather than quality so it is a dangerous positioning to have but it can also imply you are the most efficient and effective too.
It is a quantifiable statement though unlike claiming to be the ‘best’. This can seem boastful and is not easy to prove either. Best at what anyway? Far better to use a statement like ‘We try harder‘ or ‘Never Knowingly undersold‘. People immediately ‘get’ what you are about and what your competitive strength is. Being the best means that someone is always ready to take a pop at you. It invites comparison. It’s just a matter of time before you are second best and no-one wants to be strictly second best, do they.
So before your new product launch, think very hard about how strategically positioning yourself as the thought leader in your market…