In 2021 it isn’t enough to do something really well. You need to be the best, and solve problems in a unique way. You need to position your company in a way to compete in a blue ocean. You need to position your company in a way to show that you solve a specific problem like no other solution can. You need to position your company to win, through messaging.
What does it mean to position your company through messaging? Many companies have to make a positioning and competitive decision early on, usually on the question of pricing. We are going to solve problem x, now we must decide if we are going to decide to compete against our competitors based on quality (targeting the upscale clients, having a higher price for better work) or to compete on price (when people price shop your product/service, you win.)
The classic way companies have won business is by either being the cheapest option, the best option, or the best blend of both in the middle.
I’m proposing a new way to win business. It builds on top of your original decision, but now will give you more ways to win.
Let’s give our company a unique spot in the marketplace, because of our messaging. Let’s show and explain the outcomes we provide for our target customer that are unique to only us. We want prospects to read our copy, and think of our brand, and not think of a competitor. If we do this right, we will be in a class all our own. The only solution to a potential problem.
Example – Winning via Messaging
Sparktoro is a great product, don’t get me wrong. I was one of the beta users and have recommended this product to multiple marketing teams. But the product isn’t the most innovative thing in the world. Sure, it’s a better experience than manually doing the research, but still, that manual research can be done.
I think Sparktoro wins on MESSAGING. When you go to their homepage, this is what you see:
So not only does the banner section show immediate value “Instantly discover what your audience reads, watches, listens-to, and follows.” they NAIL the sub header. “Forget expensive surveys or time-consuming research. ….so you can reach them where they hang out.”
Boom. They immediately put themselves in their own league. They quickly identified the biggest pain point that they uniquely solve “forget expensive surveys or time-consuming research” and positioned themselves in a way where you can’t really think of anyone else that can help you solve that problem.
They aren’t trying to compete on being the cheapest or best “audience intelligence tool.” They don’t want to be lumped into that category. So what they did was create their own category, through their messaging.
The goal is to remove the part of your buyer’s purchasing process when they comparison shop your solution. The more times you can win right up front the way SparkToro does, the better.
We are going to do this through our messaging. Of course we want our product to be better and truly unique, but with new startups popping up everyday, eventually someone else is going to offer what we do.
Competition is inevitable. We will eventually be seen by a prospect that just needs any tool that does x that we do. That’s fine, but it is not what we are going to focus on and optimize around.
How We Get There – The Process
This article is meant for the writers. For the content marketers. For the people that don’t get to choose the features their product gets built, but needs to find people to use the product.
This is about Positioning Your Company to Succeed through Messaging.
Now let me give you my process to follow that will allow you to position your company in a way to succeed through messaging.
The most important thing you need to do is answer these 2 questions:
As you can see from my tweet, this is a problem I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
By answering the question of “What’s 1 problem we solve that our customers can’t solve any other way?” we automatically begin to position ourselves in a blue ocean, competing alone. If we solve a problem that no one else solves, why wouldn’t we lead with it?
This kind of goes hand in hand with another thought I’ve been passionate about lately. This comes from Blair Enns book “The Win Without Pitching Manifesto”: Claim 1 narrow sliver of expertise. Something extremely specific. This is a psychology trick that lends itself well to the idea of leading with what you do uniquely well.
The narrower our claim of expertise; the more integrity we earn. By staking a narrow claim we build the credibility for the client to assume we have capabilities beyond our claim, whereas a broad claim generates the opposite reaction.
So leading with our unique focus, even when we might think it’s too specific and we’re losing opportunity by not telling clients we can help them with more problems, is the most beneficial route to go.
We don’t need to tell people that we’re experts at writing blogs, white papers, ad copy, case studies blah blah blah. If we do that, our prospects’ eyes will roll and they won’t care.
If we say “We write the best case studies, 140% more read than the industry average” you get your prospect’s attention. They will also assume as a writing expert that you can do everything else well. (Don’t worry @JoelKlettke, I know you’re the case study master, I just needed a good example.)
Answering the question of “How much is solving this problem worth to our customers?” gives you insight into if you’re positioning your company around the correct pain point that you uniquely solve. If the first unique solution you think of isn’t something that your customers would pay a lot to solve, continue brainstorming until you find a solution that is worth a lot to your customers.
Differentiate Your Brand with Messaging
It’s all about differentiation. We want to provide the best product, price, service for our customer, but as Marketing Teams, we have to control what we can. And the thing we can control is the messaging and positioning of our company in the market.
We want to compete in a blue ocean and we do that by solving a problem in a unique way, and mirroring our messaging to that value prop.
If you have a question on how to better do this, please tweet me @CodyMarchant13.