“Positioning is not what you do to a product.  It is what you do
to the mind of the prospect.  That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect.”

Positioning: The Battle for your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout

Positioning is not solely established by what you say about your product.  It’s not that simple.  It is strongly influenced by how you price, package and offer it to the market.  Positioning comes from what the prospect ‘concludes’ about your product from everything you say and imply about it.

Here is a great example of how positioning can make or break a product’s success.

In the early 70s Volvo introduced the 262C, a much sportier car than their existing boxy (and very safe) sedans, the 242 and 244.  It was described as a new, sportier offering from the company and was priced somewhat above those standard models. The 262C was available in only silver or black to help establish its uniqueness.

It sat like a rock in dealers’ showrooms.

At some point they realized changes were needed.

So what did they do?  First, they decided that if they wanted it to be perceived as a special, very different offering from their other vehicles, they needed to price it accordingly.  So the selling price was dramatically increased.  Next, they strongly promoted the fact that it was designed by a well-known Italian sports car designer, Bertoni.  Finally, rather than saying it’s a Volvo with a sporty flair, it was described as a SPORTS CAR, but designed with Volvo’s legendary emphasis on safety.

The result: they couldn’t make them fast enough to meet demand.

Remember, they didn’t change the product.  It was the same car.  That bears repeating.

It was the SAME car.

Poor positioning can cost you a bundle.  Make sure you know what is most compelling to your prospects and that all aspects of your positioning are pulling in the same direction.

To read Part 2 of this blog, please click here.

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