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Positioning SOPs

5 Steps to Position Your Company for Success in a Competitive Market

In a crowded market, it's crucial to differentiate your company from the competition. Following these five steps, you can effectively position your company to stand out and capture your target market's attention.

Step 1: Identify what you do best (ignoring the competition for now)

Start by asking yourself, "What does our solution do best?" Focus on articulating the benefits rather than just listing features. Consider why customers choose your company and what makes your solution special. Imagine proudly sharing your company's strengths with an old friend. Generate a list of at least 10 things, including features, benefits, and capabilities.

Step 2: Determine what you do better than others

Using the list from step one, filter out the superpowers that make you stand out from your competitors. What do you do better than anyone else in the market? Consider factors like reliability, service quality, technology leadership, and product quality. These are often based on customers' perceptions rather than raw statistics. You have a winning formula if you can make these intangible factors tangible.

Step 3: Identify what only you can do

Now, focus on what makes your solution truly unique. What is something that no other company can do as well as you? This forms the basis of your value proposition pillars. Not every company will have an "only," but aim for two to three unique aspects. Consider any promises, guarantees, or undisputed claims about your secret sauce and capabilities that set you apart.

Step 4: Choose the right positioning vectors

Narrow the output from the "Best, Better, Only" exercise into a handful of elements to position your company. Obsess over your ideal customer and their needs, and effectively communicate how your product meets those needs. Select three to five of the best benefits, factors, features, or metrics, ideally focusing on the "Only" category.

Step 5: Plot your position against the alternatives

Using the positioning vectors you've identified, compare your company to your competitors. A simple scatterplot can help you visualize how you stack up against the competition across two variables. For more than two vectors, consider using other types of charts for competitor analysis. This exercise will force you to examine your market and identify your closest competitors objectively. Use these insights to inform your messaging strategy and content as you go to market.