Build It and They Might Come – Positioning Your Business

Some entrepreneurs count on a good product to generate success. “Build it and they will come” is their business plan. “Build it and they might come,” would be more appropriate. Buyers will not come unless you can frame the product in a way that is appealing to them.

Establishing a clear “positioning” – within the context of your competition – helps generate sales. Every business, product or service has a positioning, whether chosen consciously or not. What does that mean?  

Pretend for a minute that you want to convince a good friend, who is single, to go out on a blind date with someone you know. What are the characteristics that would help “sell” your friend on accepting the date?  

If your friend is only interested in a fun evening out with a group, enticements may be limited to: “fit” with the group, interest in the specific activity, or availability at the scheduled time. The investment of time and money will be small, so the decision is much easier.

If your friend is looking for a lasting relationship, would a sense of humor, intelligence, shared interests, priorities, or personality be on your list? The potential could be significant, so there are more considerations.

That’s similar to selecting a positioning. How can you make a concise presentation to your target market in order to generate interest, a willingness to investigate and, ultimately, a commitment?

“Positioning” refers to the most important aspect potential buyers should know and remember about your business or product.  What can you do for them?  How would they benefit?

The three most common positionings are:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Variety

In addition, these are often used, sometimes as secondary positionings:

  • Value
  • Convenience (i.e., Accessibility)
  • Emotional appeal.

One primary message should be used, based on your positioning. Consistency is necessary to build a clear understanding in the minds of potential buyers. Determining what you want your target audience to notice about your product, or remember after a purchase, (i.e., the positioning) may be one of the most important decisions you make.  

We will look at various positionings in detail in the weeks ahead.

What is your positioning right now?

Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend

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The Entrepreneur’s Friend® is a registered trademark of Wheaton Consulting Group LLC.   Photo credits: All photos were taken by Cynthia Wheaton and owned by Wheaton Consulting Group LLC except as noted. Coffee cup art by Jim Wheaton.   Author support: Fellow authors from The Wrinklings and Light of Carolina Christian Writers Group.