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Positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. 

Oh, that is a formal quote from the book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout. But what is it actually?

Positioning makes your product standout in a crowded market. It is for targeting a specific audience which in turn makes your product not favorite of all and you are not worried about it. Once your product positioning is correct, you are no longer worried about competition. It differentiates your pricing, distribution channel, offerings from your competitors. Positioning is claiming reputation in market/ dream audience/ geographic region/ specific group of people in social media/ age group, etc.

Rookie entrepreneurs often fail to position their product correctly and even struggle to understand it correctly. They are really passionate about technology, innovation, etc. They view the future through a lens of technology and end up with just another me-too product in a crowded market.

The adult human brain weighs on average about 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). All product positioning is to converse with the brain of your prospect. If your product positioning is done correctly, everything else will fall in place.

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Let’s go for an analogy, you know how your mind perceived people others. Thoughts like (s/he) is a leader, a follower, a strong-willed, cheerful or something that is not good are from how your mind perceived them. The mere emotion when you hear their name is how your mind perceived them.

The main three social media sites offer considerable opportunities to connect and engage. Facebook is to connect people with their friends and family. People use it to share photos, videos, and general updates on their lives. Twitter is to share ideas and to find trending news. Instagram is to share photos and videos. All these distinctions in product positioning are to target the different user groups.

The formal positioning statement is follows.

For (Target Customer) that (Needs/Cares About), our product or company is a (Category/Solution) that (Benefit). Unlike our competitor, our product/company is (Unique Differentiator).”

There is nothing wrong with thinking and positioning for your new product with the above-mentioned statement. But if you found a new idea or identify a gap in existing product offerings and you validated your assumptions both quantitatively and qualitatively in a statistically significant survey, sticking to a positioning framework is unnecessary and often restricting. You don’t have to take market conditioning by default.

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Please don’t be obsessed about market conditioning and take nothing for granted in long term. There is nothing interesting to be a prisoner of pre-defined conditions. Market trends may change over a long period. Be ready to explore and test in new landscapes with an open mind.

Wish you all the best!