B2B Positioning Marketing Messaging Sales

After eight years and 70 clients, we’d like to think we’ve learned a thing or two.

There is one lesson we strive to pass along to each and every client: positioning innovations is just plain different.

Here are four of the biggest differences:

  • Outcomes matter most. BMW does not lead with precision engineering, double overhead cams or intercooled turbos. They extract premiums by selling the feeling of performance, arriving sooner, and being safe at every speed. Buyers of progressive innovation – often early adopters – must be motivated by the outcome your innovation achieves. Get past how you do it. Focus on the coveted outcome your buyers want.
  • Not just outcomes, urgent outcomes. Adopting innovative solutions can be risky. By positioning your innovation as the solution to a “hair on fire issue,” you activate pain strong enough to pull nervous buyers through this risk. Prospects who find your innovative solution “interesting“ and your brand “cool” are shoppers. Real buyers will call their problem “urgent,” and push though evaluation quickly to purchase.
  • Storytelling is even more critical. The value of an innovative solution is often not obvious on inspection. Considered B2B purchases often require committee approval. Storytelling positions your solution using a communication style that buyers and groups instinctively understand and relate to. Story logic accelerates multi-party evaluations by highlighting factors that make postponement dire and the ultimate need to buy inevitable. It positions your innovation as the hero battling the forces your buyers fear. “When bullets are flying… you want Kevlar.”
  • Keep it simple. Complexity and novelty can become overwhelming to a buyer who is already under stress. Use early sales conversations to sharpen your understanding of the buyer’s needs, and then share the specific relevant benefits that meet those needs. Features are only important if they support your benefits assertions – everything else is likely to be irrelevant and/or…scary.

How does your positioning stack up?

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