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How to Position a Technology Product


By Judith Uttal

How Strategic Marketing Course Concepts Apply
Marketing believed that an effective value proposition would be based on a competitive positioning objective that grouped our unique attributes in support of two selected vectors, or dimensions, of value.  From the course we learned that dimensions of value stretch across the product portfolio, and over time.  They can be thought of as “ilities”, like usability or flexibility that reinforce company reputation and are the basis of business-to-business brand image.


First, we felt we could leverage our increasing presence in the market, and our outright share leadership of the high end, by reinforcing the Generic value of network adapter technology category. The second dimension of our positioning objective would be based on a vector of differentiation where we could deliver important and unique customer value. These two dimensions would become the foundation of our value proposition and marketing focus. The marketing team decided to implement both voice-of-the-customer and follow-on quantitative research to give us insight into the customer perceptions and preferences that we needed to understand.

Traditionally our Company based marketing programs and communication on a long list – six or seven items – of benefits.  All messages were equally important, and fought with other messages for airtime. Worse, our competitors were echoing the same themes.  The result was a chorus of competing claims, driving commoditization by convincing the customer that all suppliers were essentially the same.

Our strategy was to apply professional methods to a company-wide process that forced message focus on a value proposition supported by unique offering elements along two dimensions.  Structure in the competitive positioning process, and rigor in supporting market research, became critical for consensus among all the managers who deliver value messages on a daily basis.  Everyone has their own perspective on value and none more so than the product managers who are often proponents of multiple claims because they are concerned that each customer will respond to different benefits.