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How to Position a Technology Product


By Judith Uttal

To address executive team perspectives and concerns, we decided to identify trends and value dimensions that were high priority among broad segments of end customers, the data center managers, rather than focus on the handful of OEM partners. Secondly, we defined three strategic criteria for selecting focus value dimensions, the "three C's": critically important to customers, available as an unclaimed competitive differentiation, and achievable as a core company capability.

Over several weeks we interviewed purchase influencers from two dozen representative enterprise data centers. From this qualitative research we were able to identify the primary dimensions of purchase consideration, and we obtained detailed definitions of each dimension along with quantitative metrics.  The qualitative research also explored issues, needs, and concerns given current trends in data center consolidation and virtualization.  This insight into trends and resulting customer needs gave us a clear focus on valuable problems to solve, and a context for the priorities of buying criteria.

With qualitative research in hand, we designed a quantitative research using an online survey facility and a collection of lists from company and third party sources, as well as using targeted groups. Respondents were given purchase evaluation dimensions, with detailed definitions and metrics, asked to rank them, and then rate perceived supplier performance along each dimension.  For this exercise we felt weighting would overly complicate the survey, and was not critical to our objectives.

Ranked Value Dimensions


Competitor A Score

Competitor B Score

Competitor C Score






Total Score