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TMC Vocabulary


Compiled by Chris Halliwell, TMC Director


Positioning is a perception created in the minds of a certain segment of customers about the unique aspect of a supplier's offering relative to competitive alternatives. A supplier's position evolves in the minds of customers whether or not company management is proactive about the positioning process. But a company can positively influence the perceptions through enlightened strategic actions. The outcome of the Positioning process is the supplier's acquisition of mindshare, which can be measured using a variety of quantitative tools such as conjoint analysis or multi-dimensional scaling.

Potential Product

Augmented Product elements will eventually be matched by competitors, thereby evolving once-unique value to a customer expectation of all suppliers in the category. Potential Product refers to all of the possible unique elements that have yet to be added to the product offering. The source of Potential Product elements is both innovation in technology, and the constant effort by the supplier to identify opportunities to help customers respond to change, compete and reduce their cost structure.

Product Platform

A Product Platform defines a set of sub-systems and their interfaces forming a common architecture from which a stream of derivative products or services can be developed over a period of time. High tech firms increasingly consider platform-based approaches to reduce complexity and better leverage investments in design, manufacturing and marketing. Platform strategies address the defined needs of some number of Adjacent Market segments, and may have to be extended in order to cover additional target markets.