Monday, March 27, 2006

Positioning: Strength within Weakness

What is the strength within the product's biggest weakness?
This question is the fourth of several questions I've enumerated that a product manager should answer to most effectively position a product. You've already identified the biggest weakness of your product. Now find the strength within it.

As I mentioned in the previous entry, Listerine's weakness of tasting like medicine serves as a good example. The other side of the coin is its supposed effectiveness in killing germs. Its bad taste actually strengthens this positive message.

Another example is a product that is expensive to produce (relative to the competition), such as food containing all-natural ingredients. If your product is expensive to produce, you either need to lower production costs or tout the benefits to the customer that result from the expense.

When you position your product according to the strength within its biggest weakness, you:
  1. Differentiate your brand in a manner clear to prospective customers.
  2. By embracing your weakness, you increase the credibility of your positive message.
  3. Make it difficult or impossible for a competitor to attack the product's weakness without indirectly supporting your key message.
Keep in mind that identifying the strength within your product's biggest weakness is but one question you need to answer before deciding how to position your product. Stay tuned as future entries examine the remaining questions.

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