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Wedge Features

In political campaigns, some strategists use "wedge issues" to differentiate their candidate from others in the field. The elder George Bush used flag burning to put his Democratic opponent, Michael Dukakis, on the defensive. He found an emotional issue that:

  1. Was focused. Bush could have chosen the general issue of crime, patriotism, or social policy. Instead he chose a narrow issue that was symbolic of larger issues.
  2. Highlighted the weakness within his competitor's strength. One of Dukakis's strengths was his libertarian positions on social issues. The weakness within this strength was the acceptance of actions that would offend the sensibilities of most voters.
You can employ a similar strategy when marketing your products. Identify a wedge feature. The feature should ideally be focused, solve a problem that prospective customers face, and highlight a weakness within your biggest competitor's strength.

Wedge features are a manifestation of symbolic focus.

A survey of the customers in the target market for your product should show a strong preference for the feature. In short, it should drive a wedge between your product and competitors' offerings.


Ram Iyer said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ram Iyer said…
Excellent post and insightful commentary. Who would have thunk one could learn from politics?

Thank you Roger for the simplistic presentation of an excellent must-do.

Ram Iyer

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