To Win Customers, Position Your Products in Unexpected Ways

Are you layering new benefits onto existing offerings to rejuvenate your products? If so your enhanced products are becoming old hat--requiring ever more embellishment to remain interesting to consumers. No one wins. To wit, even generic toothpastes "remove plaque," "freshen breath," "fight cavities," and "whiten teeth."

To break out of the pack, position your products in unexpected ways. For instance, use "breakaway positioning" to associate your offering with a radically different category. Swatch, for example, marketed its watches as fashion accessories, not fine jewelry. If your product is technologically intimidating, use "stealth positioning" to acclimate customers to it. Sony did this by presenting its household robot AIBO as a quirky pet.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  September 26, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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