I was having a drink the other day with an old friend and potential future client.
We were discussing the competitive situation in the market in which his company competes. He knows that I’ve carried out some marketing positioning work for some of his competitors and so we got on to the subject of an industry event that he attended recently.
He told me that both he and one of his competitors (who I’ve carried out some positioning work for) gave a presentation at the event. Whilst he didn’t find his competitor’s presentation very credible (no surprise there), he did say that he was frustrated that in speaking to a couple of potential customers in the audience after the event, his competitor’s key differentiation message was clearly remembered.
I laughed and told him that I was responsible for the message. Whilst I often hear from our clients that a specific positioning strategy that we helped to create is resonating with the market, I don’t very often get such direct evidence from one of their competitors. Modesty, not to mention a non-disclosure agreement, prevents me from disclosing the message or the client but suffice to say that it contains four of the most powerful words that this particularl technology vendor can deliver to their prospective clients to differentiate themselves from most of their competition. These words make sense to prospective clients, convey a complex technical differentiator and lay a trap for competitors and, like the conservative party has done to the Labour party, they will make life difficult for my friend and future client.
Even after all these years, the thought that four words can do all that makes me smile.