I've been thinking a lot about positioning and how it relates to storytelling and messaging. Folks often confuse the two but they are NOT the same. Starting with storytelling without working on positioning first is dangerous 1/
I'm a big fan of structured storytelling approaches (I liked Building a Story Brand as one recent example). These have components like "the problem" - where you start by describing what your customers struggle with...2/
But all good storytelling structures assume you have a tight definition of your target customer, and what value you deliver to that buyer. They assume that value is differentiated from competitors and you know who those competitors are. 3/
But a lot of companies don't know the exact problem they solve or the exact profile of the customer they solve it for. Worse - they think they do but it's fiction. 4/
You can brainstorm ideas in the office, use a structured process to build the story and the result can be a very compelling story - that is also absolute bullcrap. Why? Because your inputs - problem definition, customer profile, unique value - were fiction. 5/
We need clarity on the inputs first - competitive alternatives, unique value, customer segments, market category (Positioning) - BEFORE we craft a story. And just like storytelling, we need a structured process to determine what those are for our products. 6/
Stories that sell must be grounded in what our products deliver, better alternatives, for a well-defined set of customers. We need to know who loves our stuff and why. Storytelling frameworks can't be used to determine positioning - it requires positioning as an input 7/
You need a positioning process that gets you to the reality of who loves your stuff and why. Once you have that - you can make that positioning sing using a great storytelling framework. You can't do it the other way around /end
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