Marketing teams know one thing, sales another, and Founder-CEOs yet another, but having a positioning expert in the middle of them all can tease out a bunch of value for a young B2B company. Most people tend to conflate positioning with branding, but the truth is that the former is a more fundamental step in the journey to refining corporate identity. Today’s guest is April Dunford, a positioning expert, entrepreneur, angel investor, advisor, and author of Obviously Awesome. She joins us on the show to discuss the positioning methodology in her book, lend insight into her consultation process, and sketch out some of the value she is able to add to her clients’ scaling journey in that respect. April works mostly with smaller B2B businesses helping them define their services and ideal client. In today’s episode, we hear about April’s career trajectory as a multiple vice president to positioning consultant, having worked with successful startups and global giants in the tech space. April defines positioning for listeners before getting into the five steps that a company should take in order to get a laser-sharp focus on their exact product and ideal customer before taking that data froward into a sales pitch and marketing campaign. For a load of great value and information about positioning, and to learn how you can take your B2B business to the next level, make sure you hear what April has to say.
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:
- [00:20] Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Leveling Up Podcast!
- [00:39] April’s focus on startup positioning and acquisition/divestiture for larger firms.
- [00:58] Why April moved from being a vice president to focusing on positioning.
- [01:45] How Obviously Awesome gives April’s positioning methods for distant clients.
- [02:22] Tech giants April worked for such as IBM, Nortel, Sybase, and Siebel.
- [03:50] What positioning is: finding one’s market and niche in a nutshell.
- [05:39] How April repositioned a database product as a data warehouse to great success.
- [07:55] The five steps to arriving at your company’s positioning.
- [07:56] Competition, unique capabilities, value, customer segmentation, and market category.
- [09:46] How to think through the five steps in the correct order.
- [09:50] Finding out what one’s best customers would use if your business did not exist.
- [10:40] Figuring out what one has that one’s competitive alternatives don’t.
- [10:51] Applying the ‘so what’ question to gauge the validity of one’s competitive features.
- [11:11] Arriving at one’s value themes: the basis of one’s value proposition for customers.
- [11:26] Defining a good B2B customer as businesses that would benefit from one’s values.
- [11:40] Figuring out which market category to dominate using the last two steps.
- [12:03] Taking positioning and turning it into a pitch and branding starting point.
- [12:24] Companies April has worked with which grew from small to large, through positioning.
- [14:28] How April helps companies clarify vague, broad definitions of target audience.
- [16:19] The way April generated huge revenue from a single ad through knowing her audience.
- [16:50] How April structure her services through a two-day positioning workshop.
- [18:07] Pricing structures that April uses for her amazing services.
- [18:44] Must read books for April: Crossing the Chasm, Four Steps to the Epiphany…
- [20:04] April’s favorite business tool: Zoom.
Resources From The Interview:
- April Dunford
- April Dunford on LinkedIn
- April Dunford on Twitter
- Obviously Awesome
- Jana Systems
- Crossing the Chasm
- The Lean Startup
- Four Steps to the Epiphany
- Challenger Sale
- Challenger Customer
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