Transcript: Positioning for Startups – Differentiate or Die

By David Card

Thanks for joining. This is the second webinar of 2008 here for us at C42D and I’m super excited to be with you. C42D webinars cover a different marketing topic every quarter. The format is as follows. I will cover my prepared remarks for about 30 to 45 minutes. At the end, there will be […]

Thanks for joining. This is the second webinar of 2008 here for us at C42D and I’m super excited to be with you. C42D webinars cover a different marketing topic every quarter. The format is as follows. I will cover my prepared remarks for about 30 to 45 minutes. At the end, there will be time for questions. Your microphones and telephones will remain muted throughout the event. If you have a question anytime, you can type it into the chat box. The recording of this webinar will be available on by the end of the week.

Okay, so let’s get into it.

Our agenda for today is we’re going to start with a quick introduction about what positioning is and why you should go deep, where startups may struggle, we know some of you struggle sometimes, right? Then we’re going to walk through how you can craft your positioning strategy and articulate that by building a positioning statement. Finally, after that, we’re going to show a few examples and sum it all up and then take your questions.

Before we dive in, let me just say, I learned a ton research in this webinar and the forthcoming article that’s going to be on the C42D blog. I think that’s a great way for anyone to broaden their knowledge on the topic. One thing I learned is the process can go very deep. There are all kinds of approaches. The approach that I’m outlining is certainly not the only one that works. But I do think it’s very good for startups, someone is raising their hand. I don’t see a question from Selma. If you have a question, you can type into the box.

Our webinar today is going to be a high level overview of what positioning is, why you may struggle to define it, and how to craft one for your firm. Note, I’ll be covering this topic through the lens of early stage companies, skewing a little bit towards B2B, but the principles and the ideas that we’re going to discuss can apply to any company at any phase in this lifecycle.

All right, so, what is positioning? Positioning refers to the place the brand occupies in the mind of the customer and how it is distinguished from competitors. And where it came from was two guys, Al Reis and Jack Trout developed the concept of product or brand positioning in the late 60s after publishing a book in a series of articles. Other people, I know some of our Ogilvy friends would want to credit David Ogilvy with developing the concept of brand positioning back in the mid 1950s. Regardless of who came up with, at its core positioning is what a product does and who it is for.

What is it not? For years, I got this wrong myself. The term positioning is used loosely, and it means different things to different people. So let’s go through that. Positioning is not value proposition. So for a long time, I interchanged positioning and value propositions myself. It’s not your mission statement and it’s not your tagline. And this last one is kind of interesting. It’s not always common sense either, so, what do I mean by that? We’re going to get to that in a few slides. Why should you care? Why should I care about any of this stuff, right?

Well positioned brands outperform the S&P 500. Well positioned brands can compete in the larger geographic areas. Well positioned brands have fewer competitors so that’s one of the key ones, right? You always want less competition, is going to make things a lot easier as far as bringing in business, selling product, etc. So, well positioned brands also earn more respect from clients and customers, and who doesn’t want more respect, right? Well positioned brands can also track more sophisticated clients and customers so that’s important to you and certainly is to most of us. So yeah, so look at the scorecard. It’s definitely a shutout specialist as beating the generalist in every respect.

So, this gets to that point about why is positioning sometimes not common sense, right? You really want to go against your instincts. So, copying is sort of human nature, it’s the way we learn about our world, it’s the way we adapt and so on. Common sense says, all right, I’m going to look at my competition and I’m going to offer the same features or I’m going to offer better features than them, and I’m going to adopt their best practices, and I’m going to do everything they’re doing. And honestly, like, that is not the best strategy because while you’re doing that, the true innovators are developing the next best thing. So while you’re trying to copy the iPod, they’re coming out with the iPhone. So, what they’re doing is they’re not just improving their brand, but they’re differentiating it. And differentiation is really important.

You can look at all these slides here. So this is about, I think, 9000 SAS startups and different verticals, different categories. But as you can see, the landscape is huge. There’s a million companies out there, copying your competitions, strategy, positioning, branding, etc, is not always the best strategy.

And it’s really about, like I said before, it’s about how you’re differentiated in the mind of your customer. So, it wouldn’t be a webinar about differentiation without a nod to Shreddiess and the Shreddies is famous, they’re a Canadian cereal, and they wanted to reposition the cereal so it could increase sales and kind of lift what was sort of a lackluster brand. So what did they do? They took the old Shreddies and they rotated it 45 degrees and they called it Diamond Shreddies. This is a real case study. They took the Shreddie, they turned it 45 degrees, the limited edition boxes sold out in two months. The last square Shreddie was auctioned off on eBay and they experienced a drastic lift in sales.

So yes, perception is everything when it comes to positioning. It’s the foundation for your business strategy. It’s going to require sacrifice and like exercise, it doesn’t hurt. It’s not effective, you got to feel a little pain. You’re kind of deciding what you’re not going to do as much as you’re deciding what you are going to do. And it helps align your team, it helps attract investors, employees, and most importantly, customers.

So I like to say, you know, don’t be afraid of focusing on something, be afraid of mediocrity. The graveyard of startups in well known firms as well is littered with people or with firms that just sort of faded into mediocrity. And I don’t think all of these companies’ issues were always related to positioning. In particular, like Sears, I think the last 1015 years, they kind of didn’t keep up with the Targets and Walmarts in the world as far as how they were perceived in the mind of their customers.

All right, so what you want to do is you want to go deep. And what do I mean by that? So think of the idea of digging a well. So if you were trying to find water in your, behind your farmhouse, in your backyard, whatever it is, you wouldn’t go around and dig a whole bunch of shallow holes, right? You would want to dig one hole and you want to go all the way down until you hit water. That sort of like a metaphor for how you want to approach your positioning. You want to go deep into one area, what it’s going to do as we mentioned before, keeps away the competition, keeps your margins high, helps you find the right customers. Certainly makes it easier to win business, sell product, and definitely hire the right people. So the right people for the right firm and that’s what positioning is all about.

And then the other thing when you go deep into a specific area, you’re going to build that expertise around that category, you’re going to build intellectual capital. This all helps you better serve those specific customers to that specific area. So, when I talk about vertical, let’s just look at the opposite of that. So when you think of like a wide positioning, you think of General Motors, here we have an illustration of their positioning, essentially a car for every man, woman and child. And what’s the opposite of that? The opposite of that is the vertical, which is more nichious, the positioning of Ferrari. It’s one thing for a particular type of customer, I don’t know if it’s this guy or not but you’ve seen people driving Ferraris, maybe that’s him, maybe it’s not. And it’s much more profit.

So ways that you can narrow down your positioning is through, one way you can do is through category, right, so the general industry that you’re in. And one example would be the broad, broad category of financial services versus just crypto. The second way you can do it is through your audience. So you could look at a specific audience of female millennials versus all consumers 25 to 40. And finally, through your discipline or through your product, what you’re delivering to your customers. One example of that might be wearable medical technology for, so wearables for heart patients versus wearable consumer tech, like a generic Fitbit or something like that. So much easier to compete on something that’s much more specific.

All right. So now we’re going to take a look at where startups or early stage companies, some issues they may face as they craft a positioning. So this was kind of a fun part of it for me. I’m not sure if all of these are true but I suspect that some of you who are working with early stage companies may be going through some of this.

So the first one is when your business strategy or your product is not fully defined. That’s okay, it happens. We’ve all been there where things are slowly coming into focus. It changes from month to month. What we’d suggest is work on your positioning and your strategy in parallel and let one inform the other. So as you learn more to validate things, let the information drive the decisions you’re making. So, for example, say you’re testing a new positioning hypothesis and we’ll talk about ways you can do that later, you discover that there’s suddenly, there’s a little demand for a particular product line, a particular service line that you thought was going to have some traction, it didn’t. So that informed a pivot in your product development. So that’s where we say that one can definitely inform the other.

The second one, not enough bandwidth. Comment on the stock photography. I could try to find things that were just sort of ridiculous. When you search for business stock, you never get a chance to use all these terrible photos, so yeah, she’s got a slinky, her keyboard’s old. Enough about her. But we all know what it’s like. You’ve got too many hats, you’ve got too many irons in the fire. You’re trying to go in too many directions at once. You’re working on funding, you’re working on product development. And it’s hard to just find the bandwidth. So I’m going to say that’s not okay. You need to find the time, you need to prioritize your strategy and positioning because it’s our opinion that this is going to inform a lot of other decisions you make and it’s sort of like putting that proverbial cart before the horse, right? Exactly. And I believe that if you do that, your return on investment as far as like a sub time cost is going to be there.

So issue number three, creating a new category. So the Blue Ocean, as you know, is when you have a new product that’s going into a new market versus the bloody Red Ocean of competition, where all the sharks are eating everybody and making that water turn red. So blue ocean and serve like this new horizon, this new vision. It can be very difficult, but can also be the most lucrative.

Think about is your timing right for this. Kodak as you may or may not have known invented the digital camera about 20 years before it became popular. So timing can always be a factor there. The other thing is because you have something that’s so new, you have to be able to clearly explain the value of why is your customer want to do things different. So articulating that is going to be a potential struggle for you.

All right, number four. Over-weighting the perceived preferences of investors. So again, I don’t know if this is really an issue for some of you. But, when you jump on a trend at the sacrifice of fundamental strategy, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea, and I only have one word on this, that’s this CryptoKitties. In my heart of hearts, I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that there’s a huge demand for virtual blockchain cats. But, my suspicion is that perhaps the trends jumped ahead of strategy on this one.

Finally, does this look like your office every morning? Are you and your founders having trouble reaching consensus? I mean, I know how that feels for sure. The founders, the senior team can agree on direction, you start to create this atmosphere of accommodation. You might want to water things down, make things a little more vanilla, try to take something that once was polarizing and now it’s becoming more accommodating to everyone. To me, that sort of goes against where you want to do with positioning. I think the thing you need to do is to be more courageous and to be more polarized.

Bear with me while I take a sip of water here. Thank you.

Okay, so let’s talk about crafting your positioning strategy. I’m going to walk through four quick strategy hacks that I put together based on the type of market and the product type that you’re pursuing. So we have four quick ones so let’s get the table up. The first one is when you have a new product or service and you’re jumping into an existing market. Your high level strategy for this would be because the market knows your competition, you want to focus on points of differentiation. A great example of that is Robinhood. Investing now for the rest of us. Robinhood lets you invest in the stock market for free directly from your phone or desktop. So, basically implying that before this point in time, investing was not for the rest of us, it was for a select few of us. It cost money, it was hard to do. Their positioning is basically saying this is a product for the people who weren’t able to do that before so points of differentiation.

The next one is when you have a new product or service going into a new market, so this is that proverbial blue ocean. Don’t focus on features because your product or service is unknown. Instead, sell the vision and sell the mission, right> So your life in your pocket. There’s nothing about features there. It’s all about the emotion and getting the ultimate digital device. Next, we have a new product or service attempting to disrupt the market through low cost. So this is very much a price play, you want to attack your competitors head on with a focus on price. And I think LegalZoom does this really great. We simply do not believe that it should cost thousands of dollars to create a will, form business or apply for a trademark. So we started a movement, keyword there, movement, to make legal help available to all. So great focus on price from LegalZoom.

And then the last one here would be when you have a new product or service attempting to disrupt a market through creating a niche. You’re not going with price here. You want to focus on how your product or service is better and different than the incumbents. I think Oscar does a great job of this, getting more from your health insurance. Those images look a little bit like the early iPod ads. But it’s very clear here that when you sign on with this healthcare company, you’re going to get something different than the Atmos and the Blue Cross’s of the world. So better and different great example from Oscar.

So, how are some ways you can put together a quick strategy? Start by brainstorming potential opportunities that you see. So what do you see now? What do you see coming in the near future? A little bit of predicting the future going on here. So think about like what opportunities are on the horizon. Take a look at what assets you have. So this can be intellectual capital. Maybe it’s patents, maybe it’s certain talent that you have, certain point of view. What are the assets that you have? What trends are emerging besides virtual cats that you can exploit. And some of the things we see these days, we see a lot going on with wearables, biometrics, blockchain, artificial intelligence. Maybe a little bit over the hype curve on that one. But things like space tech and I think are going to be huge. Privacy over the past 12 months has been a really, really big issue.

So these trends can create opportunities or they can also create threat. So if you’re putting together a product or a service that somehow might be perceived as infringing on people’s privacy, that could be a potential stumbling block for you.

Next you want to take a look at your markets that you’re pursuing. Think about, can you reach an audience that’s a lucrative so that’s always important. But more importantly, can you do it affordably? So it doesn’t necessarily do you much good to be able to reach this audience if you burn through all your runway trying to get there.

Are there barriers to entry? We talked before about finance can be really tough to get into. There’s a lot that needs to happen in terms of FCC regulation and compliance. Same with cannabis. A lot of regulations, a lot of people have taken a first mover advantage in that industry. Social media, we’re all on Instagram and some of us are still on Facebook and LinkedIn. But is there room for another massive billion person social network? I don’t know, maybe. I do you think there’s definitely some barriers to entry for social media.

Again, think where do you see the unmet need and can you validate it? Is there any way that you can confirm that there’s this desperate need in the market for what you might be able to offer? And think about the markets that you’re looking at, are they too wide? Are you trying to pursue too much at once? Is it too narrow? Are you getting so specific that there’s just not going to be enough opportunity there. So those are two things you got to think of.

Finally, I would take a peek or almost finally, I would take a peek at your competitive analysis. So this is a screenshot from a presentation that we did on competitive analysis for rebranding that we did. I took the labels off the axes but basically, I mean, you can plot anything on these two axes. It could be whether it’s a premium or a standard offering. It could be enterprise level to consumer level. Use your imagination on that. But the long and short of it is you want to look at the competition, you want to find that area of opportunity. Where is it too crowded? Where is it not crowded enough? Where can you make the most money, where’s it going to be the most lucrative. Do a little time, put in the work and see where are you going to fit in and not be crowded out by just a sea of competition.

Finally, you want to define your value propositions which is not positioning. So, if you haven’t done this already, craft value propositions for the products and services you offer. And quick review, value propositions describe how you deliver value to specific customer segments. So it’s not just everybody, but it could be customer A, B, and C might each have a different value proposition based on what your product or services, and just review positioning is how you’re going to be perceived in the marketplace. So it’s not exactly how you’re delivering value. But value propositions will help inform some of your positioning decisions. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can check out our website. We’ve already done a webinar, written an article, it’s all up on our blog,

Okay, so you’ve got all this information together, you’ve gone through all those quick exercises. Now you want to review and you want to match some of the patterns. So do you see anything coming together? Can you eliminate some of the week ideas? What happens if you expand or narrow some of the variables? So again, like what patterns do you see? What can be eliminated? Can you widen the markets? Can you narrow the opportunities? Can you narrow what you’re offering? How can you play around with it to come up with something that’s uniquely differentiated because that’s the name of the game.

So think about how you can put things together to try and get something that sounds like it has some potential here. We have a little fictional start up here so a blockchain financial start up, the initial strategy was to enter a larger market. But after analyzing competition, barriers to entry, etc, a more narrow positioning made more sense. After thinking about initially pursuing a wide range of consumers from 18 to 50, they revised our strategy to pursue female millennials 25 to 35, which is interesting because most people think of crypto as like a guy thing. So hey, maybe there really is potential, right? Just don’t make your logo pink.

The initial strategy of pursuing crypto tokens and stocks was narrowed down just to specific crypto tokens to make it a little more of a niche off.

All right, so let’s talk about, now that you’ve developed your strategy, how can we go through a few ways that you can articulate that into some words, right? So, here, we’re going to talk about what a positioning statement is. It’s something that you primarily you use it internally to articulate your strategy to your people. I do believe it’s something that will inform your external language, but usually not using your positioning statement verbatim. That tends to sound very formulaic. Ideally, it should attract and repel. So people are going to either buy into it or opt out. If it’s not doing that, it’s probably a little too gray, a little too vanilla, and maybe needs to be a little bit more polarizing. It’s going to help with your company culture, it’s going to help with recruiting. People are going to know if this is the place for that.

So, our first option is called the elevator pitch. You all know what that is, I believe, but it’s the answer to the question, what do you do? Primarily, it’s going to discuss your focus and who it benefits. So it’s very specific, but it also tends to sound a little formulaic. That being said, I think it’s effective when it’s said verbally and it’s something that really, it’s going to work with investors, it’s going to work with a B2B audience. So how you implement it, we’re going to show you a template on the next page and then you want to fill that in, iterate, de-formulize it a little to land on your final statement.

So, this is our template and I would like to credit our friends [inaudible 00:34:35] without pitching for pointing us to this template which I think is a great way to put together some language on your positioning statement. So I’m going to read through it. It’s, your company is the leading blank expertise firm to the vertical market. We help client type to benefit and benefit. So, filling in the blanks with somebody you all know usually I would hope. HubSpot is the leading marketing automation firm to the digital marketing space. We help sales and marketing teams to increase conversions and grow revenue. So that’s how you can fill in the blanks and then putting it all together, HubSpot is a leading marketing automation solution for additional marketers. We help sales and marketing teams increase conversions and grow revenue.

So notice I massage the language a little, I parse the words here and there. This is where you want to adjust and de-formulize this elevator pitch so it just rolls off the tongue a little bit better and looks a little bit better in print.

Here’s a slight variation on it for the B2C space. So, I’m going to fill this in with a company called Parachute. They make really comfortable linens, some of you have probably heard of them. So Parachute is the leading online provider of linens for millennials. We help discerning women to find the best sheets at a fair price and get their best night of sleep ever. Putting it all together. Nicely, Parachute is the leading online provider of linens for millennials. Discerning women come to our store to buy premium sheets at a fair price resulting in their best night of sleep ever. It’s a nice concise statement that you can use with investors, with team members or even in that elevator, right? And notice the language is slightly different. We’ve rearranged some of the words to de-formulize it, right?

So the second approach that you can take is a mission based approach. Mission based approaches tend to sound a little more confident. You’re coming from a higher calling, it’s more inspirational, it’s going to inspire customers, employees to sign up for your mission. It’s all about building a movement, about fighting an enemy, about righting a wrong. I really love mission based positioning. It’s thrilling to me. I think it only works in certain situations and in certain areas of your marketing. But I tend to find these to be really fun to put together.

I think, in particular, it works well in B2C. I think it works well for education, for anything that’s environmental, green, like these are sort of causes to begin with. So it really resonates well. And the template that’s used is very simple, it’s just company is on a mission to dot, dot, dot. And it’s your job to uncover what that mission is and put it together.

One example using HubSpot from before. So HubSpot is on a mission to rid the world of clunky CRM and automation software and make mark tech fun again. Who doesn’t want to do that, right? So there’s this implication that there’s sort of an enemy they’re fighting, Salesforce, and that they’re going to make this, whatever you want to call it, the software that people are kind of slogging through a little bit more fun and less clunky, more intuitive. So that’s one approach that you could use in B2B.

Going to Parachute, this is actually taken from their website. So Parachute is on a mission to offer the best sheets on the market and inspiring community around sleep wellness and a comfortable home. So I really like that language. I feel it even kind of connects with the Parachute elevator pitch that I wrote before I even saw this on their website. So great example there on how you can use it in a B2C environment.

So your final step here, and I know we’re coming up on the half hour mark is to validate. So once you have your positioning crafted, you want to seek to validate it. One semi low cost way you can do that is with a PPC or a landing page, you can put up some pay per click ads, see, if you’re getting any traction with that. Another way might be informal research. I don’t think this is the best route but any feedback is better than no feedback. Colleagues, friends, people you meet at events, you can make surveys, you can grab people off the street, I’m just kidding. But I think bouncing ideas off people and seeing what’s resonating with them is a way to get out of your box and to see how that’s working for people and maybe ways you might want to refine that.

And certainly, if you have time, and if you have a budget, you could actually hire external consultants to help you with validating your positioning. And regardless of what happens, you want to iterate, you want to refine this, take some of the feedback, go back to the drawing board, if it’s not working, if it is working, great. Don’t be afraid to revisit it when necessary. I don’t think you want to be repositioning your firm every year. But certainly, markets change, technology changes. Certainly, you don’t want to become mediocre through a lack of getting passed by, or not a lack, if you’re getting passed by either by technology market, a consumer preferences, etc. So, as things change, take a look at it and see if it still makes sense.

And then we have five tests of your positioning. Again, this is from our friends at WWP. Number one, are you afraid? When I positioned our firm, I came up with We Brand Unicorns, also a little bit of butterflies in my stomach before I put that out there. I did validate it through some people who gave me some positive feedback. Are you energized? Are you excited to put this out in the world? It certainly should make you feel that way and that’s a good test of your positioning. Is it easy to build lists? Can you find the customers that you’re trying to reach? Can you build custom audiences that are well targeted? Is it going to be easy to do that? Are you finding that you’re getting attention? Is it polarizing enough or are you just another company on that slide of 9000 logos, right? Is this something that’s going to get attention to market?

You can measure that through traffic, you can measure that through any number of means, you could measure that through new leads coming in, through your customer acquisition, through your daily active users, whatever it is your product. But is it getting attention? And ultimately, the final tests of course, it’s all about the dollars, right? Are you more profitable?

So, I’m going to quickly take you through a few quick examples and then we’ll have time for your questions. Our first example here is from a company called BuildFire. And I’m just going to read it, the most powerful mobile app builder for iOS and Android. BuildFire empowers businesses to rapidly build mobile apps while delivering elegant solutions to connect and engage in a mobile world. So clear definition of what they do, who they do it for and what the benefits are. So great elevator pitch there from BuildFire.

Moving to a B2C example from Proper Cloth. Custom shirts made smarter. They combine classic men styles with intelligent data and technology for more options and a better fit. So nice elevator pitch style from Proper Cloth, clearly stating that benefits, what you get from them.

Okay, here’s one from Zenefits. They do HR for the new world of work that is powering people to make work move and businesses thrive. So I really like their use of massaging sort of that formulaic language to come up with a powerful marketing statement for their homepage. So great use of language there.

So here’s what I would call a semi mission based approach for AllTrails. Find your next favorite trail. You’re going to experience endless memories. Our mission or our goal is simple, to build the largest collection of hand curated trail guides so you can explore the outdoors with confidence. So they’re working in some benefits there but I feel like this is, this is also like an emotional play to why you might want to get their product.

Another example from Altschool. Empower students for a limitless future, ignite a passion for learning in your students so they can thrive in any environment. So nice mission approach for the education vertical there.

And then finally, our last example is from Convercent, an ethics and compliance cloud platform. And as you might imagine, they utilize both the elevator and mission based approaches on their homepage. And it’s a powerful one two combination. So driving ethics to the center of business, they are the leading ethics and compliance cloud platform, note the use of leading there. Our suite of applications will streamline your ethics and compliance management and help you operationalize your values. Individually, their best of breed solutions together, they’re the future of the industry.

So calling out their specific product, their suite of applications, the benefits of streamlining ethics and compliance, operationalizing your values. And then if you scroll down their web page a little bit more you get to their mission. So we are on a mission to change the world. Okay, big mission, but hey, I’m all for it. Change the world literally, our software helps companies be more ethical and gives a voice to whistleblowers and victims and so on. So great one two punch of using an elevator pitch and a mission based language both on the same page. Like I said, there’s no right or wrong to this. You got to choose what’s going to work for your firm.

All right, so let me sum up now and then I’ll let you know what’s coming up next for C42D. I will take your question. So in summary, positioning a strategy as stated and then demonstrated. It’s not a value proposition or a tagline. Well positioned brands outperform on almost every single metric. Don’t copy, go against your instincts. It’s all about perception. Go deep. Vertical is good, category, product or audience are all ways that you can narrow to a more vertical focus. Startups face specific issues. Define your strategy. Find the bandwidth to get it done. Beware of the blue ocean. Avoid trends at the expense of strategy and get everyone on your team on the same page. Craft your positioning using the four hacks for high level strategy. Get started with brainstorming opportunities, markets, trends, also your value propositions, use those to assist.

Look for patterns, see how you can widen or narrow some of the variables to come up with something that’s differentiated. Use a mission based or elevator pitch approach to crafting your positioning language. You can use one or both. When you’re all set, validate, test, iterate, and then refine. And I’m going to end on this image. I found this last night around midnight as I was polishing this beautiful presentation for all of you. This is a Chinese fortune I’ve kept for a number of years. “You cannot be anything if you want to be everything.” So there you go, the core of positioning from the Chinese takeout and I want you to remember that.

So what’s coming up next for C42D? Hey, you don’t think we’d start with just two webinars, right? Of course not. It’s our goal to deliver these ones quarter, and next quarter, we’re going to gaze into our crystal ball to predict the future of marketing for early stage companies in 2019. So the top trends for 2019, get ahead of the competition, find out where the next big thing is coming from. All before lunch. This will take place on February 12, 2019 at 11AM Eastern. To register, visit and look for the signup link which will be up by the end of the week.

Note, in case you miss anything, we’ll have a video of this webinar along with the transcript up on by next Monday. Probably sooner than then but definitely by the beginning of next week. There’s also lots of great content, so check out our blog for more thought leadership. We also have a new e-book that we just launched. So first in our series of guides for startups, branding basics, which walk you through the essential steps to building a brand to perform now and in the long term. So if you’re interested in that, choose an email or connect at and we’re happy to shoot you a link on how you can download that.

So now, I’m going to go into Q&A, see if there’s any questions out there. Just wait for a moment. Okay, great, so Andrew has a question. Andrew asks, so value proposition is not positioning. Yeah, so like I said before, I got those interchanged for a long time. There tends to be like a little bit of overlap there but value propositions are much more clearly around specific customer segments. So, the example I used in our last webcast was for an insurance provider like Oscar, we mentioned before. They offer value to different audiences, like the people who sell the insurance, business owners and also the ultimate beneficiaries, which are the people who are going to be on the insurance policies. So, they’re crafting different statements to each one of those groups and they’re crafting different ways to deliver value to each one of those.

I think when you think about your positioning of your company overall as a whole, I think knowing those value props are going to give you some valuable information on how you can position that. So hopefully, did that answer your question maybe, not at all, but hopefully.

Okay, let’s see what else. Okay, so Chelsea asks, What do you do if your advisor is pushing you in a certain direction to set up financing but you’re not feeling it 100%? So I’m guessing you mean if they’re pushing you like in a certain positioning direction to maybe be more appealing to investors but you’re not feeling it 100%. That’s tough. I had the slide like why you shouldn’t necessarily go with the perceived preferences of investors.

Again, I talked to a lot of people who were financing, is so difficult that you’re almost willing to sell your soul to do it. I think if you’re not feeling it 100%, maybe the thing to do is to just have a frank discussion with your advisor about why you’re not feeling it. And certainly, if you can do any of the work that we just outlined in this webcast, maybe you can go back with some data and say, here’s what I think is going to work and here’s why. Maybe that’s a way to do it.

See any other questions? Just double checking. Okay, great. Well, thanks everyone for joining. Appreciate you guys sticking around for the whole webcast and hope you got something out of it. And thanks a lot, and you guys will do great with everything, and we’ll see you at the next one.

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Transcript: 2020 Marketing Predictions

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