Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Art of Positioning - Part II Creation

Does anyone dispute the fact that has been extremely successful? I didn’t think so. One of the reasons is Marc Benioff’s genius at positioning. Let’s have a look.

Step 1: Make it easy to understand what you do.
The name of the company very explicitly conveys empowerment for the Sales organization. A good idea since SalesForce’s offering started as a very easy to use contact management solution.
Step 2. Establish clear differentiation AND value in plain English.
This is critical because neither differentiation NOR value alone will suffice. In the SalesForce example, Marc Benioff pushed forward an easy to understand differentiation concept: No software! It was not about ASP this, On-demand that or other similar concepts. Nope, something with a bit more of an edge: Software is dead… A concept re-enforced by simplicity throughout the whole process: Easy to try – Easy to Buy – Easy to Use and did I mention Easy to Upgrade… The value derived from this SFA system was a direct consequence of this on-demand / SaaS offering (because after all, SalesForce is a software company): Low “acquisition” risk, short time-to benefit and no additional IT infrastructure required.
Step 3. Be bold, loud and repetitive.
Suffice it to say that we’ve all seen the “Software is dead” buttons and the cogent and well executed responses to richer and more established vendors like Siebel Systems and SAP.

A great positioning, well executed by a very talented team and backed up by a product that does the job. So, how will evolve and mature? What will become of “Software is dead”? We’ll explore Positioning Evolution another time.

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