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Repositioned Sales and Marketing
June 10, 2011

Repositioned Sales and Marketing

Can you give your sales and marketing a complete makeover by positioning yourself in a more sophisticated way?


One quality of great sales and marketing is that it can turn the most mundane product or service into the greatest thing since sliced bread! If you have ever seen an expert sales or marketing professional at work, you will notice that no matter how boring their product or service is, they have an uncanny ability to inject life into what they are talking about and make it interesting. Part of this is their knowledge and passion for what they are doing and another part is using simple techniques like positioning yourself in an extraordinary way. By thinking about the key words and phrases you use to promote your product or service, you may be able to create new messaging concepts that take you from being normal to remarkable.

To give you an idea of what I mean by this, here are a few examples of repositioned sales and marketing where a somewhat ordinary product or service is presented in a novel way. What you will find is that the most successful companies in every industry add glamor to ordinary products and services just by changing how they are described. Part of your job in sales and marketing is figuring out what the sophisticated terminology is in your industry for your offerings and to think of ways to reinvent what you do in order to make it more appealing to your customers and to differentiate yourself from the ordinary. Just look up the leading brands in your industry to see how they are talking about the same product and services your provide but in a different way:

”Audio experience” versus “sound” (Bose)
”Liftback” versus “hatchback” (Toyota)
”Configure-to-order” versus “made to order” (Sony)
”Super-responsive, low-profile cushioning”(Nike)
”Grown, not made” (Heinz)

In some cases, the new terminology that leading companies come up with is around the experience that you are creating for customers. Therefore, instead of talking about size, shape and color, for example, you are talking about the kind of mood and effect you are striving to create for your customer which is really what they are buying. This kind of thinking is in line with the classic sales and marketing advice of focusing on benefits instead of features: what do your product or service features actually mean to your customers? Is there a way of you addressing those benefits directing in your communications? How can you add a touch of class to what you are talking about in order to make it more special?

In some cases, companies attribute benefits that you might not generally think of to their products and services. For example, on their website Michelin talks about tires with ”stopping power” and ”fuel efficiency” which are features that we usually think of in conjunction with brakes and engines. How can you expand the universe of what you do for your customers by talking about the totality of the valuable benefits you provide? In some cases, it may be as simple as bringing certain aspects of what you do to your customers' attention and letting them know that you think about that as well. As well as educating your customer, you are leaving them with the impression that there is far more to your product or service than meets the eye.

Just using different wording makes you different from everyone else by default and shows that you put thought into everything you do. Ideally, what you are aiming for is to convey something new with what your are saying as well. This mighht be a new feature or innovation or a different way of doing things. It may be a different focus that sets you apart from others or an indication of a core philosophy of yourself and your business. Whatever the case, with a bit of effort you should be able to recreate your sales and marketing message in order to paint yourself and your business in a new and trendy light. Talk about ambiance instead of “lighting” and economy instead of “mileage”. Get rid of the ordinary and replace it with the innovative and elegant.

If perception is reality, is the reality you are creating with your sales and marketing ordinary or cutting edge?


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