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The Simple Product Positioning Framework

🤔 What is Product Positioning?

If you’re a marketer working with a SaaS or a DTC company, the chances are that you have heard about product positioning. At its core, it’s a statement that clearly defines the problem you’re solving and why your solution is worthy of purchase. 

But why should a marketer care? You might be thinking that it’s a “product” thing, but it’s marketing 101. Well, besides the fact that product & marketing functions go hand-in-hand, you need to know what you’re marketing. Otherwise, it would just be throwing those proverbial stones in the dark

So, before you even begin to think of an out-of-the-box campaign, clearly understand the product’s positioning first. 

Now, if you Google “product positioning framework,” there are billions of results with a ton of frameworks. They’re all remarkable frameworks, but here’s the thing: You simply need to get the basics right. 

🎯 The Triple W Product Positioning Framework

The Triple W framework is the simplest of all product positioning frameworks that I have come across in these five years of my career. The three Ws are nothing but three questions you need to answer about your product. 

They are:

Q. What’s the product about?

Q. Who is it for?

Q. Why should they (your target audience) care? 

I can almost guarantee you that these three questions would help you get the gist of the product’s stand in the market. Of course, there are myriad factors that determine the efficacy of a product’s positioning in the market, but this framework will help you set the basics right. Let’s define the Ws individually, shall we?

ℹ️ What’s the product about? (W1)

This question is self-explanatory. You should answer this by defining your product – state precisely what it does. 

ℹ️ Who is it for? (W2)

I’m assuming you know what a target audience is. The answer to this question defines your product’s target audience. Simple. 

ℹ️ Why should they care? (W3)

This is a critical one. The answer to this question explains why your target audience should buy the product. In a world of endless options, what sets you apart from the crowd; that’s the answer to this question. 

📝 Examples

Let’s look at some real-world examples and try to determine their product positioning statement using this framework. Ready? Here we go. 

Example 1: Slack

W1: Slack is a cloud-based software that helps teams to stay connected at work throughout the day. 

W2: Slack is for teams that are trying to collaborate easily & instantaneously. 

W3: Slack helps you ditch the never-ending back and forth over email where conversations typically get lost or forgotten. In other words, Slack is where work happens for real. 

Example 2: Outdoor Voices

W1: Outdoor Voices (OV) is a clothing brand focused on creating athletic apparel. 

W2: OV is for people who just want to be active instead of doing a specific exercise like weight lifting or yoga sessions. 

W3: Unlike other apparel brands, OV focuses on Recreationalists who believe in the power of Doing Things. They have also centered their entire brand around circularity and longevity to reduce environmental impact, a significant differentiation. 

Example 3: Canva

W1: Canva is a cloud-based software that helps you create stunning graphics in less time.

W2: Canva is for people who aren’t professional designers, and yet they need to create professional designs to serve their needs. 

W3: Unlike professional design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Canva is super simple to use. You can get started in seconds and create a professional design in minutes with no help. You may or may not be a designer, but with Canva, you can successfully create a design with no prior experience. 

🤞 Clear on Product Positioning? 

I’m hoping that by now, you know how to figure out the positioning statement for a product with the help of this framework. Keep in mind the three Ws: What? Who? Why? 

It’s dead simple, and once you have figured this out, you can move on to planning those top-notch marketing campaigns that will yield incredible results. 

But here’s the thing. This framework is far from perfect, and you might have a bunch of questions when you try to apply it. So, if you get stuck anywhere, feel free to reach out to me on my email or drop a ping on Twitter.

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