Seattle Community

Joe Hage
Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson
Seattle, Washington
Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jun 10, 2008

Subscribe to The Biznik Community What's your positioning statement?

Share with the community: what's your positioning statement?

Remember, you need to fill in five blanks:

To whom,

The name of your brand

is the brand of what is the frame of reference

that what benefit does (brand) offer

because you why should I believe you.

Here's mine: To a Biznik indie professional, Joe Hage is the marketing strategy expert that can help you focus on the right strategies to build your business because Joe successfully helped other Biznik professionals.


Closed_info

226 Bizniks have posted replies

  • Spiritual psychotherapist and healer 
Seattle, Washington 
Rachel Whalley, MA, MFA, LMHCA
    Posted by Rachel Whalley, MA, MFA, LMHCA, Seattle, Washington | Jul 24, 2008

    Thanks for the the thoughts, Joe.

    A couple clarifications:

    Energy work is not really something that typically gives a person more energy. Let me give the link again to that explanation I wrote (cause I messed up the link last time): What IS energy work?

    Secondly, results ARE typical. :) Really.

    It seems like there's still so much to explain that perhaps we should converse offline.

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jul 24, 2008

    Let's do that, Rachel, over lunch.

    Your treat. ;-)

  • Spiritual psychotherapist and healer 
Seattle, Washington 
Rachel Whalley, MA, MFA, LMHCA
    Posted by Rachel Whalley, MA, MFA, LMHCA, Seattle, Washington | Jul 24, 2008

    I wouldn't have it any other way, Joe.

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jul 25, 2008

    Val, yours is really quite good. I edited liberally and instead of explaining all my choices will see what you think of the changes.

    First, I think you need two positioning statements. One for viewers. One for donors.

    To whom? Viewers first.

    Who and What? Look, Listen and Learn is the only local, commercial-free TV program for preschoolers.

    Benefit? That gives Pacific Northwestern parents fun and engaging ways to teach their children about the world around them.

    Supporting claims? Because the shows revolve around family-friendly ideas that are just a drive away.

    Now, that's a show I would watch, FWIW.


    To whom? Now, let's talk about this. Are you thinking primarily "and viewers like you" a la PBS or are you thinking large, local companies (Boeing, Safeco, Microsoft, etc.?) Personally, I'd favor the latter.

    So, to companies in the local market that already have well-established charitable programs targeting education,

    Who and what? LLL is the only commercial-free programming targeting potential employees with young children in this market,

    Benefit? That achieves your education-promoting goals in a completely new way

    Supporting claims? Because we are the only locally-produced show that features local activities that engage your target market of families with small children.

    Plus, we are the only programming that partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters and foster homes in the community to give disadvantaged children the formative appetite for learning afforded wealthier families.

    I like these. Do you?

  • Children's TV Producer 
Tukwila, Washington 
Val Thomas-Matson
    Posted by Val Thomas-Matson, Tukwila, Washington | Jul 25, 2008

    Dear Joe, No! It'd be and understatement to say I like your modifications. I'm propelled into a whole new world of possibilities to advance our mission, thanks to your insight. I'm humbled and appreciate you sharing your gift with LLL and me. I look forward to discovering other ways to make sure we're a show you and the boys want to watch. Again, thank you, Joe. Val

  • Professional Software Developer 
Shoreview, Minnesota 
Avonelle Lovhaug
    Posted by Avonelle Lovhaug, Shoreview, Minnesota | Jul 28, 2008

    Joe - this conversation has been incredibly useful! Thank you to you and all the others who have contributed to this so far.

    Here's my first attempt at a positioning statement. When you have a chance, I'd love to see your feedback.

    To business leaders with a limited IT staff, Avonelle is the programmer that will painlessly work with you through the customer software design and development process because Avonelle will focus on achieving the benefits to your business instead of geek-stuff.

    Note on the "because": Joe, I see you are linking to an "endorsements" page in your example. I currently have testimonials on my site, but they are not organized on a particular page. One testimonial appears randomly on the main page of my site each time the page is loaded. I am considering revamping the site a bit to also include them on a single page as you have done, do you think that would be helpful? (I only have a couple of three or four of these...I'm still learning the fine art of asking for a testimonial from clients!)

  • Moddejonge's Herbals 
Everett, Washington 
Lynn Moddejonge
    Posted by Lynn Moddejonge, Everett, Washington | Jul 28, 2008

    Hello Joe,

    It has taken me a while to digest your feedback - here is my second attempt. Does this sound better? This positioning statement is for the individual purchaser. I am still working on the retail and partner statement.

    Moddejonge’s Herbals concentrates on solutions for skin and muscle conditions from diaper rash to arthritis for people who are interested in a more natural and less chemical approach to healing. These remedies work wonders for all ages. They are gentle enough for baby skin with diaper rashes, and childrens banged up knees; strong enough for weekend warriors sore muscles and arthritis and great for every day complaints – like headaches, stuffy noses, bug bites and that mascara that will just not wash off. I have been growing and using medicinal herbs for over 30 years and these are tried and true remedies tested on family and friends throughout that time.

    I invite you to try them out and let me know what your think.

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jul 29, 2008

    Avonelle,

    To whom? Business leaders with a limited IT staff. Ok, but I wonder how you would target that. Do you really mean companies with fewer than "x" employees? Do you care what industry they are in / do they care about which industries you've assisted?

    Who? Avonelle. Got it. It's just you.

    Frame of reference? I had a little trouble here. You write, "The programmer that will painlessly work with you through the customer software design and development process."

    You kind of mix your frame of reference and benefit here. So you are a consumer software design programmer. (Is this a commonly understood frame of reference for your target ~ 'cause I don't completely "get it.")

    You are also a programmer for development processes. I don't think that's a separate thought from "customer software design" but I'm not sure.

    Benefit? As far as I can tell, the benefit of working with you is that it will be painless. That doesn't seem very motivating to me.

    Supporting claims? Because Avonelle will focus on achieving the benefits to your business instead of geek-stuff.

    Two things: I don't see "because you'll focus" as support for your benefit and I think upon reflection we'll end up changing your "painless" benefit ~ so let's wait on this one for now.

    P.S. I kind of took a bit of a short cut with my supporting claims example. I point directly to "satisfied Bizniks" but if I were working to convince non-Bizniks, I would trot out my traditional consumer-packaged goods training from Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, and others.

    I'd also point to my resume (which I do have available for download on my website. I recommend you do the same.)

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jul 29, 2008

    Hi, Lynn, with my edits I think we're pretty much there for your end user statement.

    To whom? For people interested in an all-natural approach to healing. (I edited.) Does this work for you? Is "interested in" strong enough or are you looking for people "actively seeking?" I think the former, just checking.

    Who? Moddejonge’s Herbals. Got it.

    Frame of reference? You don't say, but I think you need to.

    Benefit? Relieves skin and muscle conditions from diaper rash to arthritis.

    Supporting claims? Because: - My tried-and-true herbal products have healed my family and friends (of all ages) for more than 30 years. - Moddejonge's Herbals are gentle enough for babies' rashes; strong enough for kids' scrapes, stuffy noses, and bug bites; and tough enough for adults' sore muscles, headaches, arthritis, and more.

    If you can add some kind of money-back guarantee, all the better! That's the kind of supporting claim that really talks volumes.

  • Moddejonge's Herbals 
Everett, Washington 
Lynn Moddejonge
    Posted by Lynn Moddejonge, Everett, Washington | Jul 29, 2008

    Thanks, Joe, now I will move on to the partner/retailer statement.

    Lynn

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jul 29, 2008

    Lynn, how will you answer the "to whom" and "frame of reference" questions for your purchasers statement?

    Is a money-back guarantee something you do or are considering for your herbal products?

    Joe

  • Moddejonge's Herbals 
Everett, Washington 
Lynn Moddejonge
    Posted by Lynn Moddejonge, Everett, Washington | Jul 29, 2008

    Joe, I think the to whom is good, but I would wonder if this might intimidate the person who is just now exploring the possibilites of natural healing and not willing to put all of his trust in it yet? Would it turn him away?

    Frame of reference, I think I am a bit confused on the frame of reference. I went back and read your article again and still am a bit confused.

    To Zachary and Lucas Joe Hage is the loving parent that gives you all the love and support your can handle because everything he does, he does for the two of you. Your frame of reference here is "The loving parent that gives you all the love and support that you can handle". Is that correct?

    So what I am looking for is something to qualify Moddejonge's Herbals?

    Moddejonge's Herbals, who makes all natural herbal solutions from fresh and dried herbs, essential oils and beeswax?

    I think the money back guarantee is a good idea. As a matter of fact, I have used it at local fairs and farmer's markets. I would be very willing to put it in writing.

    So - For people interested in a more natural approach to healing, Moddejonge's Herbals makes all-natural herbal solutions from fresh and dried herbs, essential oils and beeswax to relieve skin and muscle conditions from diaper rash to arthritis.

    My tried-and-true herbal products have healed my family and friends (of all ages) for more than 30 years. Moddejonge's Herbals are gentle enough for babies' rashes; strong enough for kids' scrapes, stuffy noses, and bug bites; and tough enough for adults' sore muscles, headaches, arthritis, and more.

    I invite you to try them out and let me know what you think. If you are not satisfied with the results, I will happy to refund your money.

    Is this better?

  • Professional Software Developer 
Shoreview, Minnesota 
Avonelle Lovhaug
    Posted by Avonelle Lovhaug, Shoreview, Minnesota | Jul 29, 2008

    To whom? Business leaders with a limited IT staff. You are right - it may be a hard group to target. My industry experience is somewhat varied (non-profits, an executive coaching firm, a financial aid application processor, a lawn sprinkler parts company, and a custom window manufacturer - and those are just some current clients!) A lot of freelancer programmers work on big projects where an organization uses a freelancer to augment their existing staff. But lately my best experiences have been where I'm working with a customer who doesn't come to the table with an existing development staff. The projects are smaller and I have more control over the process. That's why I'm trying to get at that group. (Also, I think I would market myself differently for larger projects - emphasizing my teamwork skills, etc.) Make sense?

    Frame of reference? The programmer that will painlessly work with you through the custom software design and development process. This was my fault - sorry. I wrote "customer" instead of "custom". Big difference! Does that make it clearer, or does it need more work?

    Benefit? My thinking on "painless" was that I was trying to play a bit on FUD of working with technology people. If you are a business with a fairly limited IT staff (maybe just someone who keeps the office computers running), working with a programmer might be scary. Techy people can often talk down to non-techy people, and make them feel intimidated. Then again, as I write this I realize that if I'm targeting business leaders, they are unlikely to be intimidated by that! Ugh.

    So, here are some more concrete benefits. Do any of these jump out as a better approach? * My fees are always fixed-price and not hourly, so you can budget accordingly. * I focus on business value, and not what is "cool". * I work with my customers through the entire process, including requirements development, system design, software development, user testing, and deployment. I can help coordinate user testing so that users understand how to test effectively. * I provide access to an issue tracking system so that there is a centralized location for tracking bugs and enhancement ideas. * I use code generation tools where practical to minimize the costs. * I use build scripts to make deployment a repeatable process. This cuts down on mistakes that can be made when manually deploying applications.

    Supporting claims? Okay, let's wait...

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jul 30, 2008

    Lynn, I think you have the essence of it, if not the precise formula. The positioning statement is not copy. It has five blanks to fill in. That's it.

    Let me answer your questions first. - In my son-based statement, "the parent" is my frame of reference. - "That gives you all the love and support that you can handle" is my proposed benefit.

    I think your frame of reference could be "maker of herbal remedies." Will that be broad enough for your vision of where you want your business to go?

    To whom? For people interested in an all-natural approach to healing,

    Who, what, benefit? Moddejonge’s Herbals is the maker of herbal remedies that relieve skin and muscle conditions from diaper rash to arthritis.

    Supporting claims? Because: - Moddejonge's tried-and-true herbal products healed her family and friends (of all ages) for more than 30 years. - Moddejonge's Herbals are gentle enough for babies' rashes; strong enough for kids' scrapes, stuffy noses, and bug bites; and tough enough for adults' sore muscles, headaches, arthritis, and more. - And Moddejonge's will give you a no-questions-asked refund of the purchase price if you are not completely satisfied.

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Jul 30, 2008

    Avonelle, wow, you gave me a lot to think about. By the time I wrote this all out, I think we may have cracked this.

    Some insights you shared: - A lot of freelancer programmers augment an existing staff. - You prefer to work alone. - You like having more control over the outcome. - You would market yourself one way for small and another way for larger. That's ok.

    Let's stick with your preference (working alone) for this exercise.

    To whom? Business leaders with a limited IT staff.

    Who and what? Avonelle is the affordable and efficient freelance programmer.

    Benefit? That is perfect for customizing a software solution that is right for your small business.

    Supporting claims? Because she delivers solid work at just about the lowest price you'll pay for the value you'll get.

    She'll give you the entire deliverable, including: - system requirements, - system design, - software development, - user testing, - deployment, - and even an easy-to-use tool to track bug fixes and enhancement ideas.

    And you'll appreciate: - An up-front project cost that she sticks to (so you can budget accordingly). - Her use of available code generation tools where practical (to minimize the costs). - Her skill building scripts to make future development easier.

    Whew. That sounds pretty good to me.

    You're hired!

  • Professional Software Developer 
Shoreview, Minnesota 
Avonelle Lovhaug
    Posted by Avonelle Lovhaug, Shoreview, Minnesota | Jul 30, 2008

    Joe - thanks for taking all that information and making it into something brilliant! This has been a very useful exercise. I really appreciate your help!

  • Spiritual psychotherapist and healer 
Seattle, Washington 
Rachel Whalley, MA, MFA, LMHCA
    Posted by Rachel Whalley, MA, MFA, LMHCA, Seattle, Washington | Aug 03, 2008

    Ok, here's the result of Joe's and my lunch consultation:

    To therapists, Rachel Whalley is the alternative healer who can help you connect with what your body and surroundings are trying to tell you because she is trained in hands-over energy healing, Emotional Freedom Technique, ritual creation, Internal Family Systems, visualizations, and systems counseling.

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Aug 03, 2008

    I like it, Rachel. We might go even deeper and define "therapists who ..." what?

    We might also specify if the benefit is intended for the therapist (for him/herself) or if the benefit will somehow empower the therapist to be a better therapist for patients.

    (I think it's the former. You might spell it out ~ remember, the positioning statement is for you, so it can be a bit of a run-on sentence.)

    :-)

  • Moddejonge's Herbals 
Everett, Washington 
Lynn Moddejonge
    Posted by Lynn Moddejonge, Everett, Washington | Aug 05, 2008

    Hello Joe,

    Here is my first pass at a positioning statement for retail/partners.

    To Alternative Medicine Practitioners, Chiropractors, Energy Healers and Wellness Centers, Moddejonge's Herbals can support and enhance your practice by providing all-natural, therapeutic herbal ointments that relieve skin and muscle conditions from diaper rash to arthritis. Moddejonge’s Herbals are gentle enough for babies’ rashes; strong enough for kids’ scrapes, stuffy noses and bug bites and tough enough for adults’ sore muscles, headaches, arthritis and more.

    Moddejonge’s Herbals have been sold through word of mouth, farmers markets and fairs for three years and has created a loyal following.

    What do you think?

  • Leasing Agent/Resident Manager 
Seattle, Washington 
Elena Tarassova
    Posted by Elena Tarassova, Seattle, Washington | Sep 25, 2008

    Thanks for the help Joe!

    To a professional firm of 20-200 users, FusionTek is the IT Support & Outsourcing Solution that can provide the resources, expertise and strategic planning of a Fortune 500 IT department without the overhead of a full time IT staff because we utilize our proprietary FAST asset management system and recruit the brightest minds in the technology field.

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Elena, that's really quite good.

    To whom? From what you shared it sounds as though you might want to narrow down from "professional firm" given your resources. Maybe pick a few industries where you can gain some traction?

    I wonder if there might be some kind of "who are dissatisfied with the performance and/or cost of their IT departments."

    Who and what? FusionTek is the IT support and outsourcing solution. Got it.

    Benefit? I'd hit the benefit harder. That gives you Fortune 500-quality IT resources at a fantastic savings to you.

    Supporting claims? This one needs some work. I imagine many feel that their IT department isn't getting all the work done that they presently have to do.

    So why should I believe that I'm going to get a better product out of people who aren't even in the building? Why should I believe that your labor is cheaper than my labor (is it 'saves you on benefits' alone)?

    You might attempt to spin it that they should "stick to their knitting" and focus on what they do best. If they're not in the IT field, why not have a company that only does IT focus on it for them.

    That angle could work but it's a tricky one. They might think, "well, we don't focus on IT but the guys in the IT department do ~ that's what we hired them for."

  • Real Estate Broker - Kirkland & Bothell  Specialist 
Bothell, Washington 
Yuno Marioni
    Posted by Yuno Marioni, Bothell, Washington | Sep 30, 2008

    To the first time home buyers,

    Yuno Marioni is the real estate agent with a BA degree in Interior Design that listens to your needs/wants carefully, helps you understand the process, and goes to the extra mile for you. She is patient, honest, informative and responsive and make sure that you are well informed buyers when you make a big decision of buying your first home because helping you meet your real estate goals is her first priority. She understands your stress and worries. She will be there right by you throughout the process and make sure that your transaction will go as smooth as possible.

    Is it too long?? I have no idea what I am doing here. But I wanted to try....

  • Real Estate Broker - Kirkland & Bothell  Specialist 
Bothell, Washington 
Yuno Marioni
    Posted by Yuno Marioni, Bothell, Washington | Sep 30, 2008

    Can I change to this... ?? I tried to delete the one above.. but I don't know how... Darn!

    To First time home buyers:

    Yuno Marioni is the Bilingual (English/Japanese)real estate agent with a BA degree in Interior Design that listens to your needs/wants very carefully, understands your anxiety and goes to the extra mile for you because helping you meet your real estate goals is her first priority. She will make sure that you are well informed and ready to make a big decision of home-buying. And she will be right by you throughout the process and make sure that your transaction will go as smooth as possible. She is patient, responsive, informative and very caring.

    Joe, please help me... Thanks in advance.

  • Linked:Seattle Community Chairperson 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe Hage
    Posted by Joe Hage, Seattle, Washington | Sep 30, 2008

    Yuno,

    To whom? First-time home buyers needs to be narrowed. What is characteristic of the first-time home buyers you want to work with? - Are they right out of college with no kids, disposable income, and wanting to take advantage of depressed prices? - Are do they have children and have been saving up for this for their whole lives?

    You get the idea.

    Who and What? Yuno is the bi-lingual real estate agent. - For now I took out the BA degree in Interior Design because there was nothing in what followed that leveraged it.

    Benefit (and supporting claims) are really going to depend on how you answer the first three.

    Help me understand, if you were to focus exclusively on Japanese customers, would the market be large enough for you?

    Remember, where you spend your time marketing is one thing. The customers you accept can be another.

    That is, if you were to spend your focus on marketing to people whose first language is Japanese and a French speaker were to hire you, congratulations! You got a new customer.

    But that doesn't mean you should spend a minute marketing to them.

  • Real Estate Broker - Kirkland & Bothell  Specialist 
Bothell, Washington 
Yuno Marioni
    Posted by Yuno Marioni, Bothell, Washington | Sep 30, 2008

    No.. I don't want to focus on Japanese customers. Their society is very hard to break in. They already have very strong network and it seems that even before moving up here, they are already connected to one of those big Japanese brokerages in Seattle. I have been putting an ad in bi-monthly Japanese newspaper since June this year. So far only some marketing people contacted me... but I know I will have to give some time. So I am not worried.

    As for narrowing down, I have not thought about those choices. I would like to narrow down to younger couples who are already married or just about to get married instead of just out of college. Does it still too wide?

    Thank you for your time.