Establish your strategy

You want to make the right decisions to get the best positioning, but you are not sure where to start? Here are some tips to get you started.

Obstacle race

Even if your idea is probably great – that’s for sure - the world hasn't waited for your arrival and a lot of solutions already exist in order to solve the problems you may have detected. And even some alternatives are already suggested to solve the same problem in a different way. These alternatives are likely to be real obstacles for your product or service. And in particular, the "customers" might be tempted to do nothing and keep going without your product. The problem or need is not concrete enough to motivate them.

Spread the good word

To refine your positioning, keep in mind that we are not all the same in the face of innovation. Some of us get very excited about it: the «innovators» (or geeks). Others are allergic to it. You won’t be able to convince everyone from the start. And you need to focus on the “early adopters”, those who have already identified that they have a need, who may have been actively seeking solutions and are willing to trust you, even if you are just getting started. It is definitely these early adopters – less than 10% of the population – that you need to focus on…

This first choice of positioning must be completed by the strategy you will develop in relation to the (existing) market. To caricature (barely) you have 6 options: the “face punch”, the “10 x Better”, the “add-on to the existing”, the “Geographic”, the “Disruptive” or the “Blue Ocean”.

Face punch

In the case of the "face punch", you are in direct competition with an established competitor, market leader. It is easy to understand that this strategy is risky and that it requires significant resources. It's not impossible, it's actually quite common, but you will quickly understand the limits of this approach (which can be found in banks, insurance companies, telecoms, large and medium-sized retailers, etc.).

10X better

In an existing market, Guy Kawasaki recommends that your solution be “10X better” than those of your competitors. Both to make a difference but also because it requires effort from customers to come to you. They’re not going to do it to end up with exactly the same thing, or barely cheaper. We could ask if this is not the strategy that Elon Musk chose for his «Cyber Truck». In a market dominated by the Ford F150 pickup, he decided to do something radically different. To the point of giving birth to a curious vehicle with a very unique look… The future will tell if this bet is successful.

Add-on to

Another option is to “build on the existing”. Concretely, it means you add a service/product that complements the offer of the market leader. The latter becomes your partner (or buys you out… or develops this complimentary offer). We are in the field of “incremental” innovation.


If you have found an interesting offer in another country in the world, you can also «import the concept» and deploy it in your geographical area. That is what has been done for years. But now, with the internet and globalization, no one lives on an island and good ideas spread fast. Anyway, this option is not to be overlooked, but it requires careful analysis to ensure that the need exists in your market!


Although it has been used and abused, the term “disruption” is an approach theorized by Clayton Christensen that applies when a new technology makes it possible to serve customers who are not served by the actual market actors. By structurally altering market balances, the disruptive approach creates a completely different offering and positioning. And of course, the Internet is a massive field of disruption!

Blue Ocean

And finally, the last option you can choose to use, is the Blue Ocean! Instead of positioning yourself in a competitive environment – the Red Ocean – why not project yourself into a market where you will be alone? By analyzing in detail the customer needs and competitors’ products, you decide to develop “something else” than what the competition does, AND that meets the customer’s needs at the same time. Of course, if you make a splash, your ocean will quickly fill with competitors, but rest assured you have a head start, and it’s already something!

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