The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology


Why You  Need the Product Positioning Workbook

In 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 to universal criticism and disdain. The product launch was a catastrophe that ended up costing the company billions of dollars in lost revenueswiped out Microsoft’s mobile business, and ended CEO Steve Ballmer’s executive career.

Why did this happen?





In 2014, Jeff Bezos declared himself the “super product manager” of the Amazon Fire Phone. When the unit was launched, it failed to catch fire in the market and Amazon ended up with a giant PR black eye, a warehouse stacked with unsold Fire Phones, and a final loss of $170M.

What went wrong?



What happened was that Microsoft and Bezos violated fundamental product positioning basics. Windows 8 created a positioning conflict within a single product.The Fire Phone’s design and pricing failed to align with market expections for top-tier smartphone. Both debacles were predictable and avoidable.

What went wrong was that neither company had a copy of The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology onsite while they were developing their products.

But You Will

The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology is the industry’s only comprehensive strategic resource for properly positioning your software or hardware product. Positioning is one of marketing’s most familiar buzzwords, but despite all the attention given to the topic, few useful tools exist to ensure software companies successfully execute this vital task.

The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology fills this void. It provides the most advanced and field-tested system for clearly, logically, and effectively positioning your products and your company. When you are done working through its easy-to-understand, yet detailed process, you’ll be able to create positioning statements and strategies for your product and company that tells sales prospects what your product does and why they should consider buying it.

Nothing like The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology exists anywhere else. It’s backed up and based on Softletter Managing Editor Rick Chapman’s extensive experience on the topic. He’s experienced first hand the havoc that poor positioning has wreaked on high-technology firms such as Microsoft, Workday, LivePerson, MicroPro and many, many others. His work consulting with companies on how to avoid catastrophes such as Windows 8 and Amazon’s Fire Phone has saved firms millions. One of the most common questions Rick is always asked on Quora (600K+ Answer Views, Top Five Most Viewed in SaaS) what is the primary reason most high-tech companies fail. He always provides the following answer:

  • You didn’t go through a proper positioning exercise before launch. If you had, you would have uncovered flaws in your assumptions and marketing plans and addressed them before entering Positioning Hell.
  • Because your idea idea wasn’t as good as you thought it was and you missed the opportunity to explore and test your assumptions, you failed.

That’s why he created the Positioning Workbook.

Who Should Use The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology?

The Positioning Workbook is designed for:

  • Members of upper management.
  • Product and product marketing managers.
  • Startups, both hardware and software.
  • New SaaS and mobile app firms and business divisions.

Can You Tell Us More About Why You Must Properly Position Your Company and its Products?

In addition to what we’ve already discussed, there are seven more reasons:

  • If your positioning is badly flawed and inconsistent, it will damage every aspect of your company’s growth and all your marketing programs will be seriously impacted. Proper positioning is the foundation on which all marketing resides.
  • If your product positioning is unclear or confusing, potential customers will look for alternatives to your company and its services. If you cannot quickly explain how your product aligns with their needs, they will seek other options.
  • Effective positioning exercises enable you to discover whether you have mispositioned a product or have created a positioning conflict in your product line. This is one of marketing’s deadliest sins and is always a painful and expensive process to fix. Sometimes positioning conflicts can kill a company.
  • A well-executed product positioning exercise can uncover new markets and cohorts of potential purchasers for your products.
  • Product positioning must precede any branding efforts. Good positioning will provide you with a branding cornerstone (but it will not create a brand). We discuss this further in the Branding Axes and Elements section of the Workbook.)
  • Positioning exercises will help to identify or create key marketing terms and vocabulary that you can own in potential purchasers’ minds, thus giving you an important competitive advantage while also depositioning your competition (discussed later on in the workbook).
  • If you don’t position your company and its products, the market or your competition will do it for you. You must be at the head of the inevitable parade.

What You Will Learn

The Positioning Workbook will teach you to:

  • Clearly categorize your product
  • Assign it a memorable visual identity
  • Extend that identity further via compelling images and favorable associations
  • Build a powerful “marketing vocabulary” that supports your key positioning claims
  • Analyze and “parse” that vocabulary to ensure it’s consistent and provides prospects with the information they need to understand and buy your product
  • Align your positioning to your product’s perceived  market class
  • Guide you into making sure your system’s features and benefits to your positioning statements and product class
  • Enable you to understand what brands are, why not to spend ridiculous amount of money on branding campaign if you’re a startup or young firm, but nonetheless begin to intelligently begin the process of brand building
  • Map your brand equity plans position to your positioning.
  • Pick and choose which brand elements should be used to build a brand over time
  • Test your positioning statements
  • Recover from fundamental positioning mistakes

Real Life Examples and Scenarios

The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology uses real-life and current and past examples of good and bad product positioning. Companies put under the microscope include…

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • IBM
  • LivePerson
  • Microsoft
  • Workday

….and several others.

Detailed Templates

The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology provides detailed templates that enable you to test, visualize, and understand at a glance how your product and company positioning will be perceived by the market. The templates provided include:

  • A positioning statement template
  • A visual identity template
  • An image attachment temple
  • An image layering template
  • A marketing vocabulary template
  • A marketing vocabulary parser template
  • A positioning summary template
  • A brand axes template
  • A brand elements template

The working templates are provided in editable Microsoft Word documents that will enable you to extend and alter them to meet your firm’s unique requirements.

Visual Identity Template Sample

The Workbook doesn’t just stop there. It’s backed up by extensive checklists broken into two types: Goals and Execution. They allow you track every step of the positioning process and help ensure you haven’t missed any vital steps. 

Goals Checklists

Execution Checklists

If you’re introducing a new company or product, you’re putting thousands, maybe millions of dollars at risk if you don’t use the Workbook to properly test and analyze your positioning.

Do your due diligence and purchase your copy today.


Published by: Softletter

Pages: 108

Edition: 2nd

Charts and tables: 20

Includes Goals and Execution success checklists

Format: Downloadable PDF, Microsoft Word, and Excel files

Price: $99.99

Read Complete Table of Contents

Introduction 6 Why Position Your Company and its Products? 7 How Can I Make the Most of The Positioning Workbook? 9 Make Your Positioning EPIC™ with Softletter and Rick Chapman 11 Subscribe to DiiDit and Get Stuff Done Online Today! 12 Your Positioning Goals 14 Categorization 16 Visualizations 17 Image Attachment 20 Image Layering 21 Hardware and Visualization 21 Shelters and Umbrellas 21 Marketing Vocabulary 23 Jargon 23 Buzzwords 23 Validators 24 Owned Validators 26 Descriptors 27 Taglines 27 The Positioning Statement 28 Category and Visual Vocabulary Parsing 28 Example One: Microsoft Word 28 Example Two: Workday 30 Example Three: LivePerson 31 Product Class and Pricing 34 Pricing 35 Pricing Boundaries and Tiers 35 Business and Pricing Models in SaaS 36 Hardware Pricing 37 Packaging and Product Class 38 Features and Capabilities 39 The High End and Hardware 40 Positioning and Branding 44 What Is a Brand? 44 How Are Brands Created? 44 Branding Campaigns 45 The Limits of Brands 45 Where Brands Roar 47 Branding Axes and Elements 48 Branding Axes 48 Integrating Brand Axes into Your Positioning 49 Branding Dissonance 50 Branding Elements 50 Integrating Brand Elements into Your Positioning 52 Corporate Brand Identity Programs 53 Repetition and Integration 54 Testing Your Product Positioning Strategy 54 Recovering from Positioning Mistakes 58 Unclear Positioning 58 Class and Pricing Mistakes 59 Mispositioned Products 59 Positioning Conflicts 60 Resolving Positioning Conflicts 62 The Softletter Product Positioning Workbook Templates 66 Positioning Statement Template Sample 67 Positioning Statement Template 69 Visual Identity Template Sample 70 Visual Identity Template Worksheet 71 Image Attachment Template Sample 72 Image Attachment Template 73 Image Layering Template Sample 74 Image Layering Template 75 Marketing Vocabulary Maker Template Sample 76 Marketing Vocabulary Maker Template 77 Marketing Vocabulary Parser Template Sample 78 Positioning Summary Template Sample 80 Positioning Summary Template 83 Brand Axes and Elements Templates 84 Brand Element Template Sample 86 Brand Element Template 88 Product Positioning Goals and Execution Checklists 89 Positioning Execution Checklists 92 Also from Softletter 100 The Softletter Financial Handbook 101 The Softletter Direct Sales Compensation and Efficiency Report, 105 The Softletter Company and Product Positioning Workbook for High-Technology 107

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