Using product positioning to eliminate the competition

👇 Start here to nail your product positioning 👇

It’s Saturday morning. You are drinking your coffee, getting ready for a busy day at the office. The fact that it’s a Saturday won’t stop you. Your wife is nagging you, when are you going to take a day off? Your kids… well, you are doing this for them. Building a startup; An AI writing tool, helping people write articles, and improve headlines, and Facebook ads, ooh, how much money can they make with your tool just by writing better Facebook ads. The promise of a big exit is so close. Your team is working hard, even on Saturdays, building the best product in the world. And you have it, you know you do. You are constantly checking your competition. Your tech is simply better. It works better. It feels better. You just have to find a way to explain it to the users. 

You put down your mug, check your LinkedIn feed. A friend of yours, a brand specialist, posted something about ChatGPT. What’s ChatGPT? Who cares? You move on. Another peer from your industry… ChatGPT. You keep scrolling. Every other post is about ChatGPT. 

“The new way of browsing the internet with the help of AI”, “Copywriters will be out of work”, and “ChatGPT gets to a million users in 5 days” read the headlines.

OpenAI ChatGPT Will It Kill Google

Your heart sinks. What? How? Your hands shake, you follow the link to the website. You sign up, start testing the tool out. 


The tool is absolutely worse than what your product offers. ChatGPT’s responses are generic. It’s UI is nothing special. You put down your phone, grab a shower. That was close. Somebody almost took your glory away.

But the hype doesn’t stop in the next days, weeks. Everybody posts about ChatGPT. How to use it use it for market research, how to use it to write a poem, how to use it to write Facebook ads. “ugghhh, our tool can do this better!!!” you think and slam shut your laptop. 

Over the next months, you realize. You had the best product in the market. But ChatGPT won. 

Because great marketing doesn’t start when you build a great product. But when you nail your positioning.

Great marketing starts when you nail your positioning

It is tough. Working on a product for years. Believing you have the best product in the world. But somebody else coming from nowhere and stealing the thunder. Because it’s rarely about the quality of the product. The quality of the product is important for retention, but you might never come to retention if you don’t attract the right audience. 

Yeah, yeah, I know all the objections. A great product will attract more people, because more people will talk about it and word of mouth will spread. Sure, but that assumes that people will come into the product in the first place. And let’s be honest, there aren’t a ton of products that produce as much hype as ChatGPT did.

chatgpt million users

ChatGPT stirred the pot because it represents a promise of a new way of gathering data. Of experiencing the internet. Of doing stuff, like writing articles and Facebook ads, and website copy. It touches everybody’s life.

The founder who thinks he can now do without a copywriter.

The copywriter who now has to compete with a computer.

The content creator who thinks he can now effortlessly post three times a day instead of two. 

It touches all of us in one way or another.

But yeah, it is tough when you have a great product, but fail to show it to the world.

How I failed with a wonderful product

It’s a similar problem we had at my last startup. At KOBI, we had what we thought was a good product. The UI was good, the UX was nice, the features did their job. Users who spent time in the app actually got significant results and were happy about what a good deal the app is.

But most users never made it through the onboarding.

Because people don’t have time. Correction. People don’t take the time to figure out whether your product works well for them. You need to show them. In a few seconds. In a few screens. with a few messages. It needs to click.

Our target audience was too broad. These potential customers didn’t get our unique value as our messaging was confusing.

We found we had a positioning problem. People simply didn’t understand the value of our product. And they certainly didn’t take the time to find that value. So we knew we had to somehow show them that value. 

We needed to change how people think about our product.

How product positioning came to our rescue

We repositioned our product and tested how we can give users a different context. A context they are going to understand. A context that will promise the value and the app will deliver that value. Every time.

This worked like magic. 

In split A/B testing the new positioning statement lowered our cost of user acquisition by 52%. Which meant we could now get double the amount of people into the app at the same price. And people used and engaged with the app better as well. We doubled the registrations and the paying users.

Product positioning_KOBI repositioning

Because we solved our product foundations. We now knew what to say and to whom to attract them into the app. Which meant we could now start with great marketing.

And you can too.

Don’t scale the unscalable

The problem you have is you are trying to scale without a strong product-market fit. Your value proposition is not specific enough. You might have a rough marketing strategy. Your messaging is good, but maybe just a bit off. You might be sending the right message, but just use a wrong word that puts your audience off. 

With us, the issue was in the product category. We presented our solution as a mobile app. But this gave the users the context of a typical mobile app – something that is fast, fun, and gamified. Once we started talking about our solution as an e-reader (or Kindle for dyslexics), people got a much better idea what to expect. And this changed the way they responded.

A mobile app that helps your kid learn to read – $5.91 for a registered user.
An e-reader that helps your kid learn to read – $2.82 for a registered user.

See, what you need to do is make sure you nail your product positioning.

Having clear positioning puts you in a fight – When your positioning rocks, you get customers who respond to your ads, to your product, to your emails, you have something to work with, now everything is possible. You can start with marketing that actually works.

Don’t know how to craft an effective product positioning strategy? Start with the Product Positioning Boot Camp.

A free email sequence that will take you through product positioning fundamentals.

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1 year ago

[…] succeed in a crowded market, your product needs to stand out. Proper positioning is key, and it requires your best effort. With so many competitors fighting for […]

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