Do you know where you’re positioned? Not which way you are facing or how you position yourself on a yoga mat! Where is your new product or service positioned?
Like many startups, our offering has changed since we first started in 2018. In particular the wording, images and overall feel of our app. It’s been the constant feedback and overall review we always do as a team. We are always looking to improve what we’re doing. If we weren’t, then we wouldn’t be where we are.
By chance about a month ago, I came across a post on Twitter about positioning. The author April Dunford posted that her new book “Obviously Awesome” had just been published. With a title of “How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It” - I couldn’t resist!
We’ve always been conscious of our branding and messaging and only a few months ago we began talking about the community in the app and the kind of wording that would attract users. To be honest though I never knew there was an actual term and a whole other world for positioning. No doubt marketing gurus have this as a part of their plans, but in the past it’s not something I have personally observed or heard much about. Not until I read April’s book anyway. Now positioning will never be the same!
April has been called into a number of major corporations who had trouble launching a product or service and she has turned them around, she really does have great experience. It seemed only right to read the book and hopefully get some points as to where we could improve. Am I glad I did that!
Working through parts of the book we had to look at everything from the beginning. We split it into job seekers and employers and looked at what we were trying to achieve and what users would perceive when they came across our app. For us we have always spoken about the direct connection between employers and job seekers and that we are a new concept. We thought that was enough and explained exactly what we were going. Turns out that trying to carve out a new market is not that easy. We know that first-hand and April confirmed that in her book.
“Because this style of positioning is so difficult, it should only be used when you have evaluated every possible existing market category and concluded that you cannot position your offering there” — April Dunford
As we analysed our app and its position in the market we realised that we are actually changing the existingmarket by improving it with technology as opposed to creating a whole new market. We also put more emphasis on what a job seeker and employer could expect from the app. We thought what we had was clear but now having completed the exercises, we can see what a huge improvement we have made. Obviously it will need time to show exactly how good by the number of downloads and extra users we attract but we really feel that there is a huge improvement to what we can now call our positioning.
“There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.” — Victor Hugo
So I can hear you asking what kind of changes have you actually made? Well I have to keep it brief because I would be here all day otherwise but the main changes are as follows:
Our main strapline used to be Building a Community of Great Talent. Before that it was Connecting Employers with Job Seekers. One thing we realised through this exercise is that people need to know what sector we are in which is Recruitment. We have always wanted to distance ourselves from that word because we have always been worried users would see us as agents which we are NOT! The thing is there is no need to reinvent the wheel but you can certainly improve it and we can’t shy away from the sector we are actually in: Recruitment.
The fact we are making Recruitment easier got us to our final strapline which was our starting point. Recruitment Made Easy. What we’ve also realised is how easy we have made it for job seekers and employers. We have therefore incorporated the word Easy into more of our wording because that is exactly what it is… Easy!
Seems so simple yet until we did the exercise it has never been so clear. You know how it’s been from reading this blog. We are constantly pushing ahead with stuff working on a thousand things at once and who takes the time to keep reviewing exactly what they’re offering. Yes, if you are a major corporation with a marketing department I guess you always do but in startup land you just don’t have the resources. I’m so glad we did it and if you are a startup or established business launching a new product I really recommend the book and strategies that April has written about.
In other really exciting news we are very happy to welcome a new advisor to our team. Simon Fordham is a business mentor, coach and successful entrepreneur. He is a member of the Guild of Entrepreneurs and has a fantastic track record helping startups and established businesses. His experience in hospitality has also drawn him to us because he can see what we are trying to do in the industry and the difference we can make. We are now getting close to going back on the fundraising trail and Simon is helping us with that process and also advising us along the way. We’re looking forward to a really long-standing relationship with Simon. Nargis, Steph and I can’t wait to work with him closer on the plans we have and hearing his ideas.
Oh by the way the restaurant group I met last week are interested too and once they sign up I will mention them here. We are also in touch with another much larger group who are also interested in the Marlin App who I really hope to also mention here. I don’t want to just yet purely because I don’t want egg on our faces if for some reason it doesn’t go ahead.
I also have a meeting scheduled late next week with Macdonald Hotels to discuss how they are finding the app so far which I’m looking forward to.
Until next time…