The salt crystal and the glass prism

Philip Morgan

POV or market position first?

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I got a question yesterday about POV and positioning. Paraphrased, it goes: Can you refine your point(s) of view before you have identified the market position you want to occupy, or can you do this work simultaneously? My response began with: That's because the two -- positioning and point of view (POV) -- are manifestations of the same underlying phenomena, which is a combination of focus and orientation. In other words, positioning and POV are an expression of a vector. The problem or market or problem+market you're focused on and how you approach that problem, market, or problem+market are inseparable. Together, they are a vector. Location and direction.

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I've seen some folks build a market position by considering all of their beliefs, opinions, and experience about how something should be done -- along with their preferences about what kinds of clients they want to work with -- and boiling that soup down into a hypothesis about the market position where they would have the most impact, and then do the work of building that market position. These folks are crystallizing a collection of POVs into a market position. And I've seen others do the opposite. They start with a relatively "pure" hypothesis about where they want to focus and then out of the "prism" of that focus, they explore and organize their points of view. They discard or minimize POVs that are not relevant to their focus, and they work on refining and expressing POVs that are. POV and market position can be like a supersaturated solution of salt that cools, forming a crystal somewhere in the solution. Or they can be like a prism, separating out white light into a spectrum of colors (POVs). POV is positioning squared. If you're ready to assign one of the remaining seats in my upcoming workshop on POV to yourself, you can do so here: -P