Thoughts on Positioning a New Product
We’ve launched a new product here at IQ for Business. We call it Halo BI. Say Hello to Halo!
Marketers and would-be marketers have been asking me about this new product’s positioning. It turns out to be a really hard question to answer because it’s really just jargon for “How do you want your prospects and customers to think about your new product? And what space in the human mental filing cabinet do you want it to occupy?”
It’s a good question. Common answers to this question in the B2C world include “everyday low price” (Wal-Mart), “fanatical customer service” (Zappos, Nordstrom), “quality/toughness” (Ford trucks) and my favorite “the ultimate driving machine” (when it’s not in the shop) BMW.
Before I answer the question, here’s some background. When it comes to BI, I hold some truths to be self-evident. Namely:
- Data is dumb
- So is software that organizes data. Dumb and dumber.
- Human intelligence is required to create actionable information from dumb data
- Humans want to achieve
- If it’s easy to use, it gets used.
- If it’s FUN to use, you’ve created something special
With that as backdrop, the new product’s positioning is: business intelligence that catalyzes human intelligence. A catalyst is responsible for initiating a reaction, like a chemical reaction, but it isn’t consumed in the process.
This positioning rests on the belief that the only worthwhile BI system is the one that delivers the right data to the right person at the right time and makes it easy for that person to apply his human intelligence in a way that transforms data into valuable information. In turn, the information is used to improve decision-making. And the next day the same thing happens again, and so on.
From a practical and selfish standpoint, this positioning helps me as President. It offers some guiding principles to the Professional Services, Product Management and R&D teams here at IQ for Business:
- Focus on speed of implementation
- Make sure we help with communication, collaboration, and all things “Humans” need to make decisions.
- Jealously guard against adding complexity and clutter to the user experience. Power notwithstanding, if it’s hard to use it won’t get used.
- Create a logical, habit-forming experience
To help convey the positioning, we’ve devised a few taglines that we think are pithy and clever. Examples include:
- This Isn’t Your IT Department’s BI
- Smarter than your average BI
- Intelligence Unlimited
- Business Intelligence; no PhD required
- Intelligence is where you find it
In the coming weeks I’ll unpack the meaning of each one of these so you can decide just how clever they really are! So here’s the first one:
“This Isn’t Your IT Department’s BI” stems from a marketing campaign created for GM’s Oldsmobile division in the late â€˜80s. Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile was an attempt to attract younger buyers to the franchise by convincing them that Olds was fresh and excitingâ€¦that things had changed in a good way since your Dad owned one.
Ironically, for decades Olds successfully positioned itself as GM’s innovation brand. And it had the chops to back up the claim:
- 1920s, first to use chrome-plated trim instead of nickel.
- 1938, the first fully automatic transmission
- 1949, the Rocket 88 boasted the first high compression overhead valve V-8
- 1966, front-wheel-drive
- 1974, first U.S. manufacturer to offer air bags as an option.
As we all know, Oldsmobile didn’t survive. It wasn’t able to rejuvenate itself by attracting a youthful following. Nonetheless, the phrase “Not Your Father’s” quickly entered the vernacular. It’s still used to connote change for the better, young and vigorous rather than aged and stodgy, better than the version you remember, worth taking a new look at…
Put into a BI context, the IT Department is the father. IT, when it gets around to building a solution, usually creates a monolithic, over-engineered, poorly documented, hard-to-deploy-and-even-harder-to-use solution that violates all of the tenets of simplicity we hold dear here at IQ for Business.
Make no mistake. Your IT Department’s BI solution will help IT consolidate its kingdom. It won’t help the business make better decisions. IT is focused on solving technology problems, Business are focused at solving business problems.
What we’ve built is easy to install, support, upgrade and above all, easy for our customers to use. It gets them the answers they need to run a better business. What we’ve built isn’t your IT Department’s BI. It’s yours.
Next time we’ll tackle Smarter than Your Average BI.