Positioning Framework Overview

Messages that Matter has developed a unique positioning framework that has three major components as depicted by the framework graphic:

  1. The 3C’s research forms a solid foundation for your message strategy (see base of framework graphic). To position effectively, you need a thorough understanding of the 3C’s – your Customer, your Competition and your Channel (how you sell either direct of through partners).

    For more information, please visit the 3C’s of successful positioning.

  2. Once you have completed your 3C’s research, you create a message strategy, and while you are doing it, you seek input and feedback from key stakeholders such as sales, marketing, product management, customer support, etc. By doing so, stakeholders feel they had a say in the final message strategy and are more likely to use it.

    For more information, please visit the message strategy.

    After you have developed consensus and alignment for the message strategy with stakeholders, the last step in this framework component (see middle of graphic) is to get management approval. This ensures that the management team uses the approve message strategy while interacting with prospects, customers, analysts and the media.

  1. Your approved message strategy is the foundation for all marketing communications; see the top of the framework graphic. Your message strategy needs to be used consistently and key words in your positioning statement repeated as much as possible on your website, brochures, product descriptions, press releases; everything you do in marketing.

    By effectively executing your position in all marketing communications, you will take advantage of the power of consistency and repetition (see graphic below), which are the keys to claiming a position and giving it staying power.

Messages that Matter’s positioning framework has evolved since co-founder Barry Briggs developed it when he was at Microsoft in the mid-1980s. The positioning framework was fine-tuned at Navision in Denmark when co-founder Lawson Abinanti was director of product marketing. He engaged Barry to teach positioning to marketing and product marketing leaders at Navision. Lawson and Barry founded Messages that Matter in 2001 and Barry retired several years later.

While the basic framework remains the same, Lawson has improved it in several areas including perceptual mapping which makes it easy to see how your competitors are positioned relative to each other. Perceptual mapping is covered in more detail on the “Differentiation” page.

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