Bad Alternatives & Positioning Template

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3. Positioning & Analogs


To drill down into a customer’s mental model and arrive at how your product can easily and clearly fill a void in their mind and needs.
At times, it’s helpful to imagine an ideal world: What would the solution look like if there were no limits… then how can you best approximate it given real-world constraints?
“The best marketing is just telling the truth.” — Steve Jobs

Analogs: “<analog> for <e.g. finance>”

Analogs help you quickly build mental models for what you’re building & how you can explain it. Each of these analogs should cater to distinctly different personas, some niche and some mass market.
Look at the most compelling brands & experiences around you; which of those have parallels for what you could potentially do? Which personas do they cater to?
👉 Note: in our actual doc, we have over 40 of these enumerated... let your imagination breathe. You don’t have to build these; just write them all down to give your future self & team ways to frame problems you’re solving for various people and needs.
💥 Explode the potential options, then contract down to a super-focused wedge.
Description in the customer's voice
Market Size
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📍 Positioning: “If <e.g. finances> are...”

If there were a word cloud of the most common complaints about your focus area, what would the top words be? And how can you position yourselves as the exact opposite?
You don’t need to be & likely shouldn’t be all of these, but you should at least try to capture the most important ones following the 80/20 principle.
👉 If you have competitors you want to position against to fill a gap in their product or brand, just use the format of If <competitor name> is <bad> then <we> are <good>
If <something> is:
<painful word>: then <your product> is <opposite word(s)>

🐒 Chaos Monkey

What are contrarian ways of thinking about the broad problems you’re solving? Where are latent supplies that could be utilized? Which marketplaces don’t (& maybe shouldn’t) exist today?
👉 Try to be so contrarian that you touch the very boundaries of the contrary. E.g. Uber was illegal in many places at first, yet they built something contrarian anyways.
Again, you don’t have to build these! It’s to let your imagination breathe & try to see all the possible problems and solutions before deciding on what you actually want to focus on. These should feel cringe / bad at times!
What if like we could radio out to aliens and just have them build all our tech for us?
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