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    Provide some examples of how products are properly positioned.

  1. Let me tell you about a product we had to reposition. We brought out a radiant heated system at Applied Materials for doing epi layers. We brought it out incomplete with advance notice because when it worked it was wonderful and we shipped the first one to what was then Fairchild. Within six months they shipped it back to us by bringing it over on a Saturday and dumping it on our back deck. This was a classic failure and to reposition it we had to go back and make it do what we said it would do. It wasn't necessary to adjust the parameters, but make a system that would occupy those parameters. Finally we had to change the perception in the minds of Fairchild and Motorola with the improved product and then the rest of the market accepted it. It went on to become the standard of the industry at that point in time. We should never have let it go out the door initially only 92% complete. While that was the norm in the industry at that time, that level of failure is no longer tolerated today—there would not be a chance to recover as we did.
  2. Today the Applied game of "Total Solutions" is very effective in the customer base. If they can make that stick why should anybody buy anything from somebody else in the areas that Applied is marketing. The thought is that from Applied Materials you get all three steps and it works wonderfully. Their resource base is a powerful positioning tool.
  3. If you are competing with Applied be aware that not all of their offerings in their "Total Solution" package are the best available in the industry. So you take the "soft spots" and make a position there for your product. Nobody is almighty, not even Applied.
  4. Another very good example of a product well positioned is KLA. It wasn't that many years ago, perhaps 8 or 10, that KLA was an inspection equipment company. Then they became a yield management company and if you think about the power of that repositioning, it is pretty amazing. That is really marketing.
  5. Sometimes positioning statements come from the wrong places. If your positioning statement is from an ad agency you are probably in trouble. Many times companies take their positioning statement from what the ad agency says it should be and not based upon what they are really good at. You can position yourself as a service leader, quality leader, price leader, environmental leader. But first you really need to figure out what you are truly good at. Observe other industries, such as automobiles, and see if a company's positioning statements seem to be ad agency hype or actual fact. Cadillac is a prime example of ad agency positioning, not fact. The SUV they came out with doesn't fit the rest of the image, nor did the Cimmaron they came out with a number of years ago. As you look at the good ones, see how you can adapt the concept to your product and company.
  6. Think about positioning in terms of your market segmentation. Your segment will determine what kind of positioning is needed to achieve your segment market objective.