It’s important to clearly and consistently communicate your positioning internally and externally.
Far too often, the positioning is either unclear or poorly communicated.
If you look at the name, tagline, and description of a typical support community, you might find something like:
The [company] support community
Connect with peers, ask questions, and share feedback with [company]
The [company] community is a place where you can ask and answer questions, find others like you working in the industry, and share feedback directly with [company]. Whether you just want help with a small problem, are keen to learn from your peers in the industry, or help make a change in the product, this is the community for you.
This isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t really communicate the unique value of the community. It doesn’t answer the question; why not just contact customer support?
Let’s imagine an example where our research shows the audience feels traditional support channels are too slow. When we’re launching a community, our positioning is focused upon speed. Everything else flows from this:
Community Name (2 – 4 words)
Rapid Responders Community.
Tagline (one sentence)
Get rapid responses to solve your questions from your peers.
Description (one paragraph)
Our expert rapid responders quickly help you get answers, share their advice, and walk you through the steps to resolve your challenges. The rapid responders community is the first place you can turn to learn the best solutions to common challenges, find techniques for getting the most from your , and see some of the best implementations of in the ecosystem today.
Types Of Promotional Messages:
- Avg. time to first response.
- Fastest solution of the day.
- Faster responder of the month.
- Can you solve this question before others?
- How long will you waste trying to find a solution elsewhere?
- Cost per minute wasted looking for a solution.
Once you have the name, tagline, description in place, the promotional messages you send out flow naturally. You can even imagine in the example above the organisation might share social media images featuring some of the fastest responders and their record times etc…
Two more thoughts here about positioning based upon some (occasionally bitter) experience.
First, it makes a HUGE difference when everyone internally and externally communicates the same positioning (speed) in every interaction related to the community. It provides a natural reason to visit and engage in the community.
Second, positioning succeeds when it pushes an ‘edge’ that excites the audience. This means a trade-off. You can’t please everyone internally or externally. The problem with pushing an edge is you usually face internal resistance. For example, someone (perhaps the customer support team) might ‘not be comfortable’ with the positioning above and try to sand off the edges.
The skill is finding a path through the resistance without sanding off the edge.