The target is who the product is for – who is the target user or customer of the product. The key to a good target definition is to balance being specific with being concise, you need to describe the target well enough that they can be identified, without being so verbose that your positioning statement goes beyond one or two sentences. Using the Adam and Even example, the target for positioning the apple is “hungry men willing to be adventurous with their palette” (after all, Adam had never had an apple before).
THE FRAME OF REFERENCE
The frame of reference is the known object or subject area that The Target can refer to in order to understand what the product is. Before the TV there was little or no easy comparison, so the frame of reference may have been something like “an entertainment device that blends the in-home enjoyment of radio with the visual stimulation of live theatre.” For the apple referenced above this may be something as simple as “a natural snack food.”
The differentiation is the thing or things that set your product apart from similar offerings from your competitors (let’s face it, if there is no differentiation then there is no reason for a customer to choose your product over a competitor). The differentiation can come in many forms – feature deltas, price, quality, support, social acceptance, etc. For example the differentiation of a Sony TV and Samsung TV may be Sony’s reputation in the electronics business, or their track record of performance, since both TV’s likely have the same features. Samsung’s differentiation may be price (Sony is likely to charge more for their reputation). Going back to our apple, the differentiation may be that it “is sweeter and juicier than any other fruit in the land.” Of course, that a big claim – and that is what differentiation is, nothing more than a claim – and it needs to be backed up.
REASON(S) TO BELIEVE
The reasons to believe are the proof points to back up your claims of differentiation. For example you may claim better quality than your competitors, and now you need to provide the reason to believe you, which may come in the form of independent analysis (e.g. JD Powers & Associates Award). The reasons to believe should help your customer believe the claims you are stating to be fact, not simply your opinion. For the apple, it may not be about independent verification (since there was no one to verify it except for what my daughter refers to as the “sneaky snake”), but rather a believable piece of evidence, like “it was grown in the most fertile soil in the land – the Garden of Eden.” While this isn’t specifically proof that the apple is “sweeter and juicier than any other fruit in the land,” it is believable that the Garden of Eden would produce better fruit than anywhere else.