Unlock Your Business Potential: Mastering Positioning and Messaging with Anita Chauhan

Unlock Your Business Potential: Mastering Positioning and Messaging with Anita Chauhan

Knowing how to position and message your product can be daunting for any startup founder, especially those new to the field. Anita Chauhan, a seasoned marketing leader, simplifies this complex world, offering clear, actionable insights tailored for the unique challenges startups face.

From understanding your audience to communicating your brand’s unique value, this guide strips back the jargon and provides practical advice that you can start applying today.

The Significance of Positioning and Messaging

Effective positioning establishes your startup in a unique spot within the competitive landscape, defining how your brand is perceived in the marketplace. Positioning is about identifying the unique place your product, service, or offering holds to your customers and against competitors. Anita emphasizes the importance of messaging as the vehicle that delivers your brand’s value to the audience, "It’s about crafting narratives that resonate deeply with your target market," she notes.

Every brand tells a story, but the narrative doesn't resonate in a vacuum. It's through strategic positioning and clear messaging that a brand's identity finds its voice and its audience. For a brand to thrive, it must be supported by a foundation of strong positioning and clear messaging. 

This ensures that your brand not only stands out but speaks directly to the hearts and minds of your target audience. It's a strategic alignment that turns brand identity from a mere concept into the vehicle that drives awareness, loyalty, and growth.

Crafting Compelling Messaging: Communicating with Impact

Positioning as a Foundation:

“Positioning should be the first thing we figure out when we're going to market, because it lays the foundation for everything else we do in marketing. It's the context for everything." April Dunford

Proper positioning helps your brand carve out a unique space in the competitive landscape, distinguishing your offerings from the competition.

Developing Iterative Messaging:

Your messaging strategy should clearly articulate the unique value your brand offers, tailored to the specific needs and desires of each persona. This isn’t a one-time task but an iterative process. Regular feedback from your target audience will help refine and perfect your message over time, ensuring it remains relevant and resonant.

Aligning Message with Market Needs:

Ensure that each message is crafted to address the distinct expectations of each segment, reinforcing your brand’s position. Use language, tone, and delivery channels that resonate most effectively with each persona, enhancing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

Continuous Evolution and Adaptation:

Marketing is dynamic; so too should be your messaging. As market conditions shift and new competitive challenges emerge, be prepared to adjust your messaging strategies to stay aligned with your audience’s changing preferences and behaviors.

Common Challenges in Audience Segmentation

A common oversight Anita highlights is the simplification of audience segments or relying on static stereotypes that do not accurately represent dynamic customer groups. She advises startups to focus on creating detailed personas that reflect the real needs and behaviors of their target market.

Creating detailed buyer personas helps tailor your brand identity to speak directly to the needs, interests, and behaviors of your key customer segments. Personas make your target market more tangible, guiding how you communicate with them.

Personas can be tricky, though. A good starting point, but shouldn’t start there. As you collect more data, move beyond the static nature of personas and focus on a jobs-to-be-done framework or scenarios that help you understand how your customers use and interact with your product or services. 

Strategic Steps to Effective Positioning and Messaging

Here are some steps based on Anita's recommendations to help startups refine their marketing approach:

  1. Deep Audience Understanding: Start by gathering extensive insights into who your customers are and what drives their decisions. This understanding will inform every aspect of your positioning and messaging.

    To get started: Use both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather deep insights about your audience.
  1. Crafting Your Value Proposition: Connect your brand’s unique strengths directly to customer needs. Anita stresses the importance of a value proposition that clearly states why your product is the ideal solution for your target audience.
  1. Building Personas: Develop detailed buyer personas that go beyond basic demographics. These should include psychographics and behavioral insights to guide how you communicate with your audience.

    Be cautious of oversimplifying your personas or relying on clichéd stereotypes that fail to capture the dynamic nature of real people. Instead, continually refine your personas with new data and insights, allowing them to evolve as you learn more about your audience.
  1. Positioning as a Foundation: "Positioning should be the first thing we figure out when going to market, because it lays the foundation for everything else," Anita asserts. Ensure that your positioning clearly differentiates your brand and aligns with your audience's expectations and values.
  1. Iterative Messaging: Develop messaging that is flexible and can evolve based on feedback from your market. Regularly test and refine your messages to ensure they continue to resonate with your audience as both their needs and the market evolve.

    Remember: The market and your audience’s preferences will change; regularly revisit your positioning and messaging to stay relevant. Establish continuous feedback mechanisms to capture your audience’s reactions and incorporate this feedback into your marketing strategy.

Two approaches to Positioning: Emotional and Data-driven

Starting with Why - the emotional approach

Simon Sinek proposes that companies should communicate by starting with their "why" — that is, their purpose, cause, or belief that inspires them to do what they do. 

This idea is encapsulated in his Golden Circle model, which suggests that companies should first articulate why they exist, then how they fulfill that purpose, and finally, what product or service they offer. 

  • Identify Your Why: Your value proposition should start by clearly stating the purpose behind your company. This isn't about what you sell but why it matters — the problem you're passionate about solving.
  • Communicate How You Achieve Your Why: Once you've established your why, explain how your product or service embodies this purpose. This involves describing the unique approach or methodology that enables you to fulfill your company's mission.
  • Specify What You Offer: Finally, articulate what your company offers — the tangible products or services that customers can purchase. Even though this comes last in the communication, it's the embodiment of your why and how.

This approach is particularly powerful for crafting value propositions because it connects with customers on an emotional level, differentiating brands in a way that goes beyond features or benefits. Here are the key tenets of this approach:

  • Emotional Connection
    • Starting with why creates a stronger emotional engagement with the audience. People are more likely to buy from a company that shares their values and beliefs.
  • Differentiation
    • In crowded markets, connecting with a customer’s shared beliefs can distinguish your brand more effectively than features or pricing alone.
  • Loyalty
    • When customers believe in a company’s why, they're more likely to remain loyal, even in the face of competitors with similar offerings.

April Dunford’s Approach

This approach emphasizes understanding the competitive context to highlight your product's unique capabilities and the distinct value it offers.

Problem + Solution + Differentiator = Value Proposition

To start, identify why customers should care.

  • Identify all the benefits your product offers
  • Determine which of these benefits are unique to your product
  • Connect these unique benefits to specific customer needs
  • Craft a statement that clearly positions your product as the best solution for your target customer

Which to choose? 

A mix of both works! Here are tips to get started:

  • Make value propositions easy to understand: The best value propositions are direct and not long. All who read them should easily get a feel for what a company offers.
  • Provide clear benefits: Clearly show what benefits you can offer customers, specifically addressing their overall quality of life. Appeal to the customer’s emotional side for the greatest impact. Contextualize it.
  • Use facts and figures: If you have statistics that demonstrate your success, use them. Hard facts and figures will back up your claims. 
  • Speak to your audience: Lastly, make sure your language speaks to the persona of the audience you are targeting. Using overly complex terms may serve to confuse audiences rather than help them. 


With Anita Chauhan’s guidance, startups can navigate the complexities of marketing more effectively. By focusing on thorough audience understanding and crafting clear and compelling positioning and messaging, startups are well-equipped to differentiate themselves in a competitive market and connect meaningfully with their customers.

Key Takeaways

  • Thorough understanding of your audience is crucial for effective positioning.
  • Your positioning and messaging should be dynamic, adapting as you gain more insights about your market.
  • Regular interaction with your target audience is essential for refining and improving your marketing approach.

About the Author

Anita Chauhan, currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Oomple and Medbox Rx Pharmacy, brings expertise across AI, tech, finance, lifestyle, and end-of-life categories. Anita Chauhan is a powerhouse CMO with a proven track record managing brands with $100MM+ annual revenueFrom creating positioning & messaging strategies to navigating channel selection, Anita will guide you through the complexities of marketing in the business landscape. customer acquisition costs.