Black Diamond Book Notes 

“You’ve got a cool product, but nobody understands it. You think it’s simple, but customers don’t. They compare your products with those that are nothing like it.”

April Dunford

April Dunford has had a long career positioning products for enterprise tech companies.

Obviously Awesome is her book about the art of product positioning.

Want to create better marketing content?

Understand your value and differentiators better.

Want to grow revenue faster?

Understand what makes a best-fit customer.

Like speaking Japanese slowly and loudly to a person who speaks only English, putting a bigger marketing budget behind confusing and unclear positioning doesn’t work.

2 traps to avoid when thinking about positioning:

  1. You get stuck on what you intended to build, and don’t realize that your product has changed.
  2. You stick with your default positioning, even when the market changes.

Weak positioning leaves a trail — the signs are there if you know where to look.

  1. Your current client’s love you, but new prospects can’t figure out what you’re selling.
  2. Your company has long sales cycles and low close rates, and you’re losing out to the competition.
  3. You have low client retention.
  4. You’re under price pressure.
Great positioning takes into account all of the following:


  • The clients point of view on the problem you solve and the alternative ways of solving that problem.
  • The ways you are uniquely different from those alternatives and why that’s meaningful for clients.
  • The characteristics of a potential client that really values what you can uniquely deliver.
  • The best market context for your product that makes your unique value obvious to those client who are best suited to your product.

Diamond in the ROUGH: Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Competitors

“The features of our product and the value they provide are only unique, interesting and valuable when a customer perceives them in relation to alternatives.”

It can be tempting to not mention your competitors out of fear – “If we talk about our competitors, maybe our clients will go and use them instead”.

April suggests that by majoring on what makes your product unique, you can draw in more best-fit customers who appreciate the things that set your product apart from your competitors.


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