In my last article I talked about “the process of positioning.” At the end of that article I promised to do a case analysis of a current initiative of McDonald's.

But something came up in the form of an email from a marketer in Hungary that has sidetracked me. And with your indulgence I'll follow that trail instead.

He wrote that he thought the concept I presented was applicable...

“…if you need to position something for which there's been a market for years. But what about avant-garde products and services? How do you position them when the market doesn't even know what these are, thus cannot give feedback?”

As an example he cited:

“A client of mine is launching a wedding organizer service—one of the first ones in the country. How does she position herself, when the biggest competition is self-organized weddings that everybody does? The best question on a focus group interview would start with ‘if you were to commission a wedding organizer...,' and we know how useless hypothetical questions are in market research.”

The question springs from the same well as the comment that I often hear, that someone introducing an innovative product “has no competition.” At its heart, that comment is fundamentally flawed—you can read what Allen Weiss has to say about that here.

No Existing Positions Means No Marketplace

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Michael Fischler is founder and principal coach and consultant of Markitek (, which for over a decade has provided marketing consulting and coaching services to companies around the world, from startups and SMEs to giants like Kodak and Pirelli. You can contact him by clicking here.