Learning Strategy Learning Technology

3 Ways To Position Your L&D Product for Success

Like you, I recognise that a lot of the world is run on how well you can sell a product to end users. 

This is no different in the L&D world.

Your work doesn’t end with designing a solution. You have to convince people to use it. So, we must learn how to position our fabulous learning products and experiences to succeed.

What’s the number #1 thing you need to do when launching your L&D product?

You need to sell the outcome, not the product.

Not doing this can quickly condemn your product to the graveyard.

I’ve seen several L&D products fail not because they sucked, but because users weren’t aware of the outcome and how it will transform them for the better.

It’s useful to find your best position with your end users. It’s helpful to consider:

  • Why is this thing useful for them?
  • How will it improve their life?

These are the questions that we have to answer as L&D pros.

April Dunford, seasoned product positioning consultant and author of “Obviously Awesome“, perfectly frames what we need to do, sharing:

“It is the concept which defines how your product is best in the world at providing some sort of value to a special set or segment of customers who care about that specific value you provide them with.” 

Here’s how I learnt from positioning mistakes earlier in my career 👇 

1/Sell less, Solve Problems

No one cares about the product you’ve built. 

They care about how it will solve their problem and improve their life. It’s wise to get clear on the answers to these early in your design phase.

They’ll pay dividends when you reach the time to market.

I’ve fallen into this black hole earlier in my career. Build stuff and expect people to organically be excited about it because it helps them, right?

❌ Wrong.

I hit brick walls because I was trying to sell the L&D solution, not the problems it solved. Consider this next time you’re getting buy-in from stakeholders and end users.

What problem are you solving?

2/ Less Robot, More Human

In the visual example, we get real on how feedback is hard.

We must relate to our audience.

Talking like a robot and saying “Improve your feedback” is boringly flat. It doesn’t spark as an aspirational statement, right?

I find it helpful to meet people as a fellow learner because we all are. Calling out that the activity of feedback is hard and you find that too, helps set a co-partnering context.

3/ Talk Skills, Not Features

Share the benefits your audience will get by engaging with your product. 

Don’t share a feature list of what it contains. Yes, that means those huge bullet lists that feature on too many course pages.

Tell the story of how it will transform them.

The visual above works because we make a promise to build the desired outcome. We’re positioning our product to the audience which will get the most value from it. Just like April Dunford advises.

  1. We’re sharing 3 tips on FB to use immediately.
  2. You’ll learn how to share feedback like a pro (tactical promise)
  3. You’ll understand how to improve and feel better about the process (outcome).

And, all in one sentence. 

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

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