The Portland bum store

Philip Morgan

When I lived in Portland, OR, there was this store my friend Scott called "the bum store".It was on West Burnside, near this part of town that had a lot of social services for homeless and really-down-on-their-luck people.Scott told me that this city block had the highest measured levels of airborne illnesses like pneumonia, etc in the whole city, though I'm not sure I actually believe that. John Roderick once said there are not enough fire hoses in the world to wash the seedieness at the heart of Portland back into the Willamette River. I have reason to mostly believe that.Interestingly, on many maps of Portland, the black dot indicating the center of the city is placed right on this particular city block, hovering over where the Portland bum store used to be.I went in there once. It had a few plywood shelves with very used clothing and other random crap on them, with one of those metal yard sale cash boxes sitting on the unfinished plywood checkout counter. I don't remember the actual name of the store even though I think it had a name or some kind of signage.In positioning, there are generally two price points that are considered ideal: low price leader and premium price leader.Apple has shown what you can do with premium pricing combined with other desirable attributes. Costco is a good example of a low price leader brand that still has a desirable market position because they haven't become a "bum store".What could you do to justify a premium price position for your services?What extra value would you need to deliver to your clients to support a premium price?The following are pretty reliable ways to deliver extra value:

  1. Posses deeper insight into the problems you solve for your clients
  2. Create the important results faster
  3. Reduce risk
  4. Find new optimization opportunities for your clients
  5. Help clients seize new market or revenue opportunities

There are others, I'm sure, but that's a pretty good list for starters.Do those 5 "value accelerants" seem out of reach for you? They don't have to be.It takes time, but specializing is the most reliable way to cultivate expertise that enables one or more of those 5 value accelerants.I've mapped out the route to profitable specialization for you. You just need to buy the book and do the work:  http://thepositioningmanual.comTalk to you soon,-P