There are a ton of theories around competition and strategy. One of my favorite ones for startups is Kevin Keller’s points of parity (POPs) and points of differentiation (PODs).

Your product/service characteristics that are as good as the rest of your category and fill the existing needs of the market are your points of parity. Your product features that go above and beyond what already exists are your points of difference.

As startups we often compete with trusted, established brands. We tend to focus more on how we’re different and better than old companies and forget to communicate what we do as well as they. It’s important that we include POPs or to give the customer “no reason why not” to choose your brand.

When creating your POPs and PODs you start by mapping out at the other main players in your category. For each competitor, list three POPs and three PODs.

Together with your chosen category you now have the building blocks in place to create your positioning statement.

Thanks for taking this course. If you work in a team, or have colleagues you’d like to discuss these subjects with, feel free to invite them as well.


Lisa Enckell