Revenue Growth: How to Position Your Solution as a “Must Have” (Not Just a “Nice to Have”)

Most products on the market are not “Must Have”.  But that is OK because this is not a binary switch but a spectrum and you can do a number of things to move on this spectrum away from “Nice to Have” towards “Must Have”. Most companies are much closer to the “nice to have” on that spectrum but can fix that to some degree.  It’s not binary but there is a spectrum that goes from “must-have” to “nice-to-have” and most companies are much closer to the “nice to have” on that spectrum.

It’s great when a company sells a solution (either a product or a service) that is mission-critical or stands on the path to revenue (i.e. helps customers make more revenue) – it has a “must-have” solution.  But others don’t have that but there is nothing inherently bad with “nice to have” products.  Many products we use daily are closer on the spectrum to “nice-to-have” rather than “must-have” and we still buy and use them and the makers of these products are successful and large companies. But it is much simpler on many levels to grow sales when the prospective customers have a real need for the solution so that there is a “pull” from the market rather than us needing to do a “push” to the market – then it’s simpler to grow. It’s primarily about engineering an effective sales process and about recruiting A-level people to execute strategy.  Of course, it’s rarely that simple so here are some ways to become more of a “must-have” solution.


  • Rethink and redesign a really effective Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and communicate it clearly
    • this is not easy but it requires an investment of time from the entire GTM team and some executives
  • Invest the effort and design a strong “Positioning
  • Invest the effort and design a strong “Differentiation” messaging for your sales team
    • think about what Seth Godin calls the “Purple Cow
  • Make sure everything is “Consistent + Repeated” – this is the key to success in marketing and selling
  • Invest the effort and design a strong “Elevator Pitch” that weaves everything together
  • Develop a unique & differentiated “complete solution” (not just product or just messaging)
  • Align all the messaging between sales and all the marketing collateral and channels
  • Regularly and consistently communicate the UVP and how your solution is different
  • Regularly and consistently communicate why this matters and benefits your customers
  • Give a free valuable service with your product such as training or consulting
  • Offer unique insights and ideas that create real value for your customers
  • Be easier to work with and more friction-less to do business with
  • Create an exceptional Customer Experience from start to finish
  • Offer better customer service and support that in itself is very valuable
  • Create more value and add value to customers beyond your product
  • Be the known, recognized thought-leader company in your space – customers will come to you more
  • Work hard for industry analysts to review your product and highlight the differentiation and UVP
  • Ensure you have strong PR and get the industry media to talk about your product in the “need to have” context
  • Get influencers and respected bloggers in your industry to discuss your product in the right context
    • let expert do the talking: “if we say it, it’s bragging but if they say it, it’s fact ” – quote from Seth Godin
  • Hire industry experts/influencers to work at your company – this sends a very strong signal to the market
  • Offer a better process with your product that makes your customers’ lives easier/better
  • Become a more inspirational brand for customers to want to do business with you
  • Be a differentiated name or brand