420 position is a term I picked up from the world of cannabis culture. 420 is the counterculture movement which first saw the light in 1970s California and grew rapidly until 1980s when it was co-opted by hippie drug dealers.
The 420 position, on the other hand, was created by the first generation of users who were already in their 20s and 30s when they first learned about cannabis culture. It’s a way to describe what you do with your marijuana – whether you use it for medicine or for recreation, whether you smoke it or grind it up – and how much you enjoy doing so.
Because of that, if you come across someone who uses 420 as a term of endearment or a synonym for love, it might be worth noting that they have been exposed to something different from everyone else. And if you come across someone who uses it as an insult, they are probably not ready to be loved anyway.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have a slight drinking problem. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’m not quite sure why this has come to be a problem for me, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that I work in marketing and, as such, am used to the cutesy positioning game and the way things are sold. But the truth is that I can’t really tell how much success we are having with any of our products (and more importantly: how much they cost to make).
I suppose you could say that we are in the position where our success is dependent on whether someone will buy one of our products or not. But when you put that sentence in your head there starts to be a disconnect between what you think “position” means and how other people think about it.
Positioning isn’t just about saying what your product does — it is also about setting yourself up so that people naturally assume you have a good reason for making it exist and working hard to reinforce those assumptions. So what does “420 position” mean? Let’s unpack some examples:
1) We sell weed cookies at 420-420-420-420 in Colorado. But even though this may be true for some other products, given our name (which rhymes with marijuana), most people probably wouldn’t believe us if we said this was where we got our name from (which would have been kind of dumb). The number 4 in “420 position” is actually related to “the rise of marijuana culture” — which is public information via law enforcement agencies like police departments and FBI agents etc., explained by stories like these:
2) We sell UNIX servers at UNIX servers at UNIX servers at UNIX servers at UNIX servers at UNIX servers…and so on. This “positioning strategy” has worked wonders for us since 2000 when Linux first became popular among software engineers who were tired of Windows (as well as being pretty boring; both ideas being close cousins).
3) We sell premium software subscriptions at premium software subscriptions at premium software subscriptions…and so on. This “positioning strategy” has worked wonderfully for us since 2004 when Office became popular among IT professionals who were tired of Microsoft Office (again as well as being pretty boring; both ideas being close cousins).
How to position your product to your client
The wacky title of this post is a bit misleading. I mean, 420 is in the title, but there’s nothing wacky about it.
Perhaps the most common misconception about cannabis products is that they are “legal” and can be considered for sale by anyone who wants to purchase them (for whatever reason). I believe this is only a misnomer — you can’t legally buy or sell marijuana in the United States (aside from medical purposes) without a doctor’s recommendation. And those recommendations aren’t always easy to get, so there are very few people who can legitimately claim to have a doctorate on the topic of marijuana.
One of the big criticisms of legalization is that it creates an opportunity for unscrupulous firms to take advantage of inexperienced consumers. That’s why it is important for all organizations dealing with cannabis use to consider positioning their products in a way that will help their potential clients avoid falling into this trap.
In general, there are two ways to position your product: 1) Position your product as being “legal,” 2) Don’t position your product as being “legal.” When choosing between the two options, decide which one makes you feel more comfortable and then stick with it.
How to solve their problem with your product
In this post, we are going to discuss some of the more common ways that startups find themselves in a position where they have to do product marketing. This is not a complete list, but just a sampling of the most common pitfalls you might run into.
(1) You are trying to create value for a larger market and aren’t sure how to approach it
A lot of startups get into this situation because they think that by focusing their efforts on one market segment, their products will automatically command higher prices. In reality, there is no such thing as “the best market segment”; the best products are always the ones that address what people want at the highest level possible. By trying to fight your way into a single market, you’re implicitly assuming that it will be easy to pick up additional markets if you need them. But markets don’t grow when they are already fully exploited — they grow when more people start using it and demand keeps rising. And if you do have a broader appeal, it is probably best not to try and focus your efforts on only one market (like an online grocer or coffee shop).
(2) You’re trying to bring in large numbers of users but aren’t sure how to do so effectively
This happens when you think that bringing in users means bringing in money; when all you’re really doing is getting your product out there — where it will inevitably moderate (or even reverse) its relationship with the users who brought it into existence — without actually taking any action on its own behalf.
Users turn off your product because it does not meet their needs (or lack thereof): our apps provide very simple solutions for very specific problems: so doing so becomes less of an act of marketing yourself and more of an act of engineering and solving problems which would otherwise remain unsolved by anyone else. If done well, this can be quite effective at increasing profit margins as well; but remember: “It takes money to make money” (and making money isn’t just about cash).
(3) You don’t realize how much marketing you’re doing
We tend to think we need lots of marketing since we don’t see ourselves as being small enough or unique enough for our small business model; but the reality is that most startups fail because they were not discovered by someone who had heard about them — and if we aren’t discovered by someone who hears about us from somewhere else then we