Positioning projects for user value

Save for later


A chat with a friend of Project raised an interesting question: how do you get close to the customer? 

He recalled the Nike example. Tasked with finding out why young men of a certain age had stopped buying Nike trainers, a branding expert went to live the life of a consumer. After three days of watching and listening he reported back. It was the girlfriends fault. She had grown tired with jocks and wanted a man who wore shoes not trainers. 

From this Nike drew two conclusions. It needed to rebrand and reach out to a more discerning audience and it needed to impress those with the ability to influence and direct the decision-making process. 

In project circles the PM uses branding and marketing to position their project or programme to attract resources or sponsor buy-in. But what happens beyond this? How do you position a project so that the project recipient ie the consumer sees value from using it? 

This is exactly the dilemma facing the smart meter project

The Government-backed roll out of meters to every household in the UK lists a number of intended benefits: no more estimated bills, efficiency savings for energy suppliers, smarter use of energy, lower bills, lower emissions etc. 

All good stuff, but none of it any good if you cant persuade people to take part. Its not clear how the DoE will stimulate this behaviour change, Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said. 

This goes way beyond traditional change management, and raises questions about the scope and reach of the PMs talents. 

A good PM acts as an ambassador, selling the benefits inside and outside the organisation, but do we really understand what really makes a brand desirable?


Posted by James Simons on 21st Jul 2011

About the Author
James Simons is publishing manager at APM. He has previously edited APM’s Project magazine for 3+ years and has a background in trade journalism. He has worked in communications and managed both print and digital publications.

Comments on this site are moderated. Please allow up to 24 hours for your comment to be published on this site. Thank you for adding your comment.

{{item.AuthorName}} {{item.AuthorName}} says on {{item.DateFormattedString}}:

Share this page

Login or Register to leave a comment:

Recommended events

Open Exam - Risk 2

6 November 2017

Recommended blogs

Agility to succeed

4 October 2016

Agile refuses to analyse requirements beforehand – and thus declines to provide an initial certainty. This will probably always scare any stakeholder trying to understand whether or not they can show results to the board with the budget that they are granted.

Save for later


Are you banging the wall rather than beating the drum?

4 October 2016

You have a choice. You can either muddle on, stand firm and fix it – or look elsewhere.

Save for later


Recommended news

Save for later


Save for later


Join APM

Sign up to the APM Newsletter.