Cedric Chin's summary: This book is not about the theory of positioning. Instead, it covers a 10-step process for finding product positioning. Dunford asserts this is a process you might have to repeat over the course of your company’s life; markets change and products have to change with them.
Many of us know what positioning is, but very few understand how to do it.
every single marketing and sales tactic that we use in business today uses positioning as an input and a foundation
Positioning is the act of deliberately defining how you are the best at something that a defined market cares a lot about.
Strong positioning feels like we’re cheating. It lets us draft along with the forces of the markets we operate in, making everything we do in marketing and sales easier
I like to describe positioning as “context setting” for products. When we encounter something new, we will attempt to make sense of it
Positioning is a secret superpower that, when harnessed correctly, can change the way the world thinks about a problem, a technology or even an entire market
While Ries and Trout defined what positioning was all about, they didn’t give us many clues for how to do it.
After I’d repositioned a dozen or so products, I felt like I was getting pretty good at it and wanted to share my knowledge with others. In my spare time, I served as an entrepreneur in residence (EIR)
I built a set of templates and tools
Customers need to be able to easily understand what your product is, why it’s special and why it matters to them.
Weak positioning leaves a trail—the signs are there
Your current customers love you, but new prospects can’t figure out what you’re selling
Your company has long sales cycles and low close rates, and you’re losing out to the competition
You have high customer churn.
You’re under price pressure.
Positioning as Context
Context enables people to figure out what’s important. Positioning products is a lot like context setting in the opening of a movie
Taken together, the messaging, pricing, features, branding, partners and customers create context and set the scene for the product
Context can completely transform the way we think about a product.
Joshua Bell regularly sells out concert halls where tickets cost $300 or more. For this test of context, he would play the violin outside a busy subway station
Joshua Bell was sabotaged by his context
Context allows us to make thousands of little decisions about what we should pay attention to and what we can simply ignore
The situation is even worse when we consider innovative products that people have never encountered before
Understanding something new is challenging because we don’t yet have a frame of reference
Most products are exceptional only when we understand them within their best frame of reference
The Two Traps
Product creators often fall into the trap of thinking there is only one way to position an offering, and that we have no ability to shift that contextual frame of reference
most products can be positioned in multiple different markets
Without meaning to, we trap ourselves within our own context
Trap 1: You are stuck on the idea of what you intended to build, and you don’t realize that your product has become something else.
you end up creating a cake that is actually quite small. It’s so small you could sell it as a self-contained, single-serving cake, so you put a little wrapper around it. You realize that you’ve actually made supreme chocolate muffins instead of better chocolate cake
incorporate new ideas, adding and removing features based on that feedback. We repeat the cycle, often for months or even years, until we have something that our early customers really seem to love.
Frequently, the product we end up with is not what we started out to build*
Trap 2: You carefully designed your product for a market, but that market has changed
For startups and tech companies, this problem is very common. Our markets are complex, overlapping and shifting rapidly. Our customers operate in a context that is often quite different from our startup or tech bubble. It’s easy to miss a shift that impacts nurses, housekeepers
How to Position Your Product like Your Company Depends on It (Hint: It Does)
The common failure in both of these traps is not deliberately positioning the product. We stick with a “default” positioning,
Let’s walk through an example
Take the baker scenario from Trap 1. Suppose you weren’t happy with those chocolate muffins, and you’re back to the cake idea
You imagine cake that people can eat without a fork
What I have is an amazing, innovative cake on a stick!”
But is that really what you built? Is “cake on a stick” the best way to position your cool new thing?*
“Cake on a stick” doesn’t sound like better cake or innovative cake—it just sounds wrong
Yes, your product contains cake, but it’s the stick and the shape that make it amazing. You need to position your product so that the stick and the shape make sense. If you position your product as a lollipop, suddenly the stick and the ball belong
Cake is a pretty simple example, but we do the same thing with more complex technologies
Positioning Story: From database to data warehouse
the database they already had was good at a wide range of things beyond analysis, which was our strength
It started with a customer telling me he didn’t believe we were a database at all. “We aren’t?” I said, completely baffled. “What the heck are we?” He went on to explain that in his eyes we were more of a business intelligence tool, or even more specifically, a data warehouse (a specialized system used for data analysis). This wasn’t exactly true in our minds — we lacked some of the features associated with a data warehouse. We did, however, deliver value that was much more clearly aligned
The repositioning didn’t stop with marketing and sales — it changed the way we viewed ourselves.
We looked at the features we were planning to build in the future and adjusted them to fit our vision of a warehousing platform*
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” DOLLY PARTON
So How Do I Do It?
Great positioning takes into account all of the following:
The Five (plus One) Components of Effective Positioning
Why You Should Never Create a Positioning Statement
The positioning statement is widely taught in marketing courses and business schools. It’s been referenced in many popular business books, including Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore’s book on how to market high-tech products
The first time I encountered the positioning statement as a tool for doing positioning, I was a newly hired marketer at IBM
I was marketing a database called DB2.
My product was the version of the database that ran on regular computers
My boss politely asked.. So I did, and here’s what I came up with: THE TRADITIONAL POSITIONING STATEMENT: FOR people who want a non-mainframe database, our non-mainframe database... IS A non-mainframe database
- Aside: this is where I also first encountered the expression “malicious compliance,”
The worst part of a positioning statement exercise is that it assumes you know the answers.
You simply plug in your assumptions
This exercise wouldn’t even give me a hint that there are other potential options!
The traditional positioning statement fails in several critical ways:
It assumes you know the best way to fill in the blanks
good job of capturing
It reinforces the status quo
Status quo thinking will almost always put the existing market leaders at an advantage
It doesn’t give you any hints about what to do next. (Hmm maybe they're dumb?)
It’s hard to remember.
there are some things I do like about it.
The blanks in the positioning statement cover the aspects of positioning and give us a clue how to break it down into components.
These are the Five (Plus One) Components of Effective Positioning:
- Competitive alternatives
- Unique attributes
- Value (and proof)
- Target market characteristics. The characteristics of a group of buyers that lead them to really care a lot about the value you deliver.
- Market category. The market you describe yourself as being part of, to help customers understand your value.
- (Bonus) Relevant trends.
1. Competitive alternatives
Alternatives to your product can be “hire an intern to do it,” “use a spreadsheet” or even “suffer along with the problem and do nothing.”
Our customers often do not know nearly as much about the universe of potential solutions to a problem as we do
It’s important to really understand what customers compare your solution with, because that’s the yardstick they use to define “better.”
2. Unique attributes
could also be things like your delivery model
your business model
your specific expertise
For service businesses—like consultancies, agencies and custom-development shops—the unique attributes are often related to a combination of expertise and experience
Sometimes, traditional positioning statements try to capture this idea under the label “differentiator.” In general, you will have many differentiators. The key is to make sure they are different when compared with the capabilities of the real competitive alternatives from a customer’s perspective.
3. Value (and proof)
If unique attributes are your secret sauce, then value is the reason why someone might care about your secret sauce.
Value should be as fact-based as possible. Qualitative value claims, such as “people enjoy well-designed user interfaces,” are too subjective and customers won’t believe them
4. Target market characteristics
if you are a small business you don’t have an unlimited marketing budget and a giant army of salespeople. Your sales and marketing efforts have to be focused on the customers who are most likely to buy from you
Your target market is the customers who buy quickly, rarely ask for discounts and tell their friends about your offerings. (Ideal Customer)
we asked ourselves who cares a lot about getting answers quickly from a large amount of data
5. Market category
Declaring that your product exists in a market category triggers a set of powerful assumptions.
Your market category can work for you or against you.
If you choose your category wisely, all the assumptions are working for you. You don’t have to tell customers
However, a poor category choice can turn that power against a product. If the market category we select triggers assumptions that do not apply to our product, then a good portion of our marketing and sales efforts are going to be spent battling those assumptions
Positioning Story: An email-for-lawyers solution that isn’t really email
- happy customers didn’t mind. They chose the product for its ability to do secure, context-aware file sharing
- Repositioning the product as “team collaboration software” made it easier for customers to intuitively understand what was valuable about it, and avoided customers looking for functionality it didn’t have
6. (Bonus) Relevant trends
Used carefully, trends can help customers understand why your offering is something they need to pay attention to right now
Market categories are a collection of products with similar characteristics. Trends are more like a characteristic itself, but one that happens to be very new and noteworthy at a given point in time
Trends are important because, as customers, we want to learn about new, interesting and potentially disruptive technologies or approaches
Trends in technology can be applied to multiple market categories. Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality are examples of trends that are relevant to multiple different markets
Using a trend in positioning is optional (but often desirable).
Positioning Story: Sampler highlights a trend to help consumer packaged goods companies understand the importance of improved product sampling
- realized that brands were wasting their money
- Marie started Sampler, a solution that lets brands target consumers based on age, interests and behaviors; delivers the samples; and tracks redemption rates and customer insights
- helping customers understand what made Sampler different and better from their current sampling programs proved to be a harder challenge
There are several big trends impacting consumer brands. New brands like Dollar Shave Club
Amazon also poses a huge threat to them, because it has the power to move into a category armed with its consumer behavior data
big consumer brands are investing heavily in building out their own direct-to-consumer strategies
Sampler adjusted their positioning to describe themselves as “direct-to-consumer sampling” to make the link more explicit
Each component has a relationship to the others
Attributes of your product are only “unique” when compared with competitive alternatives
Because these relationships flow from one another, the order in which you define the components is very important
In the work I’ve done with startups, I’ve determined that it’s critical to start with understanding what the customer sees as a competitive alternative, and then working through the rest of the components—attributes, value, characteristics, market category, relevant trends—from there. The flow looks something like this:
Step 1. Understand the Customers Who Love Your Product
Once we narrowed in on the happiest customers, we went looking for the reasons they were so satisfied while others were not
surveyed the ecstatic fans and left the moderately happy customers out of it.
if we sorted out just the best-fit customers, we could clearly see patterns.
The first step in the positioning exercise is to make a short list of your best customers. (ideal customer)
What if I don’t have any super-happy customers yet? This positioning process assumes you have enough happy customers to see a pattern in who loves your product and why. Until you can see that, you will want to hold off on tightening up your positioning.
In the early days of a company, when you are still learning about what customers love and hate about your offering, you need to get your product in front of a fairly wide set of potential customers. Test your offering on this diverse audience so you can see patterns
Until we have more experience with real customers, it’s better to keep our minds open and our positioning loose
trap. If we start by laying out our unique features, we are unconsciously comparing ourselves to a set of competitors. The trouble is, we frequently see our competitors much differently than customers see them
Companies that have multiple products in the market need to think about product positioning and company positioning as separate but highly linked things
Positioning Story: Wave expands beyond “accounting” to “financial services
Customers were increasingly adopting digital invoicing with embedded online payments, and were asking for services like payroll and other financial products.
Step 2. Form a Positioning Team
across different functions
exposes how different groups in your company hold certain assumptions about your attributes, value and target markets
Positioning is a business strategy exercise—the person who owns the business strategy needs to fully support the positioning
marketing can’t “own” positioning, in the same way marketing can’t “own” the overall business strategy
needs to be led by the business leader
the leaders of each business function must also agree with and execute the positioning, so they should be involved in developing it.
I highly recommend bringing in an experienced facilitator to guide the positioning discussion. Having someone from outside the company facilitate the discussion will make the exercise much more productive and balanced
Step 3. Align Your Positioning Vocabulary and Let Go of Your Positioning Baggage
Go of Your Positioning Baggage
In the workshops I run, I set aside the first hour to go over positioning concepts and definitions with the team
The goal of the 10- Step Positioning Process is to find the best position for a product, one that puts the product in the context of a market where it can easily win because the product has obvious benefits over alternatives
Start by calling out where your history appears in your current positioning. Is your current market the one identified when you imagined the product?
Positioning Story: Clearpath Robotics steering robots toward autonomous vehicles
every time Clearpath started a conversation with a manufacturing prospect, they positioned their product as “a robot,” but then proceeded to explain why their robots were nothing like the robots that manufacturers were used to
new way to think about what they do. They were creating self-driving vehicles for industrial uses
add white “headlights” and red “taillights” to their vehicles
Step 4. List Your True Competitive Alternatives
Customers don’t always see competitors the same way we do, and their opinion is the only one that matters for positioning
why not start by asking customers what problems they’re trying to solve? Customers, although well-versed in their problems, are often terrible at describing them
when we asked them what they would use if our database didn’t exist, none of them named another database;
What would our best customers do if we didn’t exist? (Which customers are best?)
For many new products, the answer is “use a pen and paper” or “hire an intern to do it.” (Spreadsheet)
The competitive alternatives often naturally cluster, and if so, it’s helpful to group them. For example, there might be a group called “do it manually” that includes “hire an intern” and “do it myself with Excel” and another group called “use a small-business accounting solution” that includes QuickBooks, FreshBooks, etcetera
minimum of two and a maximum of five groups of alternatives
Step 5. Isolate Your Unique Attributes or Features
Once you have a list of competitive alternatives, the next step is to isolate what makes you different and better than those alternatives
In this step you need to stay focused on features and capabilities (also called attributes), rather than the value that those features drive for customers (we will get to that in Step 6).
list all of the capabilities you have that the alternatives do not.
It’s OK to list things here that some folks on the team might think of as negative
Your opinion of your own strengths is irrelevant without proof.
ideally those features are based on objective facts and are provable
If you truly believe that your company is better at customer service, how would you go about proving that?
Ease of use is another “feature” that I believe is really a value
Concentrate on “consideration” rather than “retention” attributes.
Consideration attributes are things that customers care about when they are evaluating whether or not to make a purchase*
Step 6. Map the Attributes to Value “Themes”
putting benefits into the context of a goal the customer is trying to achieve
Features enable benefits, which can be translated into value in unique customer terms
Each feature can have multiple value points, and a combination of features can provide value as well
Clustering the Value into “Themes”
To group points of value, you need to take the perspective of a customer. What points would naturally be related in the minds of your customers and prospects?
The goal of this step is to see the patterns and shorten the list to one to four value clusters.
Step 7. Determine Who Cares a Lot
Marketers call this step a “segmentation” exercise. In my experience, if there’s a marketing concept more widely misunderstood than positioning, it’s market segmentation.
A useful segmentation, however, needs to go well beyond demographics or firmographics.
An actionable segmentation captures a list of a person’s or company’s easily identifiable characteristics that make them really care about what you do.
In this step, you’ll determine what makes some prospects much more excited about your offerings than others—think of these as your “best-fit prospects.
Best-fit customers are easiest to sell to and retain.
If I wanted to increase my chances of landing a customer, wouldn’t I want to target as broad a market as possible? The reality is the exact opposite
If you have limited marketing and sales resources (and let’s face it, almost all of us do, even if our business is large), it makes sense to spend them on prospects that are most like your best-fit customers, provided there are enough of them to meet your sales objectives.
Target as narrowly as you can to meet your near-term sales objectives. You can broaden the targets later.
Keep in mind that your product positioning will constantly be evolving. There is no need to make sure that your positioning will fit perfectly with where you or your product will be in ten years or five years or even two years from now
I’ve found that this step tends to be either the easiest or the most difficult to work through
In general, the segment needs to meet at least two criteria to be worthy of focus: (1) it needs to be big enough that it’s possible to meet the goals of your business, and (2) it needs to have important, specific, unmet needs that are common to the segment
Step 8. Find a Market Frame of Reference That Puts Your Strengths at the Center and Determine How to Position in It
Strengths at the Center and Determine How to Position in It
Picking a market that does this is harder than you might think
In the context of this exercise, a “market” needs to be something that already exists in the minds of customers
Now you are looking to deliberately choose a market frame of reference that makes your value obvious to the folks who care about it the most
Positioning Story: Wattpad transforms a story platform into an entertainment company
Like with many social platforms, Wattpad’s founders deliberately decided not to focus on monetization and instead focused all of their efforts on growing a vibrant community of writers and readers
we knew that our platform was creating a huge number of incredible, well-loved stories. We knew we could do more with them off the platform
In 2014 Wattpad got an opportunity to test what was possible when Allen and Ivan were approached by one of the largest TV stations in the Philippines about collaborating on a TV series. “Wattpad is incredibly popular in the Philippines and the TV station wanted to produce a TV drama based on popular Wattpad stories.
Wattpad Presents went on to increase the station’s viewership by a whopping 30%. The series was a smash hit in the Philippines, running for four seasons and 250 episodes
In 2016 Wattpad unveiled Wattpad Studios and their new positioning as a global multi-platform entertainment company
At a high level we can either choose to enter an existing market or create a new market
Here’s my advice on how and when to use each of them:
Head to Head: Positioning to win an existing market
Big Fish, Small Pond: Positioning to win a subsegment of an existing market
Create a New Game: Positioning to win a market you create
1. Head to Head: Positioning to win an existing market
You aren’t trying to change the game; you are winning—or attempting to win—at the game the way it is currently played
When to use the Head to Head style
If you are launching a new product, particularly if you are a small business just starting out, the Head to Head style is rarely a good choice
Positioning Story: My startup transforms our crummy database into a kickass data warehouse
Unknowingly, by calling ourselves a “database” we were announcing to the world that we had the intention of beating Oracle in the overall database market
2. Big Fish, Small Pond: Positioning to win a subsegment of an existing market
Many startups compete in established market categories and do so successfully by first breaking up the market into smaller pieces and focusing on one piece they can win. In marketing, the process of splitting up an existing market is called subsegmenting
carve off a piece of the market where the rules are a little bit different—just enough to give your product an edge over the category leader
In Head to Head you are attempting to beat Coke in the cola market; in Big Fish, Small Pond, you’re selling Coke for dogs
In my experience, one of the best advantages of this style is that once you begin to get traction with some customers, your advantage in the subsegment tends to accelerate quickly
Word-of-mouth marketing happens most naturally in tight market subsegments.
Companies tend to shy away from this style because they are worried that moving from targeting the entire market to just a small piece of it will mean less opportunity. In reality the opposite is frequently true: you are simply unselecting the part of the market that was never going to buy your product anyway in order to focus only on customers where you have a distinct advantage
When to use the Big Fish, Small Pond style
First, this style requires that the category is well defined and there’s a clear market leader—and you’re not it. People must understand what
Second, there needs to be clearly definable groups of customers with unique needs that are not addressed by the market leader
The subsegment needs to be easily identifiable—
Last, it has to be possible to demonstrate that this subsegment has a very specific and important unmet need
If you are trying to dominate a subsegment, be careful that the market leader doesn’t turn their attention to the subsegment and try to offer a “good enough” solution
Positioning Story: A niche CRM startup outpowers a global market leader
settled on large enterprises as their target market
A couple years after entering the CRM market, Janna Systems was struggling to grow. The enterprise CRM market at that time was completely dominated by one large company, Siebel Systems
Salesforce.com, which leads this market today, was a small company back then and focused only on small businesses
We did, however, have one feature that Siebel didn’t. Our CRM let us model relationships between people in a way that Siebel (or any other CRM on the market) couldn’t
The problem was that, in general, customers didn’t seem to care about it.
That changed when we managed to get a sales meeting with the head of investment banking at a very large New York investment bank. Unlike many of our other prospects, he got really excited when we showed him our special feature
we began to understand that our little feature solved a serious problem for investment bankers charged with driving business. By using our solution, they were able to unlock significant revenue
We decided to give CRM for investment banks a try.
The result was transformational.
We used banking terms in our pitches, and our demo data looked like banking data
growing our revenue from $2 million to over $70 million in eighteen months.
Siebel began to see us as a legitimate competitive threat and we were acquired for a staggering $1.7 billion
3. Create a New Game: Positioning to win a market you create
Because this style of positioning is so difficult, it should only be used when you have evaluated every possible existing market category and concluded that you cannot position your offering there, because doing so would fail to put the focus on your true differentiators and value
You aren’t simply capturing demand that already exists; you have to spark some demand first.
This style is usually only possible when there has been a massive change with a big potential impact on what is possible or what is important in a market
Often a category emerges when an enabling technology, a shift in customer preferences and a supporting ecosystem manage to come together at once
Creating a new category is the most difficult style of positioning, even when the pre-existing conditions are aligned to support it, mainly because it involves the greatest amount of “teaching” the customer
you need to have strong arguments against any competitor that tries to convince customers that what you are selling is “merely a feature” instead of a product in its own right
Category creation is about selling the market on the problem first, rather than on your solution
If the category doesn’t already exist, it means customers aren’t currently aware that they have a problem
This style is very, very difficult to execute, but if you manage to pull it off, the rewards are massive.
Unlike the other positioning styles, Create a New Game allows you to create a market that is perfectly tailored to your strengths and weaknesses*
you need a certain amount of money and time to convince the market to make this shift
Because of the investment and time required, this style is generally best used by more established companies with massive resources
Follow a long-term plan. At every step, you need to defend yourself as the category leader, or risk having a competitor with more resources and name-brand recognition reap the rewards of your hard work in creating the category
Positioning Story: Eloqua creates a market category
in 2000. “The original idea was that we would give reps a way to chat with prospects as they clicked around a company’s website. This was not popular with quota-carrying sales professionals, but when we added email marketing functionality, the reps could then track prospects who clicked through and browsed the website
Marketers could send email to prospects, and sales reps could follow up on the leads who exhibited buying behavior online
We called it ‘demand generation automation’ which worked great with our target buyers. Unfortunately, investors and industry analysts couldn’t understand what we were
Then the market started to shift. Around 2005, as marketing and sales teams got more mature in their processes, the number of people focused on demand generation started to explode, and so did Eloqua’s revenue.
Mark says, “The most successful efforts in category creation do not result from company executives creating an acronym at an offsite. Rather they are discovered from deeply understanding a narrow set of customers. These customers are often ‘freaks,’ extreme in their attitudes and behavior, forged by tectonic technological and societal shifts.
Step 9. Layer On a Trend (but Be Careful)
to help potential customers understand why your offering is important to them right now
The use of a relevant trend is not a prerequisite for success, but trends can sometimes give “boring” products an extra gloss of interest
Positioning Story: Redgate Software makes a boring but profitable market cool—and even more profitable
data monitoring, synchronization, data privacy and automation
Redgate noticed that DevOps concepts (software development, or Dev, plus IT operations, or Ops) were gaining in popularity
So they wove “database DevOps” into their positioning by creating content that described the importance of data in a DevOps transformation and by training their sales team on how to consult with more senior-level folks in a development team that were looking for ways to be smarter about implementing DevOps processes.
Describing a trend without declaring a market can make your product cool but baffling
Step 10. Capture Your Positioning so It Can Be Shared
Positioning needs to have company buy-in so it can be used to inform branding
marketing campaigns, sales strategy, product decisions and customer-success strategy
One of my biggest complaints about the positioning state-ment was that the statement itself was too brief to communicate the subtleties of a product’s position, and at the same time was too contrived and awkward to be memorized or repeated
I recommend capturing your positioning in a document with enough detail that it can be used by marketing, sales and product creation
I’m a fan of having a shorter, concise version of the positioning that can be captured on a single page and easily shared across the company
I also try to capture the positioning at a higher level in a positioning canvas.
Table 2. Positioning canvas
After Positioning: What Happens Next?
I’ve found that before we tackle messaging, it is more effective to craft what I call a “sales story.” (storytelling)
Most of the companies I work with sell to businesses, and even more specifically, they have a complex sales cycle that involves a salesperson talking to a prospect at least once
For these types of businesses, it’s very important that the positioning is embodied in the way your salespeople frame the product, particularly on a first sales call
you can work through defining a story of how a salesperson would pitch the product
you define the components of a sales story that will later be worked into an actual presentation for the sales team to use.
generally follows a common arc
starts with a definition of the problem
The story then moves to describing how customers are attempting to solve the problem today and where the current solutions fall short
The next stage of the story is what I call “the perfect world
The sales story goes on to introduce the product or company and position it in the relevant market category
Next, the story naturally flows into talking about each of the value themes with a bit more detail into how the solution enables that value
While the sales story can be mapped out with a team, messaging is not something you want to do in real time with a group. Once the story arc is complete, the marketing team will translate that into messaging that can be used in marketing and sales materials, for campaigns and on the website.
I will give you just one tip that I think is important: write a messaging document
helps you keep a record of the accepted baseline messaging, gives everyone a common starting point for building specific copy for a specific purpose and keeps the language
Changing the way the company thinks about itself will usually have an impact on how product features get prioritized in the future.
Similarly, pricing reflects positioning and might need to be adjusted
While most people think of positioning as a marketing concept, a shift in positioning feels more like a shift in business strategy
I recommend checking in on your positioning every six months or when there has been a major event that could impact the competitive landscape or the way customers perceive and evaluate solutions
I want to leave you with some key takeaways:
Any product can be positioned in multiple markets
Great positioning rarely comes by default
Understanding what your best customers see as true alternatives to your solution will lead you to your differentiators
Use trends to make your product more interesting to customers right now, but be very cautious.