In Part 1 of this four part post, we looked at the use of a pyramid to visually represent the levels of good solid messaging. Pyramid based message structure will give you simplicity, balance and logic if done correctly. Today we will investigate starting at the bottom, with the capabilities of the product, to begin the formation of the overall messaging. I find this approach most beneficial when positioning an individual product release.
List the individual elements and start to see if there are natural groupings. You are looking for 3-5 buckets that can be used to logically group the items in a balanced way. Many times general buckets like ease of use, performance, or visibility emerge. You are not trying to write the message, but identify the groupings. The bottoms up approach makes sure that you don't exclude an important point, and results in a more logical flow.
Its weakness is that it leads to less imaginative or compelling messaging, especially when the capabilities are not differentiating. A quick scan of your capabilities, lined up under the groupings, will let you know if you are not fully supporting a point. If all summary groupings have a roughly equal number of items you are ready to move up the pyramid. If not, keep working. Next up, "Stuck in the middle with you."