Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
4+ years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. He focuses on issues related to positioning, storytelling, the technology customer life cycle, and customer experience. Read Full Bio

Timing and Choices in Surfing…and Business

by Hank Barnes  |  June 19, 2017

This week, I am in Huntington Beach for the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference.   Before it started, I had a chance to take a walk early Sunday morning and watch some surfing (my poor attempt at an animated gif of one of the videos I tried to capture below). Since I tend to […]

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Reflections on Positioning

by Hank Barnes  |  June 13, 2017

Last Sunday, Jack Trout passed away.   There are plenty of stories about his legacy that you can find via Google (here is one from the New York Times).   But one of the best was from Branding Insider. When I heard the news, it served as yet another reminder of what an influence Trout […]

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The Joy of Change (Sarcasm Alert)

by Hank Barnes  |  June 6, 2017

Change is not fun.   Having just spent the past week helping my daughter move to Ohio for residency, I can say that emphatically.  Between driving a U-haul through some mountains, putting together furniture (Ikea–clear instructions, but lots and lots of steps), activating services (and experiencing strange Internet problems), and making extra trips to the […]

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Broadening Your Perspective on Focus

by Hank Barnes  |  May 30, 2017

I’m guilty. I constantly talk to people about the importance of focus.  Focus on a key target segment.  Focus on your ideal customer profile (just last week). Don’t get distracted.  Focus. Focus. Focus. I feel like a broken record.  And that record may be broken. I’m not suggesting that you ignore the idea and power […]

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Customer Definition May Be More Important Than Category Definition

by Hank Barnes  |  May 23, 2017

For many startups, the nirvana is the creation of a category.  By creating the category, you establish the leadership position in it.   But category creation is not easy.   It takes a lot of investment and requires broad support–from customers, investors, influencers, partners. In many cases, we advise emerging providers that don’t have that […]

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To Be Prescriptive, You Have to Diagnose First

by Hank Barnes  |  May 16, 2017

This weekend, my daughter graduated from Med School.  My wife and I are very proud of her and the activities got me thinking about the recent emphasis on prescriptive approaches.  Whether that be prescriptive analytics or prescriptive sales approaches, the idea is being touted as one possible solution to information overload and complexity.   I […]

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The Other Side of Status Quo-Your Own

by Hank Barnes  |  May 9, 2017

For vendors, one of the most challenging things for them to overcome with prospective customers is status quo.   I’ve blogged about no-decisions in the past, but this time I want to look at the decision not to change from a different perspective.  Actually, its when the shoe is on the other foot. Being content […]

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Scenes, Summaries, and Emotional Connections

by Hank Barnes  |  May 2, 2017

This week,  a couple of things caught my eye as I continue to prepare for the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference and my clinics on positioning and storytelling. First, one of my new colleagues, Nick Toman from CEB (is now Gartner), shared this Think with Google article on moving from promotion to emotion. My […]

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It’s Not Your Story

by Hank Barnes  |  April 25, 2017

After my flurry of posts on the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference last week, I’ll keep this one short. When trying to create the story of your product or service (or the dreaded “value proposition”), there is one thing to remember. It is not your story.    The best stories are not about you. […]

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5 Reasons Why Businesses Introducing IoT-Driven Solutions Should Attend the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference

by Hank Barnes  |  April 19, 2017

You are an enterprise in a more traditional, non-technology, segment.   But the Internet of Things is changing everything for you.  You now have introduced (or are planning or considering introducing) new technology enabled products or services that you are selling to the enterprise market–medium enterprises to Fortune 1000 to Global organizations. It’s an exciting time for you.  […]

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