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Positioning

by DW Green — December 16, 2010

Positioning is one of my favorite topics. Positioning is KEY to differentiating your brand from your competitors. The most dangerous competitors are those that are most like you. And the best way to separate yourself from your competition is to own a distinct market “position.”

In talking about positioning, marketers and agency folks define it in different ways. It’s the story you want to imprint in people’s minds about your store and why it’s better, the solution your store is offering to address buyers’ problems, the bundle of attributes and benefits you want to tell people about, or simply your unique selling proposition—the reason consumers should shop your store rather than someone else’s. It’s highly advantageous for a company to stand for something important, to be remembered for something significant. To have a powerful positioning is clearly a good thing.

A positioning tells a customer what a brand stands for, what the brand believes in, and what the brand can deliver. It gives the buyer a reason for trying the brand once, and coming back to shop there over and over again. An effective positing offers a company the opportunity to both defend and attack. It helps a company retain existing customers by giving them a constant reminder of why they shop with you, while providing protection from competitive onslaughts. And it helps break the gravitational force a competitor’s brand has on your customers; it gives consumers a rationale for moving from that competitor to the well-positioned brand.

A strong positioning strategy is as indispensable to a strong brand as a strong military is to our national defense. The most successful companies and marketing programs are those designed to address consumer problems. Some are real problems, some are intangible problems, but if the company’s product or service addresses a rational problem with a real difference, it is likely to be successful.

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