What is “positioning”? We often use that term when discussing our marketing or sales message, particularly in connection with a discussion about competition. Some marketers try to “position” their brand, their company, or their products. But really, positioning is the distinctive place that the brand occupies in the customer’s mind.
It is not what we say about ourselves that defines a product/brand/company positioning. It is what the market believes that defines our positioning. We can influence this perception by creating a consistent customer experience at every touch-point where a potential customer might encounter our brand, our products, or our people. How can this be accomplished? Three key steps:
1. Focus on the benefits of the solution in terms of their unique differentiation. (e.g. The most energy efficient. The lowest total cost of ownership. The most reliable.) Make sure that the marketing, sales, channel, partner, and internal teams all know what these key differentiators are. [By the way, it goes without saying that these key benefits must actually be real….they must be true. When the marketing message mirrors what actual customers experience for themselves, then the market perception will naturally align with what we want that perception to be.]
2. Articulate and reinforce these key messages everywhere. The product/brand may have other features/capabilities, but by marketing to those ancillary items, the market is left to decipher on their own what the real “distinct place” may be for our solution.
3. Engage the prospects/customers using interactivity at every opportunity delivering an understanding of the core benefits through direct feedback-response. This will ensure that the right information is conveyed and retained by the intended targeted audience. They will see and experience for themselves that these differentiated benefits are real, and aren’t just outbound marketing messages.