Everything works better and becomes more exciting with good positioning.
Success is business is not about luck
Doing well in business takes focus, commitment and a good deal of time and effort. But when you and your resources are stretched doing the work, it can be easy to lose sight of how best to effectively position your business to take advantage of the flow of opportunities.
To begin with, your positioning must take into account current and intermediate reality. It’s not about your aspiration or your history. It is about who you are today and how you fit into your chosen market, or community.
Questions that will help include: What do you do? How do you do it? Who do you do it for? Where do you do it? Why are you doing it (your purpose)? Branding and positioning apply to all enterprises, including businesses, advisors, men’s sheds, non-profit organisations and of course your community.
Positioning is where you look around you and observe what your competitors are doing and saying, and where your industry sector is headed. This is where you usually find differences. If the what, how who or where you are doing business is not in some way different from others, you will struggle to survive.
“Your positioning goes hand in hand with your branding. In good times, a rising economy can compensate for poor positioning and branding but beware of the impact in slow times”. Peter Sergeant
If you don’t take the market and environmental situation into account and respond via positioning, your branding can become stagnant and can seem to be out of touch. Your response should not embark on what is termed ‘rebranding’, but rather look at your positioning.
Are there things you are doing that need to change? Are there principles you work to and practices you work with, policies you work under, products you make that are out of touch? Change those, adjust your positioning accordingly and there is a good chance that your branding will stay current.
When the resulting positioning statement interacts with the purpose and values you have a foundation for promises that you can keep and branding that will last.
Most businesses and non-profit organisations are always trying to position themselves in their community to maximise their efforts. Positioning that is done well is a powerful tool that helps you to create an image that is more sustainable. What do your positioning and branding convey to your community?
Some of the key issues:
- You can’t be all things to all people.
- Make sure your enterprise will be easily found.
- Segmentation is important.
- Positioning brings customers.
- You control your positioning.
- It should be an important part of your strategy.
- Become ‘first in mind’ of members, and customers.
- Understand the value of your positioning.
Reorganise when something is not quite right in your attempts to attract more customers, or there is confusion amongst your staff, volunteers and the community. Through real-life examples and practical tips, you should explore:
- The impact of online positioning in attracting customers.
- How to determine who really wants and needs your product or service.
- How to use language to set yourself apart.
- Ways to test ideas and concepts.
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It has always amazed me how positioning can have such an impact on your future success.
I was fortunate when I was growing up that I had parents that always had a positive outlook. They caused me to believe I could achieve anything I put my mind to even if I had to work from a position of weakness.
Building presence and position requires a new approach to an old concept. And doing it well can revolutionise a business’s market acceptance and create growth. Today online marketing and positioning are critical.
Over the years I have observed the direction, scope, and impact of many businesses attempts at positioning. In more recent time I have found this clouded by the turmoil and confusion associated with the global economy, new technologies and the competitive environment that has been created.
Innovation has moved to the top of the agenda and the pressure is on all organisations to be more innovative and to do it quickly. This might include positioning a new product or service or changing existing marketplace perceptions.
It is critical to understand what competitors and other organisations in the community are doing in order to act in a distinctive and powerful way. It is also useful to learn from their mistakes and successes.
We often hear people ask, “why doesn’t everyone understand”, “Why are we losing customers”. These are symptoms of a business that is not clearly positioned and the management is confused about what they stand for.