Positioning

THE ABCs of POSITIONING

Know your positioning and consistently reflect it!

Positioning has been a basic marketing tool for many years. However, with the tremendous changes facing every industry today, the lack of an understanding of actually where and how your company fits into its industry can be a set-up for major problems. Conversely, an analysis of current position might provide great marketing insight as well as providing possible competitive advantages.

This escapes many companies because they have a problem with where they fit in to the competitive world.

Far too many family businesses fail to take full advantage of their status as a “family business,” according to leading family business marketing expert Don Schwerzler. “They talk about being a family business but they do not promote themselves as a family-owned business - it is not mentioned in their marketing materials or on their web site.”

Schwerzler has been studying and advising family businesses for more than 40 years and he is the founder of the Family Business Institute. Some firms think it does not matter because of their supposedly unique situation.

Some firms believe its is a waste of time and money.

Others do not know where to start.

Every company, brand, service and communication must know what the company positioning is and consistently reflect it.

Here is a simple but elegant method called the ABC's of positioning.

It is represented by a triangle with each point equating with the basic elements:

A = Audience
B=Benefits C = Competition

Audience

The first element - Audience - relates to the specific group of people who you are trying to influence.

You must have a sound knowledge of each of your specific Audiences. There are many means to accomplish this goal:

  • Sales reports of successes and failures, database records.
  • Research such as warranty roles, trade shows attendees, trade publication editors.
  • Actual Research among current customers and prospects.

The more you know about your potential audience, the better.

Benefits

The second element - Benefits - relates to the key reasons for the audience to relate to you.

Benefits are not attributes of your product. Rather they relate to "what's in it for me - the audience."

It is all the good things from the audience's point of view. Attributes of the product or service are important but only as the reasons for the benefits.

Competition

The third element - Competition - relates to all of the specific competition you face in the industry and in related industries that can be a substitute for your product or service.

You need to find out everything about your competition.

  • Sales records of success and failures, all competitive literature and advertising.
  • Industry analysis, trade show competitors, trade publication editors, analyses from former competitor employees.
  • Research among competitor's customers (independent research company).

That is the simple ABCs.

It is important to note that any time you change one part of the triangle it can result in a different positioning.

It is most dependant on the audience. For example, it may be different with Audience being distributors, retailers, end users or consumers, with each having different Benefits

It can provide invaluable Marketing Advantages when you carefully review the ABCs.

An honest review can often find significant major opportunities and possible problems.



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