Monday, October 6, 2014
POSITIONING – ALPHA & OMEGA
Positioning is the “Mother” of all marketing. It gets at the most important issues in marketing:
- Who is the target-customer
- What constitutes the market in which we will compete
- What is our Point-of-Difference benefit that will drive target-customer preference
- What are our reasons-why the target-customer should believe our POD benefit
- What is the brand character, or personality, of the brand
The purpose of “brand” positioning is to transform mere compounds or products into brands in order to create brand loyalty. Create means to bring a customer into existence. Brand is the special relationship and bond we enjoy with customers that is derived from the experience we deliver. Loyalty is unswerving devotion to the brand.
We define “competitive brand positioning” as how we want customers to perceive, think and feel about our brand relative to the competition. It is exceedingly difficult to develop a competitive, enduring and ownable brand positioning strategy. Most client positioning strategies we encounter are mere “product versus brand” positioning strategies. Products are commodities in this “age of sameness” where products do the same things, work in the same ways and produce the same outcomes.
Those few marketers that are successful in creating a relevant, meaningfully differentiated competitive brand positioning strategy may believe their work is done. But it is not. It is merely an idea on paper. The brand positioning strategy needs to be the alpha (beginning) and omega (end) of all marketing work - marketing mix strategies and initiatives. That’s where Power Positioning comes into play.
As the alpha, the brand positioning strategy is the blueprint for developing the brand. It is used to inform and create strategies and initiatives (tactics). It is concerned with the creation of customer perceptions. As the omega, the brand positioning strategy must be reflected in everything we do in marketing, no exceptions! This is Power Positioning. It is concerned with the management of customer perceptions consistent with the brand positioning strategy. In this way the brand positioning strategy is able to derive its power and is established in the marketplace. Richard Czerniawski shares the principle and practice of using positioning to drive execution, Power Positioning, in a brief video you’ll find by clicking here. http://vimeo.com/bdni/review/108053600/345c1dc4bb
A few additional thoughts, the really exceptional positioning strategies are inspired by a Brand Idea. The Brand Idea gets at the “Why” behind the brand. As Simon Sinek declares, “The goal is not to do business with everyone who needs what you have but to do business with everyone who believes what you believe.” That’s the “Why” of the Brand Idea. Also, to leverage the Brand Idea and positioning it is important to have a Marketing Idea. The Marketing Idea dramatizes the Brand Idea and positioning to compel and drive customer preference for your brand. It also unifies all marketing mix elements into a cohesive whole, Power Positioning, to establish the Brand Idea and positioning strategy in the marketplace. In other words, it leverages marketers’ ability to achieve the customer perception it seeks to create in the Brand Idea and positioning.
If you’d like assistance in creating: 1) Brand Ideas and a competitive brand positioning strategy; and/or 2) Marketing Ideas that manage the achievement of the perceptions you seek via Power Positioning, please contact us at 800-255-9831 or reply to this DISPATCHES.
Best wishes for your success in creating and establishing a competitive brand positioning strategy directed by a relevant and meaningfully differentiated Brand Idea and driven by Power Positioning leveraged by a powerful Marketing Idea.
Richard Czerniawski & Mike Maloney
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