Positioning your business for profit
Do you know, and can you articulate, what business you are really in?
The concept of positioning your products and services is all about being able to tell your customers and prospects about your business in terms that are most compelling to them.
Good positioning is dependent on knowing the needs of your customers and prospects so you can satisfy those needs. A business also needs to understand what it does well, and what it needs to do better. Matching the strengths of a business with the proper set of customers is what makes good positioning more successful. Then knowing which part of your offerings to emphasize to which customer segments makes it even better.
For example, should the local hardware store emphasize in its marketing communications its complete inventory of hardware items for its contractors? Or should it focus on how helpful its staff is for people who want to do things themselves? Both of these characteristics help both sets of customers, so which one comes first?
Notice how each of these slogans positions the products to differentiate it from its competitors.
- “The ultimate driving machine.” (BMW)
- “Engineered like no other car in the world.” (Mercedes Benz)
- “Dodge. Grab Life by the Horns.” (Dodge brand)
- “A different kind of company. A different kind of car.” (Saturn)
- “Have it Your Way,” (Burger King)
- “Where’s the beef?” (Wendy’s)
- “Because I’m worth it.” (L’ Oréal)
- “Does she or doesn’t she?” (Clairol)
- “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (Maybelline)
- “The make-up of make-up artists.” (Max Factor)
Asking and answering questions like these are the first steps in being able to position your business correctly.
- What are the core capabilities on which your business is built?
- Who are your best customers? What do they want?
- What does your business offer your customers and clients better than the competition?
- Do you offer something for everyone, or are your offerings more targeted?
These may be simple questions for some, and the answers are critical to being able to sell your products and services effectively. It is also not a trivial exercise. As Roberts and Berger tell us in Direct Marketing Management:
“If it is done well, positioning will create for a product an image, perhaps even a “personality.” How you positioning your products and services can be modified, but not easily, so much thought should be given to choosing an appropriate positioning strategy initially.”
Often it takes a professional to guide you through this analysis and evaluation. Sometimes the people in a business are too committed to the current way things are done to be objective. Periodically it takes an outsider to recommend and implement change. Whatever you do, take the positioning exercise seriously, as it could influence your marketing communications focus for years to come.
Ewing Consulting has the experience to help you to position your products and services effectively, and to establish competitive differences with your competitors. We can lead the exercise with your team to complete the task more quickly based on our year's of varied business experiences.