by Jeff Davidson
Our society is changing more rapidly than our ability to respond to the changes, much less understand them. Positioning can help your business to maintain a secure spot in the minds of those you wish to serve.
The concept of positioning was popularized decades ago by Al Ries and Jack Trout. They observed: “In our over-communicated society, very little communication actually takes place.” A company must create a position in the prospect’s mind.
The marketplace today is even less receptive to traditional marketing strategies. Too many products, too many companies, too many messages, and too many distractions command the attention of the customer – most of it forgotten.
An Organized Approach
Positioning is an organized system for finding a window in the mind, recognizing that the most effective communication occurs when optimally placed and timed. Being the “first,” remains a one of the quickest and easiest ways to gain a position in someone’s mind.
The rapid changes in society and the increasing information din poses a supreme challenge to businesses that seek to increase or simply maintain market share. In my work with 450 businesses, I have learned that entrepreneurs are continuously in need of three things:
More time — time has become a most valuable commodity in our society. There never seems to be enough time and there always seems to be too much to do.
Capital — “What we could do if we had the money,” is an all-too-familiar lament. For many businesses, lack of capital will always be a sore spot.
Effective marketing strategies — Often, businesses rely on “desk analyses,” rather than finding out where customers and clients are heading, and how to reach them effectively.
Effective positioning can assist businesses in all three problem areas. The company that is properly positioned saves time in the sense that the targets that they are trying to reach have an adequate notion of what the company stands for, represents, and offers. Effective positioning, in the long run, can help to further the company’s progress toward desired revenues, even in the face of limited capital. With positioning, each ad, message, employee, every square inch of floor or office space, contributes to the delivery of a consistent theme to the target market.
Not a Fixed Set of Principles
Positioning is a way of thinking rather than a fixed set of guidelines or principles. The position that your business develops in your market or industry often may be right only for you and for no other business. You may become the leader in an emerging industry, or a highly successful alternative company to the leading company in a mature market. You may be the only store open for twenty four hours or the most exclusive shop in town exhibiting wares by appointment only. Position marketing is not limited to a particular strategy.
Positioning can be enhanced through advertising, public relations, your company’s location, and even the way in which you are financed. Regardless of how it becomes established, the position you occupy in the minds of those you wish to serve contributes to the success or failure of the business. In the ultra-competitive, swiftly changing, over-information environment of today, position marketing is an essential element of survival