The way your product or service is viewed in the minds of your consumers (positioning) is largely controlled by you, the marketing executive. If you are not proactive is creating and maintaining a consistent position through your advertising and delivery, the market will dictate it for you, which is a situation you really do not want.
There is a lot of focus on targeting specific customers, with specific messages tailored to their needs. And often branding and positioning take a back seat. If you’re a solid brand, with a solid position, this may be ok. But for most brands, large and small, taking the throttle off of your position leads to reduction in awareness of your brand, and the qualities it possesses.
I typically ask executives a few simple questions to exemplify my point.
- If I asked to to define the highest quality, most exquisite timepiece you could put on your wrist, what brand would come to mind first.
- Do you own this brand of watch.
- The answer is usually no. To which I ask, “then how did you know all of this about this timepiece?”
- The answer is sometimes yes. And I ask “what drove you to purchase that brand?”
The brand most of us think of, of course is Rolex. Rolex has been diligent in maintaining a consistent position in the market by selecting the right media, using the right spokespeople, with the right kinds of messages. Very simple, and very effective.
And it doesn’t stop there. Nike spent hundreds of millions of dollars positioning itself as the leader in athletic apparel, then equipment. Nike is not the highest quality by any means, but their position as a leader is undeniable. The list of brand leaders in about any category goes on. Target, Craftsman, Fedex, Armani, and many others have solid positions that are consistent because of their efforts in positioning.
Conversely, if you do not position your product, the market will do it for you based on word of mouth, and individual experiences. And the result generally is no position at all. Everyone having different viewpoint about your product or service before they’ve even tried it, and nothing from you to combat it!
So when putting together your marketing plans, don’t forget your position. Either make it, and take it, or let the market dictate it. The choice really is yours to make.