Customer centricity, Positioning, Strategy

Finding your positioning

What’s a positioning? Well, it’s easier to explain what it is not. It’s not, as some of you might remember from the olden days, the so-called strategical decision if you want to be a cost leader or a quality leader.

And if you think that something like innovation leadership is a proper positioning, I will convince you in the most polite way that you’re wrong.

Positioning a brand, a product, or a service as the one with the lowest price in the market will backfire on you if the competitors come up with a cheaper solution – and they will, as technology keeps evolving. Yes, you may use the low price as a sales argument, but it will not give your offer a personality, and without this you event don’t have to start to setup any communication. And yes, the product will not sell by itself, you will need to talk about it on your website, you need to train your sales team, and also your social media guys would probably need to know what to say, to whom, with which kind of tonality, and which pictures would fit. All these questions are answered by a proper positioning.
But isn’t “innovation leader” a proper positioning? No, it cannot be. Imagine a positioning literally. It’s a position your offer keeps on a map. With maybe two dimensions, it has an x position and a y position. Your brand (your product or whatever you offer) needs to find free position that is not taken by another brand within these two dimensions. If you choose “innovative” as one of them, it will be crowded there, because in the age of digitization, globalization and ubiquity, you will find no brand that wouldn’t claim its ability to innovate. So, positioning on innovation is just a sham positioning.

But … there is still the other axis! Why can’t I put “innovation” on the one axis, and something that would differentiate more on the other? Of course, you absolutely should use something particular on your second shot, but then … wouldn’t you rather double your chances and put something that’s really characteristic on BOTH axis?

Ok, did I convince you that you need to find out what’s characteristic for your offer? This evaluation is an important part of my work. If you seek for a positioning of a new offer, I will investigate what your brand stands for, what we could derive for the new service or product. I will also talk with all stakeholders in your company and study what your competition stands for. Combining all sources will also benefit you with an outlook on how this landscape could change in the future – as a positioning has to be forward-looking.

In my more than 15 years of work, I setup and refined my own positioning model that was used by renown brands like Vodafone, Deutsche Bahn or Deutsche Telekom. Benefit from this experience to easily position your brand, your product or service, and learn how to target your audience with the right message at the right time.