1. Killer competition
2. Hyper-proliferation of choices
3. Communication overload.
In any category, the glut of choices is paralyzing. Recall the last time you stood staring at the toothpaste aisle. Is it any wonder we now have a condition called choice anxiety?
Marketers hurl 3,500 messages a day at the average American. With so much noise, the risk of your advertising passing unnoticed is exceedingly high.
The only way to rise above it is positioning - carving a sharp focal point around your most important competitive difference and planting that difference firmly in the minds of your prospects.
The Relationship Between Brand and Position
What often goes wrong with marketing campaigns can be traced to a misappropriation of marketing focused on branding when the first thing required is positioning. Brand and position are different sides of the same coin. Without positioning, brand value isn't sustainable, because the position itself is where a brand's fundamental difference — and hence its value — lies.
A brand campaign without a positioning strategy is advertising on a whim. Think of it this way: Most companies wouldn't launch products without knowing market intelligence, yet it's surprising how many fly blindly with their brands, not realizing that doing so puts their market value at risk.
Starbucks = Coffee experience
Uber = On-demand taxi
Google = Search engine
- Sets the long-term direction for your brand according to its core truths and competitive landscape.
- Prescribes all the P's of marketing — product, price, promotion, people, priorities and place — and organizes them within the context of a single, pervasive strategy that brings consistency and constancy to everything you do.
- Builds trust and loyalty among customers (whereas inconsistency creates confusion and mistrust).
- Improves cost efficiencies across communications for optimal return on investment.
- Is cumulative. Implemented effectively over time, it builds brand equity and establishes goodwill (like a bank account). That's why it's so powerful.
- Directs what to do and what to stop doing. (Helps to identify the things that deter and detract from your core purpose and do not add value.)
- Goes to the heart of purpose, what we call your essential "anatomy." (By standing for something, you stand apart.)
- Establishes a clear reference point for the development and evaluation of all marketing and advertising communication.
The purpose of business is to create and keep customers. Differentiation is the key to building and maintaining a competitive advantage. Positioning is about getting the right idea. The right idea is a differentiating idea. People make decisions on the basis of differences. The right idea (differentiation) gives an organization, product, or service a distinct advantage over the competition.
Without a clear difference, people stick with what they know. The more unique (different) and meaningful (relevant) the positioning (competitive) idea is to the prospect, the higher the marketing value. We believe that it is irresponsible to spend money on advertising that fails to express a true difference.