The Point of Positioning

WHY NOW? The "triple threat" of marketing in today's world is:

1. Killer competition
2. Hyper-proliferation of choices
3. Communication overload.

Countless marketers, all offering their own propositions, are competing for the same time, attention, and money you are.

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.

“Positioning is the single-most powerful concept in marketing. To stake a position means an organization, product or service stands for one thing in the minds of prospects.” – Dick Maggiore

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.


Branding alone creates awareness, where the aim is for everyone to know you. The most basic aim of branding is to generate an emotional-impulse response from the intended audience trying to choose among product comparisons. For commodity products where price is the most obvious differentiating feature in a crowded competitive field, too many marketers choose the easy path of heavy promotion and price reductions to win sales volume. It's not usually the most profitable strategy, and the brand's value will erode in the process.
“Think of the brand as the 'sizzle' and the position as the 'steak.'” – Lorraine Kessler
Positioning is about establishing the inherent value offered by your organization or product, while implying the inherent weakness of your competitors by comparison. Positioning aims to find and define that essential point of difference you can own, to ensure consumers know why they want your products or service over others. As the prerequisite foundation for strategic branding, positioning sets the direction for all brand communication.

When branding follows positioning, the object of the branding effort is crystallized to attach the differentiating idea of your market position to your brand name so that the name and the idea become intuitive to one another.
Positioning also reflects essential value attributes and typically seeks to align with leadership values. What makes positioning sustainable as a market advantage is that it focuses on the most advantageous competitive difference you have to offer. So: Dove established its difference as the "beauty bar" in a category where everything else was just soap.
For Example:
Starbucks  = Coffee experience
Uber = On-demand taxi

Google = Search engine

Advantages of Positioning
  • 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.

ADVERTISE RESPONSIBLY®

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.

PositionistView®

PositionistView® is an inside look into Innis Maggiore's thinking, culture and talent. They're opinon pieces through the positioning filter. No jargon. No ad-speak babble.

April 7, 2021

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April 7, 2021

Programmatic advertising, since the late 90s, had been waiting for a similar catapult, and 2020 brought it. While total ad spend in programmatic had grown by double digits each year since 2017, those in the know say it got the big boost from the pandemic, allowing 2020 to be dubbed, “the year of programmatic.” What was the inflection point?

 

February 11, 2021

In this year's National Football League AFC Divisional Round playoff game, Cleveland Browns Coach Kevin Stefanski was accused of playing it safe. Trailing by five, facing fourth and nine in the fourth quarter, he punted and put the game in the hands of his defense. Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, later facing fourth and one, left his offense on the field and went for it.

August 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic may be the biggest shock to our lives and livelihoods since the Spanish flu in 1918. Our lives and the economy have come to a near full halt. There’s major economic upheaval from Wall Street to Main Street. The ground below us has shaken.

April 20, 2020

The Chinese word for “crisis” is frequently cited for its use of two Chinese characters signifying “danger” and “opportunity.

Agency News

From associate promotions and new team members to awards and events, keep up with the growth and good things happening at Innis Maggiore.

March 2, 2021
CANTON, Ohio (March 2, 2021) — Perfect Power Wash, Ohio’s leading professional-grade power washing company, has named Innis Maggiore, the nation’s leading positioning ad agency, as its agency of record. The Innis Maggiore team is excited to work with Ohio’s leader in professional-grade power washing.
February 22, 2021
CANTON, Ohio (Feb. 22, 2021) — Innis Maggiore, the nation’s leading positioning ad agency, today announced it earned seven awards at the 2021 American Advertising Federation Awards (ADDY® Awards) ceremony Friday evening.
January 19, 2021
CANTON, Ohio (Jan. 19, 2021) — Innis Maggiore, the nation’s leading positioning ad agency, today announced the hiring of Rose Browning as director of media services. Browning will lead Innis Maggiore’s media-related activities, including strategy, research, planning, buying, negotiating and reporting.
November 17, 2020
CANTON, Ohio (Nov. 17, 2020) — Innis Maggiore, the nation’s leading positioning ad agency, today announced the hiring of Tony Bell as director of client services.
October 13, 2020
CANTON, Ohio (Oct. 13, 2020) — Innis Maggiore, the nation’s leading positioning ad agency, today announced it earned two Healthcare Advertising Awards, the oldest, largest and most widely respected advertising competition in the healthcare industry. One award is for the development of the Aultman Alliance Community Hospital website.