By now, if you've been reading PositionistView, you're well-versed in what a marketing position is, and how it can greatly affect the strength of your brand.

And maybe now (in a down economy) a checkup is in order to discover the condition of your marketing position. Here are three stages you might find your company's brand in, and what steps you can take to improve it.

I Don't Have a Marketing Position
If you describe your company as being "all things to all people," you have no market position. Since your brand can only stand for one thing in the mind of your customer, you can't be "best quality," "fastest service," "lowest price," and "leader in the industry" all at the same time. Even if your company does represent all those characteristics, you're customer won't believe a disjointed, multi-faceted marketing message that tries to cram all those varying attributes down their throat. You need to decide what is clearly the "unique difference" that your competition can't beat you at. Then execute that marketing position as a unified campaign (you can't skimp on this part) to get the message out.

I Have a Position, But It's Getting Lost in the Clutter
Maybe you already have a clearly defined marketing position for your brand, but your competition is positioned so closely to you that your customers are confused as to who's who. Or, maybe the media you advertise in is such a cluttered space, you need to re-position slightly to stand out from the crowd. Lastly, you may want to position yourself by re-positioning your competition by stating a fact that makes them look unfavorable. For example, Scope claimed that you could have fresh breath without the "medicine breath" taste of Listerine. And you don't even have to name names.

My Brand Position Needs a Massage
If your marketing position is strong and clear, and you even happen to be in an uncluttered market, you still might not be getting optimum results from your marketing efforts because your creative execution is stale. Sometimes a fresh creative idea or a brand facelift is all that's needed to add new life to a campaign. You certainly don't want to abandon your position, but often a logo tweak, new ads, a package re-design or a web makeover can do wonders to energize your brand and increase sales.

Jeff Monter is Innis Maggiore's Principal Creative Services.