I was recently exposed to a simple chart that had four quadrants that I had to fill out regarding what I do for a living. The chart outlines what you are good at doing versus or in comparison to what you like doing. And although it was not easy to fill out in some ways, this exercise got me thinking about positioning for a business in general.
Positioning is a critical step in any business’ marketing strategy. It defines the company, forms the basis for messaging, drives the marketing approach and impacts the way in which products and services are priced. To be effective, positioning must be clear, compelling and, most importantly, differentiated.
One of the most common descriptions I hear from leaders is a company’s positioning that sounds the same as everyone else. Their products are “innovative”, their services are “world class”, and they are “customer focused.” These are all examples of buzzwords that marketers use to try polish their position. But spin is not enough. Instead, business leaders need to find or create real differences they can leverage in the market.
Anybody who ever started a business had this problem. Some succeeded at differentiation and are now enjoying the fruits of it. The good news is that everybody can do it.
- What are your strengths? What is it that you love doing and are great at doing?
- What are your weaknesses? What is it that you are not that good at?
- What’s your offer?
- What you don’t offer?
- What’s good and what’s bad in your offer?
MAKE A LIST OF YOUR CURRENT AND YOUR POTENTIAL DIFFERENCES
You know enough about your competitors and about yourself. You know about your competitor’s differences and you know your differences. You know what competitor’s differences you like to have.
So now you can make a separate list about your current differences and another list about your potential or future differences that you would like to have.
MAKE YOUR DIFFERENTIATION STATEMENT
Can you write in one statement how your business is different? Don’t think about competition, write your own differentiations that your business has and your competitors didn’t have.