One of the big mistakes that so many people make in business, large or small (or even ‘micro’), is understanding the value of ‘Positioning’. It’s a simple marketing strategy that every business owner can and should adopt. It costs very little, or nothing really, as it’s about making some simple decisions.
Let me explain…
Positioning is the fancy term we apply to the concept of deciding how you want other people to think about your business. It’s part of the fabric of your branding but it’s even more than this. It will help you to target the right audience, with the right message.
When we engage with a company, their brand and their products or services, we always adopt a perception of what type of business they are and how we choose to think about them. Positioning factors would include things like; being seen as budget, good value, or even exclusive and ‘high-end’.
Other aspects might be how a business like to relate to its customers; is it friendly and relaxed, or more ‘professional’ and traditional in the way it presents itself?
The reason this is important is because it defines the type of customer that it attracts. For example; if I run a therapy service, am I aiming for a particular type of customer? This could be on the basis of age, gender, needs, interests, locality, etc.
These features really do make up your business personality. And yes, every business has some form of personality and your aim is to make yours as attractive as possible.
However, the real key in position is to be clear about the specific target audience you want to attract. It could be that you want to specialise in certain areas, for certain needs or with certain types of services. This is the very opposite of trying to present yourself as a generalist. Very few customers are every attracted to a business because they are ‘generalist’, whereas we much prefer to spend money with people who we believe match our needs specifically.
So here are a few questions to help you find your best Positioning:
1. How do we want people to perceive our value of service; top-end, budget, exclusive?
2. What type of customers are we looking for; by age, gender, need and other demographic?
3. Are we reflecting our best assets as part of our Positioning; and are we actively promoting these?
4. How can we improve and refine our Positioning to be more specific in our marketing?
How will we know when we’ve got our Positioning right; will we test it and if so how?
With these questions as a simple place to start I’d recommend looking at other businesses that are in your space, perhaps your competition, and look to see if they have any clear Positioning. How do you, and other, describe their business personality and is it working for them?