Standing out from the rest of the herd
Positioning is about creating clear space between you and your competitors. It’s about understanding the truths of what makes your brand different. It’s having a clear strategy and a set of tactics that will constantly reiterate these truths and build brand loyalty in the minds of your audiences.
But how, when most markets are saturated, can you claim to be truly different? Marketeers often talk about a unique selling proposition (USP). In todays business landscape conventional points of difference such as price, quality, choice, and customer service have become mere hygiene factors not differentiators. Your competitor’s proposition and your own may be so similar it’s difficult to know what distinguishes your brand from theirs. The differences can often be more subtle and intangible. They may be cultural or be about your customers emotional attachment to your brand.
Sometimes you can look too closely at your competitors, what they are doing and saying and the successes they are having. Monitoring your competition is fine but not if it leads to you emulating them. If your current strategy is to copy their best ideas, redress them and put them in front of your audience as if they are your own you will ultimately fail or at least come second. Your customers are not stupid. They know the difference between a brand that leads and one that follows. They know which brands truly innovate and which simply say ‘me too’.
So what’s your story? What is it that you do that is innovative and different? What can you say that your competitors can’t? What is it about your products, service or culture that you can truly own? Once you begin to articulate and agree these truths you will gain a better understanding of what makes you – you. It’s then easier to build a solid platform from which your brand can communicate and ensure there is a common thread running through every communication whatever channel or tactics you use.