Position is what you represent to whom. Position is not something you do inside your company. It is what happens in the minds of the consumers you are trying to reach. Growing your brand involves growing the mental availability of the brand in the minds of consumers and ensuring they have sufficient physical availability to act on their preferences. It requires understanding what needs your brand can fulfil for consumers and emphasizing these in all aspects of the brand that consumers will see. It requires understanding the lifestyles and habits of consumers with respect to your product category so that you present your brand in the most relevant way possible.
To be effective, brand positions should be simple – preferably a one sentence statement in the form of “Brand X” delivers BENEFIT to TARGET. It should be relevant to the product category. If you are a trucking company, your brand position should about things that matter to people when they are choosing a trucking company, not some nebulous statement that might apply to any product or service (and often does).
Once you know what you are to whom, then you have the foundation for determining what products your brand sells, what features those products contain, and how they should be priced.
Many times these decisions are made without consumer input and are driven by criteria other than meeting consumers’ needs. This is almost always a sub-optimal approach and by the time you discover that your product offering is wrong or the pricing is beyond the means of the target audience, you have spent a lot of time and effort that is wasted.
Testing concepts at an early stage in development, even if just to check basic assumptions about what consumers will find appealing, usually results in a better performing product or service.
Our approach to implementing strategy is unique in the following senses:
We find the optimal combination of targets and benefits for your brand by testing hundreds, if not thousands of different ways of positioning your brand. Most companies consider only a few and the few considered are driven by pre-existing biases about how to define a target (in terms of needs and wants) or what benefits to emphasize (so called “emotional” benefits are assumed to be superior to any other kind of benefit).
Our recommendations for how to position your brand are always specific to the product category in which you operate.
We will be short. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to get the right answer, but once we do, we don’t spend a lot of paper and ink trying to impress you that we are really smart. We get to the point and give you something that you can easily carry around in your own head and so can everyone who has to deliver the brand.
We don’t surround it with unnecessary concepts like “Mission, Vision, Values, Promise, Essence” or the like that only get in the way of people remembering what it is they are supposed to deliver to whom.
We will give you a detailed picture of the consumers in the category that you are trying to target, including their general lifestyle, what motivates them to buy the products in the category, how the products in the category fit into their lives and where you stand with them in terms of awareness, knowledge and image.
Innovating and developing product to support the strategy is not just about features, benefits, and price. Products are usually built around an assumption about what the consumer experience will be like.
In addition to helping you develop better performing products or services, we can also help you articulate better what experience you should be trying to achieve with your products. We belong to an experience development and innovation consortium called IB4E Partners. IB4E Partners is made up of us, graphic designers, architects and other relevant professionals. It is a group that is dedicated to the design of great consumer experiences.