Hiding in Plain Sight: Positioning so your brand does the heavy lifting
This week a friend sent me some images showing the natural camouflage of animals in the wild. (No, not People of Walmart wearing Dayglo camo pants this time; actual wildlife.) Camouflage is all about blending in. It’s nature’s way of increasing the chances of survival.
However, when you are in business, blending in is bad for your brand and counter-survival to your company. Ironic, no?
Branding is about setting your organization apart. It helps prospective customers identify and bond with what makes you special. It gives them a taste of the experience of doing business with you. It expresses the value you bring to them. Defining and living your brand positions you in the mind of someone looking for what you have to offer.
Simply, the goal of positioning your brand is to “own” a category in a prospect’s mind, for example: Michael Jackson, The King of Pop; Cadillac, domestic luxury automobile; BMW, performance automotive engineering; Apple, design of personal technology (used to be user-friendly computing); Geek Squad, technology help; Butterball, turkey expertise. If I say the category, the company or product name should be what comes to mind.
Positioning links your name, product or service with a specific value. It's a shortcut that gets clients past that awkward determining-if-you're-the-right-company-for-them stage and catapults them right into the engagement cycle. (Or, conversely, saves you both time by determining quickly you are not right for one another.)
Without building positioning for your brand, you're as invisible as a leopard on the savannah. No one spots your great qualities, your fine craftsmanship or your stellar customer service until they trip over it.
Don't you hate it when you have to look or think really hard to find what you need? So does everyone else. Allow your brand to set you apart by defining and regularly auditing your positioning. Make it easy for the right customers to find you. Stop hiding in plain sight.
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Target Practice: How strong brands handle a direct hit
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