How to Properly Apply Your Company’s Brand Positioning
Many businesses know their company’s brand positioning, although they don’t always communicate it internally or leverage it externally. Brand positioning compares one company to a competitive set within a defined sector. To conduct the analysis, each organization is placed along the dimensions of a continuum representing some measure. The purpose is to see where your company fits in the market landscape, and how it measures against others in your sector. When looking simultaneously at multiple interrelated factors, new insights are revealed and epiphanies surface from this novel perspective of your world. You see things you never considered before. Results from this exercise are applied toward formulating strategies and other foundational imperatives.
As a byproduct of these findings, revelations from the brand positioning analysis could be used in face to face selling or marketing your company through your website, corporate collateral, or educational materials. However, when communicating your company’s brand positioning to a potential customer all irrelevant information should be parsed so that all that remains is germane to the conversation. Referencing well known competitors anchors points of familiarity a person could relate to. You don’t want to overtly make the discussion appear like vendor bashing. Your sincere intent should be to use competing companies as references to define your company relative to others. These comparisons could be based on sourced facts, or metaphorically to describe the similarities between company characteristics. The amount of emphasis placed on the competition is based on its notoriety and level of dominance. If they are an industry Goliath, associate your company with theirs and ride their coat tails as you climb the shoulders of a giant. If it’s a cottage industry, with many smaller unknown players and no marquee dominators, then referencing categories or a general description of a categorical type is helpful. Keep in mind that references to the competition should remain focused on your point, not a derailing topic that could cause you to lose momentum or wonder off course. And even if you have dozens of competitors, only utilize those that are relevant to the dialogue, up to three companies. The comparison should move from similarities, to neutralize any advantage the competition may have, to how your company is better, different, etc. Remember, even though you are comparing company names, concentrate on comparing select elements within the company so it is never a one to one comparison. You could be a 1/100th the size in annual revenues compared to the largest company in your category, but you could also be the “fastest growing” within a define time frame, “last quarter we grew by 200%”. Starting from a very small dollar volume, a 200% increase sounds more impressive than it really is.
Brand positioning provides perspective, which helps crystallize and communicate the faint or nebulous, while elevating your value through association of larger companies within reason. Comparing a Chevrolet Cruise with a Rolls Royce would be a stretch. And most importantly find a fixed position in the minds of potential customers so that you strongly influence how s/he thinks of your company in the terms you defined and created.