Do you still have the same plans and ambitions as you did 20 years ago? Do you think and dress the same way? Perhaps. Most likely not. Our business ambitions, just like our personal ones, evolve to varying degrees over time as we experience continuous cycles of business breakthroughs, successes and setbacks, steep learning curves and hard-earned insights.
Now, with this in mind, consider your business brand, does its position in the marketplace still stack up? Or has it too moved on? Whether you run a startup, scale up or established SME, your business and its products/services, customer base and messaging may have changed subtly or significantly in the time since your last assessment.
Maybe you’ve never done an assessment (no judgement!) but you can be sure your target customers have made rapid assumptions consciously or subconsciously based on how your business presents itself against your competitors. That should be enough of a motivation to warrant a candid review now of whether your brand really is positioned where you say it is, or to consider whether the direction has changed; competitive landscapes, changing lifestyles and consumer behaviours are constantly adapting and so too is your brand relevance.
If you’re not getting the margin you deserve for your product or service it may be because you haven’t defined your brand position.
Many businesses are poorly positioned in their marketplaces because they never dropped an anchor and so have drifted along with no clear navigation. Talk to your team to get their interpretations on what your business brand stands for, challenge it together and then get consensus and alignment.
Steve Jobs said, ‘create relevance, not awareness’. Your brand positioning should be authentic and relevant to your business and your target customers. Identifying a clear brand position in the marketplace will help drive the clarity of your communication and presentation.
If you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one; generic messages rarely win hearts, minds or customers.
A focused position will enable your business to articulate compelling and relevant brand messages to target customers who will see your real value. So, assess and map your brand position in the marketplace, anchor your claim and own it. Ensure it has substance and is sustainable, understandable and engaging all across your brand, your proposition and your presentation. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it does have to be relevant.
Which brands in the marketplace do you see carefully anchored or drifting off-course?
Written by Catherine Phibbs
This article from one of our brand consultants, Catherine Phibbs is a timely reminder that all brands need to sharpen their edges and anchor their marketing efforts around a clear brand positioning. It’s all too easy to be overly tactical with ‘Covid-19 era’ messages, but that could mean your brand is starting to drift away from your core customers. If you want to discuss the long term implications for your brand following short term tactics, feel free to contact our brand strategy team at firstname.lastname@example.org