Who are you as a company? Why do you matter?
Two simple questions and quite possibly the two most important ones that businesses face today. The answers, however, are anything but simple. To respond, you must fully understand what—at its core—your company does, what your value proposition is to your most important customers, how you are positioned vis-à-vis your competition, and how to tell your story compellingly.
Let’s start with some definitions.
Positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position (place) the product in the mind of the prospect. — Al Reis and Jack Trout
Positioning vs. Branding
Positioning works in concert with its more emotive sibling, branding, which offers an emotional expression of a unique role and relevance through logos, look and feel, color palette, use of language, tone of voice, customer experience, and design.
Branding, in fact, may well be the most overused word in the marketing lexicon.
Branding has grown to encompass a complex Madison Avenue activity that covers everything from corporate logos to website design, from customer promise to product experience.
Branding today is many things to many people, but for our purposes here, let’s confine it to the expression of your company or product with the sole intent of igniting an emotional reaction in your customers or prospects.
The problem with launching an advertising campaign or developing a website or jumping straight into taglines and other forms of emotional expression (branding) is that branding is only half the story of a company—the emotional half of the story, the emotional yang to positioning’s logical, practical yin.
Fellow Star Trek fans can think Kirk versus Spock. But there can be no yang without yin, no Kirk without Spock, and the same holds true in marketing when it comes to positioning and branding.
So, how do you get the yin? You get it via rock-solid positioning that is based on logic (Spock) rather than emotion (Kirk).
The problem is, many marketing and strategy agencies equate positioning with branding. But positioning is not the same as branding. Although the words are often used interchangeably, the concepts are not the same.
Positioning is upstream from branding; you must determine your ideal position in the market before you work on the brand. Why? Because determining your ideal position in the market results from understanding exactly who you are (your DNA) and why you matter (what you bring to the market that others don’t).
So first, position your product with logic.
Then brand it with emotion.
Brand is derived from positioning; it is the emotional expression of positioning.
What’s GrowRevenue’s rational positioning?
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What’s the branding?
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