Position is elemental
In ballet there are five basic positions for the dancer’s feet. All movement begins using these. Beginning ballet students practice these positions until they are stored in muscle memory and the dancer is then able to shift their feet from I-IV without thinking.
In business you should have only one position—and that is your position statement. Every business must have one. It is the basis of all your strategy, essentially it becomes your road-map to your marketing tactics. And it adds insight to the elements of price and the brand identity for your product.
Elements of a positioning statement
A position statement is composed of several parts and reads in the following manner:
Sample Position Statement:
For non-vegetarians who eat only organically produced, cruelty free foods (the target customer), Home on the Range Chicken (the Brand Name) is the fresh-packed, organically-raised all-natural chicken sold in South Carolina grocery stores (category) with no artificial hormones, brining solutions or additives (benefit to the customer.)
How to you craft a position statement?
Each business must know who their product is being designed for. This needs to be a primary customer whose needs resonate with your product’s reason for being, or DNA. You can conduct your own research or purchase research into your market segment’s needs. One of the simplest ways to gain research is to do “woman on the street” intercepts, politely asking people if they will answer a few questions for you about the kind of product (for our example above, it would be chicken) they purchase. You need to identify what makes this customer purchase your category product. You want to comprehend what benefits will the customer gain when they purchase your product. If you can answer each of these elements of the position statement definitively, then you can craft a your own statement to guide your actions in bringing your product to market.
What are your competitors positions?
OK, you are thinking, this seems simple. Perhaps. Do you truly understand your target customer’s motiviations? Lifestyle? Do you understand what other alternatives there are for them in the marketplace? If so, your position in the market must be different from your closest competitors’ positions.
You can gain awareness of your competitors’ positions by trying to write a positioning statement for them. Ahhh, not so easy now is it? If you draft a position statement for each of your primary competitors, then through deductive reasoning, it will be clear where the differences lie between you and them. What? There are no differences? Then why would someone buy your product? Is it price? Convenience? If you end up in a dead-end, go back to your product development, carefully incorporating your findings to craft a market-worthy product.
When you meet with your marketing staff, hire graphic designers or web site developers, use this position statement to help them understand how their activities will flow from this one essential, elemental statement. Just as with ballet dancers, it will give you a sound footing for the launch of your product.
Photo credit: flickr user kcdsTM