It is a competitive world out there. Whatever incremental innovation you do in your offering, is bound to be replicated by your competitors. When market saturates and there is no clear-cut differentiation left between the product and services offered in a segment, right brand positioning has the power to create that differentiation.
Brand Positioning is about narrow focus and it forces you to sacrifice. You cannot be all things to all people; you must focus on one thing. We would often hear our colleagues saying, “NO! We cannot give up that business. We have to say we are this and this and this… We’re sacrificing opportunity. Forget it.” Rather than sacrificing opportunities, a narrow focus often creates opportunities.
Domino’s vividly illustrates the power of focus in positioning. For years, Domino’s never mentioned quality, price, or value. Instead, Domino’s relentlessly stressed its speed: “30 Minutes or It’s On Us,” ad after ad after ad.
As a result, Domino’s came to “own” the distinctive concept of speed in the pizza delivery business. When people thought of fast, reliable delivery, they thought of Domino’s. When a reporter asked Domino’s president, Tom Monaghan, the secret of his success, what does he answer? “A fanatical focus on doing one thing well.” Stand for one distinctive thing that will give you a competitive advantage.
That being said, let’s revise the four fundamentals of brand positioning:
You must position yourself in your prospect’s mind.
Your position should be singular: one simple message.
Your position must set you apart from your competitors.
You must sacrifice. You cannot be all things to all people; you must focus on one thing.
Why do people fear to position so much? Because they fear that standing, for one thing, will limit their appeal. But it doesn’t work that way, for one important reason: People associate.
We tend to think, for example, that attractive people are smarter, friendlier, more honest, and more reliable than less attractive people. We associate one positive thing—attractiveness—with many other good things.
It’s how people are programmed. It’s how your prospects think. The interesting case of Long Island Bank and Trust, cited in Positioning, demonstrates the Halo Effect in positioning.
Bank personnel tested people’s perceptions of the bank, then ran several ads stressing that Long Island was the local bank for Long Island. The ads did not mention assets, the range of services, or quality of services. After running the ads, the bank tested people’s perceptions of the bank again—and discovered something remarkable. People now had stronger perceptions of everything about the bank: its number of branches, the range of services, quality of services, and capital.
So the next time you hear, “But we have to say this, and this, and this, and this; it’s all important,” remember Long Island Bank and Trust—and the power of the Halo Effect. Say one positive thing, and you will become associated with many.
Reference Books which helped in shaping up the above article:
Selling the invisible (a field guide to modern marketing) – by Harry Beckwith
Scientific Advertising – by Claude C Hopkins