Does Your Firm Stake out a Market Position?

Does your firm own a market position?  Does your CMO talk about a positioning statement?  If yes, are you able to articulate it to a colleague?  I believe that positioning is becoming a lost concept in the hectic life of the Modern Marketer.  Successful companies have taken the time to align their position with their core competencies and the key success factors in their respective industries.  Too many companies are afraid to claim a market position and, instead, try to sell everything they have to anybody who will buy.  This, my fellow Modern Marketers, is a limiting proposition and will ultimately hinder growth.

I offer 10 pieces of advice for proper positioning:

  1. Rather than focusing on revenue growth, focus on being the best at what you do and stake it out as your position.
  2. Growth is not a strategy nor a position.
  3. Align your core competencies to select key success factors in your industry and line up your resources behind them; this is your position
  4. Know what your prospective customers use as buying criteria and how much weight they place behind each criteria.  Use statistical survey data, not conjecture from within your company.
  5. Look for unsatisfied needs in a market.  If you can satisfy these needs, there is good potential for higher profit margins.
  6. Know your unique selling position, value proposition, differentiated features and benefits and be able to articulate it.
  7. Make sure every single person in your firm understands the market position and why the firm has chosen that market position.
  8. Know the definition of your ideal prospect as aligned with your position.
  9. Don’t imitate your competitors.  If one of the competitors holds a strong market position, it’s not wise to attack them directly; try to outflank them in a sneak attack.
  10. Your position should clearly show what your firm does and, maybe more importantly, what your firm does not do.

A strong market position will be highly differentiated, highly relevant to your target market and defensible.  Don’t try to offer every possible product, service or feature to a very broad market. Instead, stake out a specific position based on what you’re good at. A quick test is to ask yourself or your colleagues, “What business are we in?”  If you can’t answer, you don’t know your market position.

Have I piqued your interest?  For more about positioning, read this book

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