“Positioning” is the term coined by marketing gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout in their 1980 landmark book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, which explains the critical concept of getting your business into the minds of customers and prospects in a manner that accurately reflects the company’s attributes, advantages, and missions. That said, you need to gain a working command of what positioning is and why it’s critical to any discussion of marketing your business.
Determine where your product or company belongs
In their groundbreaking treatise, Ries and Trout gave marketing professionals a new handle on how to determine where a product or company belongs vis-a-vis the association a person will assign in his mind to a given product or company. The crucial words here are “association” - the relationship or connection between concepts — and “in the mind.” Association is the process; in the mind is where it happens. Grasp these two elements and you’re able to see that how you shape your company’s identity by intelligently defining it, is the shortest route to getting people to view your company as you want them to see it and be able to associate who you are with what you do.
Define your company
If YOU don’t define your company, people will define it for themselves, drawing their own conclusions and perceptions that may differ considerably from what you’d like them to think.
When entrepreneurs go into business for themselves, they have a good idea of what they want to do. But most are too busy and too excited when starting their businesses to take the time to articulate how they want to be seen. So, most fail to define themselves until they’ve been around for a while. What usually gets them thinking about doing it is learning over time that they’re unhappy with how folks think about them. Or worse: people don’t think much about them at all or think they only do such and such when they’re really offering so much more. What ‘s even more painful is that people might very well think of them, what they do, and their products as simply “commodities, “where, in their minds, what they sell and do is pretty much what every other company in the field sells and does.
To overcome these perceptions and to hopefully make them right from the get-go, you’re obliged in the positioning process to make your company stand for something distinct. It should be differentiated in the minds of your customers and prospects from your competitors by your name, your message, your performance, and your other attributes and advantages.
Positioning or Re-Positioning
If you’re to measure where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going, you’ll need a marketing map that shows you the routes and your options. Positioning is that map.
You had a vision for your enterprise when you started it. For too many, the vision proves to be little more than wishful thinking, a dream lost in the minutiae of getting the company up and running and keeping it moving. But for the entrepreneur, who’ll succeed in building his dream into reality, his vision is well defined, well planned, well watered -and kept in his sights. It’ll be groomed, trimmed, fed nutrients, and placed in a location where it can get maximum sunshine and year ‘round visibility. In new companies, defining who and what you want to be is the first major marketing challenge and it’s the critical prerequisite for creating the message you’ll engineer into the process of generating leads.