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Define your business positioning in one word

Your business is well positioned when your team, customers and even competitors articulate it the same way. Learn how this level of clarity leads to strong commercial performance.

Steph Holme

2 minute read

Positioning is the very first step in any go-to-market strategy. Getting clear on the ‘position’ your business occupies in the mind of your customer makes you much easier to buy from.

The goal is to achieve such clarity that when a customer needs X (positioning word) they think Y (your brand).

NB/ Positioning is not branding (a common mistake). Positioning informs brand.

Solid positioning informs your brand, go to market strategy, channels, marketing and sales choices. It is the first decision to make as a business to drive commercial performance.

And there is a clear link between strong positioning and strong commercial performance. This can be demonstrated through some household brands with a solid ‘position’ – I’m sure you can link the positioning word to each of these brands; Easyjet, Volvo, Saga, Disney.

In the same vein, businesses with muddied positioning that isn’t crystal clear see the knock-on impact on their commercial performance, and there are several examples of well-known brands who have lost the clarity of their positioning as they’ve scaled.

So, a few ways to test the strength of your positioning:
1. What one word would you use to describe your businesses position in the market?
2. Ask some of your team – do they use the same word?
3. Ask some of your customers – do they align?

Depending on the outcome of your tests your next step will either be to define, educate or market your positioning. Whatever you do, do not underestimate the power of getting this nailed.

A piece of advice when articulating your position – be sure it is authentic. Positioning is not aspirational, it needs to truly reflect the customers experience of you.

That is not to say there isn’t more you can do to emphasise the delivery of your positioning to your customers, but false positioning will be spotted and exposed very quickly.

So how do you define your positioning? Well – that’s a big project and one that Bean Partners specialise in, I'd recommend you start by mapping your competitors and the likely customer perception of their positioning – that should show you which positions are crowded, and which are unoccupied.

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