There's a phrase I constantly repeat: position or be positioned.
In today's fast-paced world, the act of positioning is happening constantly whether we like it or not. Market players all have the potential to shape the narrative around our brand.
In other words, the act of positioning happens whether we like it or not. Competitors slander us. Partners invent our script. Even customers have the potential of spreading narratives that are disadvantageous to us.
Control the narrative
In today's world, where information spreads rapidly through social media and other online channels, it's crucial for brands to have a strong and consistent message.
Control your narrative.
If a brand allows others to control its narrative, it can quickly lose control of its image and reputation. Negative narratives can spread like wildfire, damaging a brand's reputation and hurting its bottom line. On the other hand, if a brand controls its narrative, it can shape public perception, build a strong reputation, and attract loyalists. By proactively defining and promoting their message, brands can ensure that they're perceived in the way they want to be, and not at the mercy of others' interpretations.
Anchor the market
To control the narrative, you must anchor the market with your brand message before others. Why? Because whoever communicates first and most frequently has the power to anchor the market around their message.
We are human beings, after all. We need to quickly make sense of information and categorize it. We rely too heavily on the first piece of information presented to us. Among psychologists, this phenomenon is known as a cognitive bias known as the anchoring effect.
The anchoring effect is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions. During decision making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgments.
You want the anchor to come from you, not someone else. Define and control your narrative, or else someone else will.
Position or be positioned.
Ask two questions sets
To position your brand effectively, you must ask yourself two sets of critical questions:
- Who are you, and why do you matter?
- Why us, and why now?
Positioning isn't optional
Positioning is not just a choice, it's a necessity. It's an inevitable process that occurs whether you participate in it or not. Your customers, partners, competitors, and even the word of mouth create a position in the minds of your audience, whether you like it or not. The last thing you want is for your competitors to position your technology for you. If you don't actively position your product or service, you will only attract customers who stumble upon it by chance.
Positioning is a fundamental activity that requires deep thinking to create a compelling and differentiated position. It's not about advertising or the size of your marketing budget. It's about taking control of your business destiny and being the master of your own fate.
Manage your position aggressively.
Without a clear and focused position, any road will take you there. That's why it's crucial to know the position you want to occupy and work tirelessly to get there. By mastering your position, you'll be able to focus your efforts and resources on the right things, giving you a greater chance of success.
Take charge of your position or be prepared to let your competitors do it for you.