Don’t waste time writing a 5-10 page industry brief about your company that no one is going to read.
Mark Pollard, a strategy director and reformed magazine publisher based in New York, writes in his blog that positioning is often extremely difficult for some companies:
A big part of what I do for a living is helping businesses find out what they have or do that’s unique and compelling to possible customers…
The surprise? That more often than not, people can’t explain in plain English and in a sentence why the product is better than what else is on the market.
It doesn’t necessarily surprise me that marketers have difficulty articulating their position in a market, but it does surprise me that I’ve encountered companies that haven’t even attempted to define their position.
When CoreElement sought to revisit its positioning, we asked ourselves who our ideal prospect was, and what we could do to help them. Other positioning points that we made to be clear about in our positioning included our ideal clients’ size, price point and geographic location.
This information is relevant to our industry. But what about yours? Don’t over-think it. Mark Pollard recommends the following classic equation for your elevator pitch.
For: Who you want your customers to be.
Only: What you do that’s different – one thing (could be a combination of multiple pieces).
Because: The reason for someone to believe your “only” claim.
So CoreElement’s “For, Only, Because” statement would be,
“For industrial manufacturers who are committed to long-run marketing efforts, only CoreElement creates and implements a complete range of strategic marketing programs because of our ability to leverage the latest digital tools and the power of the internet.”
Once you’ve gone through this exercise, go back and rewrite it to make it a little less mechanical. “For, Only, Because” isn’t meant to serve as your end-all, be-all when it comes to positioning.
Rather, it should get your brain thinking so that you don’t (as Mark Pollard notes) waste you and your employees’ time writing a 5-10 page industry brief only to realize you can’t describe your business in a simple sentence or two.
If you can’t identify what differentiates you from your competition, chances are your prospect can’t, either. At the end of the day, why should they choose you?
Ask yourself whether or not your company is really aware of its position in the market. If not, it need to be. It’s a critical section of your industrial marketing plan.
Photo Credit: Chris Potter