Position Your Brand for Success
Many of my close friends know me to be a bit of a basketball-junky. What they may not know is when I first started playing basketball, at the age of 15, I was very awkward on the court and a bit timid because I lacked the graceful offensive skills of ball-handling and shooting. Although, I was OK at jumping high, running fast, and listening to the coach (I was coachable). My coach encouraged me to leverage my strengths so I could be useful to the team, I began really focusing my energy on defense and rebounding which allowed me to earn a featured spot on the team. Overtime, I learned the art of rebounding the basketball and all the tricks that help you beat the competition to the ball. The number one rule in rebounding is "boxing out” … here’s how it’s defined by wikiHow:
Boxing out is a critical part of basketball, as it prevents your opponent from getting rebounds. Boxing out in basketball is a technique used by a player to position himself/herself to best get a rebound after a shot has been missed. It is so effective that a shorter player can out rebound a taller player. Boxing out is an essential skill for every player on the floor.
My coach would hammer home the idea that once I find my position in front of my opponent, I need to bend my knees, get low, and hold my ground until the ball is in a place where I can go for it. I could still hear him yelling, "box the f**k out, Eppi!"
In the game of business, many of the same rules apply.
You’re trying to capture your market (the ball) but you need to put yourself in the right position first. It’s really important for a brand to know where it stands.
In order to position itself properly, a brand must:
- Know its audience
- Provide a unique value
- Be trustworthy
Here are a few examples:
Audience: People who are doing something athletic. Especially, athletes who are competing.
Unique value: Bringing inspiration/motivation and innovation to every ambitious athlete in the world.
Trustworthy: Many of the top world-class athletes use and endorse Nike products.
Audience: Artists, designers, tastemakers, writers, filmmakers, creators, musicians, etc. + everyone who can afford it (iPhone/iPod/iPad).
Unique value: Computing devices that are best-in-class. Inspiration to think different and create.
Trustworthy: A large part of the population recognizes the Apple brand. According to Forbes, the top 5 most valuable brands are: #1 Apple / #2 Google / #3 Microsoft / #4 Facebook / #5 Coca-Cola
Apple is known for its high-quality products, reliability, and strong resale value among technology products.
Audience: Young women who value skin health over the old-definition of beauty. Women who trust user generated content over corporate advertising.
Unique value: Promoting skin health and simplicity to the people, by the people.
Trustworthy: One of Glossier's motto's is "trust us, we're you," because most of their employees started out as customers and have the community's interests top-of-mind.
Being crystal clear about where your brand stands will help you be in the best position to win.
Every marketing decision you make regarding your brand has to align with and support your positioning statement. A good positioning statement is the north star for your marketing efforts.
What is your brand’s position in the market?