Is it time to rethink your positioning?
The thing that binds all these clients together is that they want to be number one in their category. This is where positioning comes into play.
Our brains are filled with hundreds of ladders
Positioning uses the ladder as a metaphor. If the ladder’s side rails represent your business category, e.g. plumbing, hospitality, or accounting, then each rung of the ladder represents individual businesses in that category. The height each business stands on the ladder, yours included, is determined by where customers place them in their minds. Good positioning ensures your brand reaches the top of the ladder.
You’re not operating in a vacuum
In a crowded market where many businesses are standing at the foot of the ladder, only a few can stand on top of the ladder. To progress up the ladder, you must displace or step over those above you to reach the top rung and this takes lots of hard work.
The first step is recognising that you are not working in a vacuum. There are competitors that your customers are comparing you to. They are placing you on their ladder according to how you perform in their minds.
Why should a customer place you at the top of the ladder?
Developing a compelling reason for a customer to place you on top of the ladder, is the key to marketing success. Every potential customer has a limited number of businesses in mind for each category that they may need in the future. The market is crowded, so customers need constant reminding of who you are.
Appeal is the biggest factor in evaluating your positioning statement
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” – Thomas Merton.
Having a clear positioning statement is great, but it needs to be appealing to get you to the top of the ladder. Customers should not only know about you but they should really want what you are offering.
Avis will go down in marketing history with their genius positioning headline, ‘Avis is only No. 2 in rent a cars. So why go with us? We try harder.’ The ad finished with ‘The line at our counter is shorter’. This was Avis acknowledging Hertz as number one and using that to position themselves as the underdog who works harder to provide better service.
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