Positioning vs. Aha! Positioning
No marketing investment could be more important to the efficacy of future spend, than positioning—the art and science of meaningfully differentiating yourself in the market landscape.
First off, positioning should not be confused with branding. Positioning is strategy while branding is the expression of a company’s strategy in words, tonality, color, design, imagery, and illustrations. Branding is emotional where positioning is concrete and rational.
Why does positioning matter? Solid positioning aligns your team, amplifies your messages, removes friction, and accelerates traction. Ah-ha positioning does all that better.
Positioning can be done for products, services, brands, entire companies or even a division within a company. As the expression of your company’s strategy in precise phrases that convey competitive differentiation, role, and relevance, the more focused and honest the statements are the most leverageable the strategy. While pinpointing your specific role and relevance to the audience in the immediate future, it may or may not reveal a long-term vision.
A-Ha! Positioning is your differentiated role and relevance within a complex and specific landscape put into concise statements capable of guiding leadership, branding, communications. Focus and sacrifice, not spin, formulate A-Ha! Positioning.
Our unique methodology goes deeper than any brand agency to get leadership teams to a-ha!
It begins with taking a thorough look at who you are at your core, what category you’re in, and what’s happening around you. While that sounds simple enough, all this must be done at the micro and macro level simultaneously. You must view your company DNA while candidly viewing through the lenses of your audience.
Positioning requires knowing your corporate DNA.
We believe there are five steps to successfully positioning a company as a leader in the market.
- Understand the company from the inside out—its DNA.
- Be able to succinctly articulate what the company does and why it matters.
- Align with the rest of the leadership on an understanding of the company and fully embrace your corporate DNA as a team.
- Seek a desirable white space in the competitive landscape suitable to the company’s DNA and ripe for occupation.
- Develop a message architecture and narrative that reflects steps one through four. This all starts with a framework we call the corporate DNA model. It is built on the premise that there are just three kinds of companies out there—customer-oriented companies, product-oriented companies and concept-oriented companies. We call them respectively mothers, mechanics and missionaries. Each organizes itself according to its DNA with regard to structure, culture, measurement, compensation, recruitment and voice. We conduct an exercise based on an audit of stakeholders and customers to determine which of these three best reflects the corporate DNA.