Wing Chun Kung Fu, a style of martial arts, requires that you have a secure footing on the ground in all its defensive and offensive actions. This footing “anchors” you to the ground. It translates the force of your strike or block from your foot to your knees to your hips and torso to your strike or block. It lends integrity, strength and power to your action be it a kick or a punch.
Building and growing a business is no different. It all begins with positioning and leads all the effort and activity based on that positioning. Weak positioning or poorly articulated positioning will lead to misguided actions, investments, hires and decisions. It fragments and crumbles the businesses platform, leads to a life of chaos and frustrations as a #businessowner and will almost assure you a future where what you have built will never be saleable.
WHAT IS POSITIONING
This is all about what makes you special as a business. not in your view, but in the view of your customers. Not in what they say, as much as in what they do. that means, they say they like your service or product and they show it by returning again and again. They promote your business to friends and family. They turn their talk into walk.
WHY DOES IT MATTER
A well-built business that consistently gets to both the next level of growth and value is one that has been built of a clearly articulated, relevant positioning. It enjoys clarity and certainty in why it exists and how it will grow. Its “foot” is planted on the ground and points towards the direction that the strike or block needs to follow. The solid footing ensures that all the actions leading up to that strike are aligned, efficient and direct the maximum effort of the body’s movement into that strike.
These actions include marketing to generate leads, sales to convert those leads and operations to deliver the promise of the sales proposition. The team employed by the business understands how to work together, is well-coordinated and includes the right people doing the right thing at the right time.
A business that has no positioning or a poorly defined positioning can never direct and concentrate all its actions towards achieving its objectives. The actions would be fragmented and misaligned and the team would behave inconsistently and chaotically.
Poorly positioned business bleed effort, money and time since they are following an unstable footing.
WEAK POSITIONING STATEMENTS
When I ask most business owners what makes their business special, they say one of three things 99% of the time.
- Product – they argue the merits of their product in terms of its features and benefits. They might go so far as to say that their suppliers or manufacturing approach is unique and special. These aspects make their product superior. It’s the product that they have, hold and own or represent that makes them special.
The origins of this way of thinking date back to the mid-seventeen hundred when Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”. This is to say that a great product will always create a destination for customers to come to you. In the 18th century he was right. There were hardly any products around. Simply having one meant business!
- Service – many, in fact most, say it’s their service. that they offer personal service and will bend over backwards to accommodate and please their customers. Service wins the day and they offer that.
- Price – sometimes they argue price. Few argue that in fact because to attain price advantage over something in a competitive market is hard. If you are not in a competitive market, then price probably doesn’t matter in any event.
The fact is that seldom do any of these positions translate into a successful result.
Whilst each of these attributes may be true for a while, none remain true consistently. Money can build a better product, service is largely driven directly by the business owner (and that is not sustainable) and price advantage seldom lasts.
HOW DO YOU CREATE A WINNING POSITIONING?
Today, the world has become more fragmented and more individual than ever before in its trading history. IN 1922, Henry Ford produced the Model T Ford. He was quipped saying “you can have any model you want so long as it's black”. Choices were limited then and more importantly, access to information and choice even more so. The trends today are focusing more on customised products and services than ever before and that is only going to increase.
In this world, spoilt for choice, customers want solutions to problems. These problems need to be lived, felt and experienced by the customers that a business serves. This means your positioning as a business needs to talk to the problems that you solve and who has them. If this is clear, then any marketing effort will contain messaging that resonates with the customers you want to reach. They will hear and identify with the problem that you claim to solve. Thereafter, any selling effort needs to demonstrate how your product or service will solve the problems you have articulated. Finally, the delivery of the product or service needs to create an experience that resonates with how customers, with the problems you have identified, want to be served.
It is the single most difficult thing to get right in a business. but when you do, all the actions that follow it will be aligned to generate momentum behind every investment and action you make in your business.
Working with Aurik, we revisit your positioning first. Once sure that it is relevant and clearly defined, we work with you to build all the actions your business needs to get to the next level of growth and value. Through this, we will ensure that you maximise your return on money, effort and time. Contact us today and let’s start the conversation.