Elements of Positioning

358 words, 1:47 minutes

There are 1,513,873* approaches to uncovering an organization’s position to inform branding and messaging. Here’s another one.

There are three essential elements to your positioning – one internally and two externally focused. That’s a good ratio for any organization to follow when considering positioning.

Elements of position.png

The first element, Ownable, is focused on what you can deliver. This is the internally focused element. This not only includes products, solutions and services but also experiences. Is your Ownable element consistent over time and across distribution channels? Is it different or better than the competition? Can it be scaled or duplicated to larger or different audiences without hurting your image? Is it possible to be the organization known for this?

By the way, Ownable does not necessarily mean a unique value proposition. But it does mean something you can confidently flaunt.

Ok, so your organization has something that’s Ownable. But is it Valuable? This is the second element of positioning. Value needs to be matched to your target audience, of course. So does this value you provide mean anything to them? Will it make things better? And how soon? Is this value worth the effort? You can control that through your customer interactions, pricing, delivery and service.

Now that you have an Ownable and Valuable position can you make it Memorable, the final positioning element? I’m not talking about a great life-changing experience (although if you can deliver that you sure as heck should). I simply mean will your audience recognize your organization and quickly discern the value you provide? Are your brand elements and messaging consistent across all communications channels? Do your customers know what to expect simply based on seeing your brand?

What happens if you can’t deliver on all three of these elements in your positioning? If it’s Ownable and Valuable but not Memorable you’re just offering a commodity like gas or corn. If it’s Ownable and Memorable but not Valuable then your target audience won’t care. It’s irrelevant. And if it’s Valuable and Memorable but not Ownable you’re just plain faking it. Think of vaporware

How would you approach your organization’s position using these three elements?

*Unconfirmed, not researched, and based on gut statistic.