Hi Cate, I hear a lot about positioning, is that jargon or is it something I should learn about?
DEFINITION: Positioning refers to the place a brand occupies in the MIND of it’s audience. Positioning is not about communication, it is about perception, how messages are received and stored. Your position (perception) is like a mental “slot”, and you have a very short window to stake your claim.
We hold perceptions about everything, including individuals, products and companies.
The concept of positioning dates back to the world of early 70’s advertising and was proposed by Jack Trout. Given the way our world has changed it is more important that ever to understand positioning.
Brands must be purposefully “positioned” meaning they should relentlessly stake and reinforce their claim in the minds of prospects.
A clear and tight positioning is more important than it has ever been. Minds are not just cluttered and overwhelmed – they also have powerful filters, so you must send a javelin sharp message to powerfully entrench yourself in your “slot”.
Brands have an incredible benefit in day to day life. They short cut the complexity of decision making and prevent our overtaxed minds “re-deciding” each time we are presented with choice (which is thousands of times a day).
Seeing the image of a familiar Brand or hearing it mentioned unlocks all the knowledge, memories, opinions, experience and emotion that are stored in your mind relating to that name. Just like it does if you hear the mention of a person you like – all your impressions and experience is unlocked by the brand as a key.
This is also the reason it is so powerful to be “positioned as a “go to” person – because others find it really easy to recommend you to people with a specific problem to solve.
Our principal job as marketers is to identify and send motivating messages (words, visuals and sound) clearly and consistently.
We must ensure that the messages received are precisely those we intended to send and not subject to filtering, jarring or distortion.
It is based on the observation that our minds are so overtaxed and resistant to new information that they filter out nearly everything and use brand information as short cuts.