To be successful in marketing and in business in general, strategy is essential. Key to developing strategy is positioning. Strategic positioning—how an organization serves its customers and differentiates itself from the competition—is an often overlooked element of marketing. Without defined positioning, marketing lacks strategy and initiatives are ineffectively carried out piecemeal. Here are 5 Tips for Strategic Positioning using a case study on strategic positioning from one of my clients, Red Rabbit.
To help my clients position themselves, I walk them through an exercise with a few questions to guide them as they define who they are—their brand identity—and by extension, what their positioning should be. These are my five key questions:
1- Who is [company]? (What is your “elevator pitch”?)
2- Problem statement: (What market/industry problem are you trying to solve for your customers?)
3- What is your differentiating concept? (What makes your better? What would make people want to do business with you? How are you unique vis-à-vis your competition/market?)
4- What is your value proposition? (What is your product or service’s promise? What makes you special?)
5- What are your three (maximum) marketing messages? (What do you want people to remember about you?)
Red Rabbit case study:
Here’s what this exercise looked like for an actual client, Red Rabbit. Red Rabbit is a food company that works with schools to provide meals that are both healthy and tasty—an essential combination, as Michelle Obama recently found out when her school lunch initiative was poorly received by school children. With Red Rabbit, we were brought in to develop corporate positioning and marketing messaging based on it.
- – Who is Red Rabbit? Red Rabbit is an innovative NYC-based company that is proud to be at the center of today’s food revolution by solving a critical problem facing administrators, parents and kids: how to eat healthfully at school. From their kitchens, Red Rabbit prepares and delivers thousands of farm fresh, locally-sourced, kid-tested meals—breakfasts, lunches, snacks and suppers—to school children across the Greater New York Area. And they also have an active educational program that brings the healthy eating message to kids and parents alike.
- – Problem statement: Today’s school lunch and meal programs do not offer healthy, high quality, well-made food options. Research shows that healthy kids are high performing kids. We created Red Rabbit to provide these options to school administrators, educators, parents and kids.
- – What is your differentiating concept? Our food is not only high quality and made from scratch, it is kid-tested & approved! It is not only good for kids—but tastes great. Our meals are not only evaluated by chefs, nutritionists and pediatricians but also by the toughest critics: kids!
- – What is your value proposition? Provides parents, school administrators and educators the peace of mind that their kids are getting high quality and nutritionally superior meals that can make them higher performing; provides kids with great tasting meals typically not found in school meals.
- – What are your three (don’t have more than three, people will not remember more than three) marketing messages?
1. Our food is made from scratch and approved by the toughest critics—Kids!
2. We live, work and source our food locally.
3. Our quality customer service ensures every school’s satisfaction (i.e. we take the stress & mess out of school meal service!).
Try the exercise out for yourself and see how it will help you develop a unified marketing strategy. If you’re having trouble answering the questions, try the ideation techniques we talked here about last month!