Where does positioning happen?

Compass.jpgOne of the most popular marketing buzzwords that gets tossed around is “Positioning.” Here’s a way to spot those who really understand positioning and have done their marketing homework versus someone who’s just playing buzzword bingo and trying to impress you.

If they talk about “positioning” as something that is done to the product, they are not as well informed as they’d like you to believe. According to the authors who practically coined the term as it relates to marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout, positioning takes place not in the market, but in the mind of the customer. They said positioning is about owning a word or concept in the mind of the customer or prospect. 

Consider the following examples. Volvo owns the word “Safety,” FedEx owns the term “Overnight Delivery,” and McDonald’s owns the concept of “Fast Food” in the minds of the customers.

Positioning takes place not in the marketplace, but in the mind of the customer! What word do you want to own?

In real estate it’s ‘location, location, location.’ In business, it’s ‘differentiate, differentiate, differentiate.'” – Robert Goizueta, former CEO of Coca-Cola