"Why do brand positioning?"
I'm often asked this question, and one of my favorite answers is to explain how brand positioning is like protein. But to get there, we need to take a step back.
The first question is, "Why do marketing?" The answer is, essentially, that marketing
fuels growth. In this way, marketing is like calories – people need caloric fuel for forward movement and growth.
Then we can ask, "Why do brand positioning?" And the answer is that marketing's purpose is to
fuel growth – and a rigorous brand positioning strategy can ensure the integrity and sustainability of that growth.
Just as protein builds muscle
for long-term performance, brand positioning makes your marketing fuel more powerful, more sustainable.
Marketing drives demand, regardless of whether the demand that is created is good or bad. For example, you can always drop a coupon or discount your price. That's a quick way to drive demand, but in the long term, that commoditizes your product and eats into your margin.
Coupons, price discounts – that's like sugar. You get a quick rush, then you crash. It's not sustainable. Strategically, a company that must grow in a quarter to hit a fundraising milestone might opt to overindex on carbs, much as a speed runner would do leading up to a race. While a brand that has been around a long time and wants to build long-lasting loyalty and delight might overindex on protein, much like a bodybuilder who wants to build more muscle.
A strong brand positioning steers your marketing toward high-integrity, sustainable growth. Marketing gives you calories to ingest so that you have energy. Brand positioning ensures a quality balance of those calories – a strategic combination of protein, carbs and fat. So that you not only have energy now, you have a healthy body – that is, business – for years to come.