Sunday, February 26, 2012

How To Avoid Blurry Positioning

If you find yourself in the role of consultant, how you express that role speaks to your brand. How you position your brand, is what defines it. Ideally you should embrace the services that best show your passion to your audience. I recently had this discussion with a client of mine. Their consulting services were equally divided between two audiences. Essentially the same solutions but to two disciplines. They had a passion for one, and a responsibility to another. This intrigued me.

I wanted to know why they felt it necessary to split their attention between the two. The client felt that because they were two distinct audiences the service should also be split. On the surface, this seems logical, but from a brand perspective it divides the message. In order for your brand to stand out, it should have a singular thrust. The more fractured the message the larger the risk of confusing your audience. You really want to fine tune your discipline. Choosing one strong direction absolutely focuses your consultancy. I advised my client to choose the avenue where they were most passionate. I felt that that would be the most powerful. They would also enjoy themselves more. And shouldn't you have fun in your business?

I showed them that if they embraced their passion and put all their energies is succeeding in that area, their clients who are entrepreneurs would by nature bring their other businesses into the fold.They would get all their business naturally. Initially, my client felt that targeting the two areas was the better strategy, but now focusing on their passion gave delivered their ultimate goal more organically. It was also a more honest and natural approach. My client is now much more focused and excited to take their brand in a distinct direction. Compared to their competition, they are no longer a generalized service but a differentiated one. They will be seen as a strong leader in a category populated by generalists.

All too often businesses feel the urge to be all things to all people. This is fine when you have the customer through the door. But the process leading up to that awareness is a little more refined. In order to capture new business, you've got to distribute a message that resonates and gets them to notice you. This is where branding shines if done properly. Strategically. Keeping focus pays off. Avoid the temptation to sell everything all at once. One caveat of this strategy is that if you forget to mention it - you don't do it. And for every service mentioned you also invite competition for that that service. Focus the message reduces the competition and delivers your brand powerfully.

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