Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Check Your Brand Positioning in 5 Minutes

Understanding brand positioning is very important if you want to correct misconceptions and off-brand opinions of your brand. You may have every intention of analyzing your brand to make sure that it is in a position of strength by participating in scientific research to that end. But first as a litmus test, you might find it useful to do a little under the radar analysis to get a quick feel of your stake holder's opinions regarding your brand positioning. We are going to casually ask them.

The idea for this came from a discussion I had with the CEO of an international architectural firm who were coming to terms with their brand. I asked him just what do they do at his firm? He quickly gave me his take (elevator speech) on the firm's qualifications.
I thanked him and asked if he felt that his employees would answer that question in more or less the same way. He thought that maybe they would, but he wasn't certain. I told him to walk up to the first persons he sees the next time he is at his office and ask them, "What do we do here at ABC Company?" I mentioned that he might be surprised by what he hears. 

Now he was intrigued.

It turns out that he went back to his office and made it into a small project. He assigned a manager to do exactly what I suggested, but on a larger scale. He asked several dozen employees "the question." The answers fed his appetite for a better understanding of how his own people viewed their brand for better or worse. The result of "the question" spurred him on. To finish off this exercise he asked the same question of his 250 shareholders. Most of whom are engineers, and was pleased to discover that their understanding of what the company did was summed up in a hand full of similar words. They got it.

This simple exercise will show you very quickly how strong your brand positioning is and whether it may need updating or not. Of course, you don't have to make it into the kind of exercise I outlined above in my example, but just by asking an innocent question, you can find out an enormous amount of information about your brand. The fact is, nobody ever asks. Your brand just chugs along, swaying back and forth in the marketplace and unless you pull in in for analysis from time to time, you simply fail to recognize when it goes off center.

Don't be afraid to ask. Try it and come back here and let us all know what you've discovered. Do your people get it or does your brand positioning need a little tweeking? Do it today.

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