This is part of a 21-day challenge where I write a small piece about how to do content marketing to get over my writer’s block.
During a typical workday, my colleague, Namitha and I engage in thought-provoking discussions – sometimes about business as usual, but oftentimes about the future of our company and our careers as marketers.
Today’s blog is based on one of those stimulating conversations.
What is Positioning
Positioning is what allows different companies to exist in the same industry.
Positioning is why there are hundreds of moisturisers available, even though they all do the same thing.
Positioning is why there are different supermarkets in your locality, even though they sell very, very similar things.
Positioning is why there is both Apple and Android, even though they are used by people to communicate with each other and use the same social media apps
Listerine vs Scope
Listerine was the industry-leading mouthwash for over four decades. They basically invented the word ‘halitosis’ – a medical term for bad breath. They sold people the image of fresher breaths, and the better lives that come along.
“Listerine kills the germs that cause bad breath,”
Even though people bought the idea, Listerine had a real problem. It was difficult for people to use Listerine – it tasted really bad. Listerine solved this too. They just positioned themselves around this aspect – “The taste you love to hate twice a day”
They acknowledged what they are, and positioned themselves around it.
Now here comes Scope, a direct competitor to Listerine. Want to know how Scope, a new brand, was able to not just create a space for itself in the mouthwash industry, but even overtook Listerine?
They simply positioned themselves as the anti Listerine. Scope was everything that Listerine wasn’t, even though they both did the same thing: helped people get fresher breaths.
Listerine was medical, Scope was nothing but medical.
Listerine tasted awful. Scope tasted good. So this was their tagline: “Fights medicine breath”
Scope became the number 1 selling mouthwash in the world. And Listerine eventually started creating better-tasting products.
It took me a while to understand this, but this is what positioning really is: It is what people remember about you.
You say the same message over and over again, to make people remember that about you. That’s why we know the brands that stand for “Just Do It” and “Finger lickin good” and “I’m lovin it”
Positioning is often very tough because we want to cast a wide net and get as many people as we can! But more often than not, the more specific we are, the more relatable
When I randomly meet someone I went to high school with, one of the first things they ask me is “Are you still writing?” Looking back, that’s how I (subconsciously) positioned myself – participating in writing competitions, spending a lot of time in the library, reading my poetry, engaging in English classes, writing book reviews, all that jazz. We all do this.
Think about this: What do people usually remember about you? How have you positioned your personality through your behaviours, decisions and lifestyle? What is your positioning?
What about your business? What do people talk about you?
Your audience is busy. Make it easier for them to remember things about you. Don’t overwhelm or confuse them with too many messages. Find a niche, stick to it, tell them about it in a simple way. Do it well. They’ll remember you.