Positioning is more returns for less headache!

Positioning is about setting yourself apart from the rest- in "usage" terms.
Positioning is about setting yourself apart from the rest- in “usage” terms.
The focus of this blog is to connect the dots- from how we evolved as a species- acquired language and how we use it to communicate today.

Positioning is the pinnacle of all communication- like the six-pack abs of body constitution. Everyone would love to have it- but its not easy to achieve and maintain.

Positioning is more returns for less headache!

In our “overcommunicated universe”, no brand or person or institution, has the luxury of being indecisive- hence the need for a sharp positioning (the process of identifying an appropriate market niche for a product, service or brand and getting it established it in that market)

When most entrepreneurs/organisations/marketers hear the word “positioning,” they think “very big brands.”

They lament that they cannot lose some of their customers, because ‘positioning’ makes it look as though they’re interested in only a ‘certain kind’ of customer.

Nothing could be farther from the truth, and it’s actually quite the opposite.

It is true that bigger brands have a little more ‘room for error’ than smaller businesses- but if any business should write a brand positioning, it is the small business or an entrepreneur or an organisation that’s looking to strengthen its position in the marketplace. It doesn’t cost a dime to write one, and it could save hours of time and enormous resources.

For one simple reason: focus.

Positioning is more returns for less headache!

Focus is a companies’ best friend, and a well-crafted brand positioning can bring greater focus than ever before. Simply put pen to paper and add some clarity to your activities- and share this with your agency-

You have to decide-

a. who is the most profitable target customer (80% revenue)

b. who is the definitive business to compete with (parallel offerings)

c. what you can best bring to the marketplace (what your customers come to you for?)

d. how to connect emotionally (what do your customers feel when they interact with you- relief from pain? Break from hunger? Time saved? Convenience? In safe hands? Protected?)

Once you know what ‘value’ to bring to mind, its very easy for you to figure out everything else. In the short term, it may appear that you’re losing customers- in the long term, you will be spending far lesser money- by targeting your communication- to people who ‘have use for it.’

Your positioning is a gift of prioritization that no other document can give you.

Your brand-positioning statement can give you the clarity you need to move your business forward. And yes, always remember that positioning is not about being “stuck”. Within your core positioning, you evolve to be consistent with a changing world.

We are closest to chimpanzees among the four apes.  

Picture courtesy: http://ohmygodfacts.com/7-interesting-chimpanzee-facts/2/

A human hemoglobin molecule differs from its chimpanzee counterpart in only a single amino acid.
A human hemoglobin molecule differs from its chimpanzee counterpart in only a single amino acid.

The study of positioning cannot be complete without understanding how we interpret and use language.

The study of how we acquired language cannot be complete without understanding how we evolved.

Anthropologists across the world have made the task of a learner like me easier. They have done all the hardwork and I am only proposing some theories. In bullet points, with more references and gratitude than I can possibly express- heres a critical view to our evolution.

  1. Considerable controversy exists about the identity of the first hominoid.
  2. Studies of ape DNA have explained a great deal about how the living apes evolved. The Asian apes evolved first. The line of apes leading to gibbons diverged from other apes about 15 million years ago, while orangutans split off about 10 million years ago (see figure 23.3). Neither are closely related to humans.
  3. The African apes evolved more recently, between 6 and 10 million years ago. These apes are the closest living relatives to humans; some taxonomists have even ad-vocated placing humans and the African apes in the same zoological family, the Hominidae
  4. We are closest to the chimpanzees, than any other kind of ape. This is well-established. Based on genetic differences, scientists estimate that gorillas diverged from the line lead-ing to chimpanzees and humans some 8 million years ago.
  5. What is particularly bizarre, is that because this split was so recent, the genes of humans and chimpanzees have not had time to evolve many genetic differences. For example, a human hemoglobin molecule differs from its chimpanzee counterpart in only a single amino acid. In general, humans and chimpanzees exhibit a level of genetic similarity normally found between closely related sibling species of the same genus.
  6. The common ancestor of apes and hominids is thought to have been an arboreal climber. Much of the subsequent evolution of the hominoids reflected different approaches to locomotion. Hominids became bipedal, walking up-right, while the apes evolved knuckle-walking, supporting their weight on the back sides of their fingers

When you are bipedal, a major part of the weight of your body is supported by your feet.

This alters many things, the gait, the relative position of the head to the rest of the body, the extensive freedom that the forelimbs (hands get) to accomplish other things rather than just support locomotion.

Seen over a few hundred years, each attribute contributes to a unique aspect of our evolution.