Posts tagged "B2B Positioning"

Are You Positioned as one of Few Credible Substitutes in Your Market?

June 28th, 2010 Posted by Positioning 0 thoughts
Image of business trying to determine its positioning strategy

In today’s economy, no one wants to turn away business. But smart marketers are positioning themselves to do just that.

Most companies fall into the trap of positioning the company as broadly as possible, trying to be relevant to the broadest number of potential purchasers. That way, any lead or inquiry has opportunity. But this approach creates a broad range of lead quality and makes you chase nearly every lead, eating up large amounts of time and money. And as you try to close that business, you’ll be competing as a generalist. You’ll fight hard to get on the short list; you’ll be competing with other generalists and with specialists. (more…)

Steer Clear of Price-Only Positioning

June 23rd, 2010 Posted by Positioning 0 thoughts

In another life, I worked in automotive marketing. A domestic brand. Every time the market tanked, the client, along with their domestic rivals, would predictably do the inevitable. Slap on rebates, trump one another’s incentives, slash prices, sweeten the deal, give away the store, compromise the brand and train customers already accustomed to never paying the asking price to never pay anything close-ever again. (I know. There’s a history of other complex dynamics at work here as well.) Nevertheless, any bump in the road and they squandered what brand integrity they had left to chase market share at almost any cost-and we all know what the painful outcome has been.

But you’d never do that, right? Let’s get real. (more…)

B2B Selling. It’s About Relationships, Right?

August 17th, 2009 Posted by B2B Selling 11 thoughts

In short, no.

Growing your existing business with a particular customer or client may very well be about cultivating the relationship, but getting customers in the first place is not. While relationships with referral sources can lead to referrals, relationships with prospects will often only create a sale if everything else is equal.

Consider the following scenario. A prospect you would really like to land is doing business with another company like yours. Common wisdom suggests the first thing to do is establish a relationship with the prospect. Let him get to know your company. Get some face time. Build some trust. Then, you’ll get an opportunity to quote or present a proposal.

So you send him something. You have a telephone conversation. Engage in social media activities. Get a meeting. Have lunch. Take him golfing. (more…)

Why Rebranding Often Fails

July 27th, 2009 Posted by Positioning 1 thought

As competition heats up and sales start to stagnate, companies often seek to breathe new life into the brand through rebranding. In all too many cases, however, those expensive rebranding efforts fail to yield the desired business results. Here are some of the key reasons why rebranding often fails. More than executional mistakes that blunt the effectiveness of rebranding efforts, these are critical errors that almost always lead to failure.

Lack of True Change

Sure, sometimes rebranding is done solely to sharpen the image of a company or brand; periodically things need to be freshened up. However, unless you operate in the world of packaged goods, don’t expect great things from launching some new designs and fresh copy.

Rebranding signals change. A new image will cause people to take a fresh look at you—and people’s primary motivation in taking a new look is to see what’s changed. If you’re the same old place dressed up in new wrapping and ribbons, you’ll merely confirm the existing position you own in their minds. You’ll have wasted a valuable opportunity to change their perceptions. There are only so many times your prospects are going to reconsider you. Use them wisely. (more…)

You Want to Position Your Brand “Righteously”? It May Not be Your Call.

September 9th, 2008 Posted by Positioning 0 thoughts

Years ago I was exposed to a psychographic segmentation model developed by Dr. John Cragan, at that time a Professor of Communications at Illinois St. University. By the time my colleagues and I became involved with Dr. Cragan and his model, it had be tested and applied in a number of B2B categories. Most importantly, the tests and applications validated that the approach was, in fact, purchase behavior predictive. That was important because the most recognized segmentation model of those times, VALS, developed by Stanford Research Institute, was lifestyle focused and with no direct correlation to buying styles. The same was true of Young & Rubicam’s Cross Cultural Consumer Characterizations model for global application. But Cragan was different.

Dr. Cragan posited and proved that there were essentially three different buying styles (although there could be also be permutations, with one style being primary and another having some degree of complementary influence). Those three buying styles were: (more…)

Would Ebert and Roeper Give your Positioning a “Thumbs Up?”

July 29th, 2008 Posted by Positioning 0 thoughts

I saw a headline on CNN that made me laugh the other day. It said “Ebert and Roeper to leave ‘Ebert and Roeper.’” Boy, I’ll bet that show will never be the same!

Clearly, a B2B company isn’t a TV show. But this little news item might be a good excuse to do a little reviewing of your own. Exactly how deep does your company’s positioning really go? Is it a something everyone in the organization believes in and can recite on cue, or does it depend on the performance of the lead actors and a small supporting cast? It’s not uncommon for a B2B company to define itself by the personality and style of the executive(s) at the top. (more…)

The Wisdom of Crowds?

March 10th, 2008 Posted by Positioning 0 thoughts

Look all too familiar to you?

Getting input from advisors is important. And necessary. But chiseling and rounding your positioning until it pleases everyone inside the company ensures it won’t mean much to anyone outside the company. (more…)

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