The fear of positioning. A narrow focus creates opportunities. To broaden your appeal, narrow your position. Halo effects. People in services fear positioning because standing for one thing will limit their appeal. But it doesn’t work that way as people associate one positive thing with many other good things. Say one positive thing and you will become associated with many. No two services are the same. History shows that everything can be made different and human beings are different. Prospects perceive services as different. Identify, communicate and create new ones which are essential to marketing. If you can’t see the difference in your service, look harder.
Position yourself as the market leader. You can focus your message and your effort which can influence your position, but your position is your place and your prospects put you there. You can take your position and turn it to your benefit. Leverage the position you have. A statement of position is how you are perceived in the minds of prospects. It is your position which states how you wish to be perceived and the core message you want to deliver of the perception of your service. Establish your position statement by answering: who – who are you, what – what business are you in, for whom, what people do you service, what need – what are the special needs of the people you serve, against whom – with whom are you competing, what’s different – what makes you different from those competitors and what’s the benefit – what unique benefit does a client derive from your service. Ask yourself these questions and have good clear answers.
How to narrow the gap between your position and your positioning statement. The wider the gap between your position and statement, the harder you must push. The anchoring principle warns you that most people get anchored to your initial positioning and will not accept the new position if it is too wide. Jump from one lily pad to the next as customers won’t make the leap. Keep your steps small. Define your long-term goals and make sure they are goals and not positioning statements. If you do not have a focus, you may not have a business.
Focus and the Clinton campaign. Clinton’s campaign turned around when he mentioned the economy and repeatedly spoke to the public. Despite his behavior and mistrust at one point, he turned his campaign around. He focused and focus wins.
Avoid the deadly middle. A high priced provider is assumed to provide the best service. If you price in the middle, you are saying you are not the best, you are good but just average. Beware of the deadly middle. People can always find a cheaper way to get your service. In many services, the product of the service has become a commodity, but talent and thought is worth a lot. Value is not a position and is what every service promises and is fundamental to survival. Value is a given.
If you need a name for your service start with your own. Many fortune 500 companies pay big money for a name. It provides a first impression and first impressions count. In service marketing, nothing beats a brand. A brand is a warranty and a promise that the service carrying that brand will live up to its name and perform. The brand is the closest thing to a guarantee because many services are hard to warrant. A service is a promise and building a brand builds your promise. The most desireable services are those who keep their promises, the integrity of the company and its employees. A service can fail if it doesn’t keep its promises. Invest in and preach integrity – the heart of your brand. Word of mouth spreads to potential prospects. Make selling easier, faster and cheaper by building a brand and never underestimate the value of your brand or the difficulty in creating a new one. A brand is money.
Communicating and selling. Services are intangible and communications make services more tangible and give prospects something to evaluate. We trust brands but are far less trusting about most services. Make the service visible and the prospect comfortable. Your greatest competitor is not your competition it is indifference. Say one thing and have the strongest message. Meet your market’s very first need, give it one good reason and after you say one thing repeat it again. Build your case. Saying you offer great service will never work. You must document it and communicate it.
Being great versus being good. Prospects do not buy how good you are at what you do, they buy how good you are at who you are. Superiority is not a prerequisite. Most of us don’t utilize someone who is the very best, we look for someone who is good. Convey you are positively good. People judge your service by what they see. What do your visibles say about what the invisible thing you are trying to sell. Watch what you show. Make the invisible visible. Potential buyers are hesitant to consider things they cannot see so they emphasize what they can see. As a result, visual symbols of a service become important. People will visualize their business with the person behind it. Prospects look for a visual clue about a service. Provide clues so people see who you are.
Service marketers must create visual surroundings that will enhance the client’s perspective of quality. It sends a powerful clue about your service. This influence goes to the very heart of your product and the relationship with your client. Watch and perfect the visual clues you send. One word can define your service or product. Words can be the ultimate weapons and shape reality. Sometimes it’s all in how you say it. The vividness effect. Prospects put great value in recent information in making their buying decisions and are also influenced by vivid information. Find many ways to be vivid. Make yourself vivid as you cannot bore someone into buying your product. Advertising is publicity so advertise. Focus on buying, not selling. Good marketing must focus on the buying. Make your service easy to buy.