Is Your Business a Football Team?

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football-tableA rugby league team has 13 on-field positions, rugby union has 15 positions and AFL has a whopping 18 positions. Your business should only have ONE market position. So, if your business resembles a football team, it’s time to take stock, establish your position, and stick to it.

Position is your strategy’s cornerstone

Position is the cornerstone of marketing strategy: it informs all 9 BoxesTM and it should lead your whole business strategy. Without it your business is offside.

Megan Quinn, founder of Net-a-porter, had a keen understanding and commitment to living her business’s position.  It was this understanding and commitment to “celebrating and respecting their partners and customers” that ensured Net-a-porter distinguished itself from their competitors and joined the less than 0.25% of .coms to survive the boom and bust.

So where do you start?

Position provides the foundation for your revenue-generating activity. Get it right and everything else will fall into place more easily. A positioning strategy will provide a focus for all your marketing decisions.

Look at your market and ask yourself:

  • Where do you sit within your market?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How much do you really know about what your stakeholders and employees think about what you do and how you do it?
  • Does your business have a clear point of differentiation?
  • Who do your customers think you are?

It is this market intelligence that 9 Strategic gains through the Insights program and from it our clients are better able to understand what their position is as opposed to what they think it is.

Make decisions based on your positioning strategy

From entrepreneurial juggernaut Net-a-Porter, through to equally successful but quieter achievers, all successful companies have a clearly defined position upon which they base every one of their business decisions.  No decision is too big, or too small, to be governed by your position.

Indeed, it is almost impossible to develop a client /customer service policy (see last month’s blog article: Churn and Burn: Why Your Business is Dispensable) if you do not have absolute clarity about who your clients or customers are.

Similarly, your market position will inform your product strategy at every turn. Where do you channel your R&D efforts? How do you make your product stand out from everyone else’s? How you set your price?  With a well defined and executed positioning strategy these decisions fall into place and you are on your way to being market-competitive and better able to craft a marketing plan that is strategic, focussed and DELIVERS on your wider business objectives.

Even one of the most challenging aspects of modern business – the attraction and retention of good people – is made easier when you have a well-considered positioning strategy. Attracting new talent is far easier when you are able to articulate who you are and why they should come to work with you, instead of your competitors.

Positioning leads to culture

Knowing your position is a critical first step in developing your business’s vision, values and purpose and this is the cornerstone of creating a business culture you are proud to be a part of and your customers are happy to buy in to.

John Gerzema, U.S. marketing commentator, argued in a recent Ted talk ( that a consequence of the Global Financial Crisis is a new consumer who is far more inclined to be careful about their spending and are looking to a company’s values and culture when making choices about products and services. Companies like Net-a-Porter are making greater efforts to forge a connection with their customers by making it a company-wide mantra to exceed customers expectations. So articulating who you are (or are not) is more important than it has ever been, and that cannot be done without defining your position.

Find out more about how 9 Strategic’s Insights program can help your business discover your position, by calling Nicola Dent-Votier on 0466 980 076, or contacting us via email.