Think of positioning your brand in the market like an acupuncturist finding that one point with a needle that hits the right spot & location on your body. If you are able to hit the right spot or location on the body; that one needle triggers a positive response in your whole system. This is the foundation to create your brand. You need to find your “right spot” or “position” within the market. Positioning is one idea, that your customers & clients associate your name with.
The position is very powerful and it is one of the tools in the marketing strategy of a successful business. In another blog, I stated that “You cannot be trying to create to a Rolls Royce Company on the outside while you are driving a beat up old Chevy”. The two need to match (Inside & Outside)!
Many in the industry try to be something they will never be. In creating your position, it is not about how great you think you are; it is what your customers or clients view you as. Some companies in this industry think they are a high-level company in a quality of service and price, but behind the scenes within the industry, everyone knows they are dysfunctional and have poor service. When I look at their web sites, they are designed about who ‘they’ think they are vs. what ‘their clients think about them.’ I sadly think they are delusional and just quietly laugh and shake my head. There are many in the Executive Protection Industry that operate this way.
Many times companies create these big positioning statements, mission statements and vision statements, that become meaningless because no one in their company knows they exist and they become just words on a piece of paper or on a web site. They have never even trained nor re-trained their employees to let them know who they are and what they stand for. It is not embedded in the “Employees DNA.” They also overanalyze and make huge statements that are not very creative such as, “We are the Best Bodyguard Company in the World.” There are about 8000 security firms in the US and I would bet that many of them have similar claims on their web sites.
Everyone thinks they are the best, but very few in the industry run their businesses to the level of a ‘true’ high-quality company. I know; I have worked for many of them and have met with at least eight companies over the years in an effort to possibly acquire them. All of them were run poorly.
Consumers today have so much overload of being sent marketing material, social media, sales calls, and advertisements. So I am suggesting to create your position, by keeping it simple and based on a single idea.
It is not about gun pictures, repelling out of helicopters, targets with bullets all in the ten ring, pictures of celebrities on your web site, nor pictures of you and the client at a movie premiere. I could go on and on about this ad infinitum. I could write a blog on just this issue alone. You may think it is cool, but in actuality, it is meaningless to clients. They are not interested in what gun you carry nor what degree Black Belt you are.
The position is nothing more than basing your positioning statement on sound business principles. Consumers are looking for that ‘one idea’ that connects and resonates with them. Forget about your company when creating your positioning and brand. Work backwards from the client / customer; to the service model that resonates with the marketing target.
The goal is to build an emotional connection with the client / customer, that every time there is a security need, they keep coming back to you. If there is no emotional connection between you & the client, it is just a financial transaction; or, they are just shopping for price, which is a big part of the security industry.
Some final thoughts:
- Create something unique to the market.
- Create a specific idea that means something vs., “just being words on paper.”
- Create a singular idea that when your customer / client sees or hears about it; they will undoubtedly say, “That is you!”
- Find one idea and stick to that one idea. Don’t bounce around and try to be many things.
- Everyone that thinks they are the best, but it does not work in positioning / marketing. It is not about you!
- Remember when you create the one idea, it has to be ‘what your customers think of you; not what you think you are.’
- Work backwards from the client / customer to your service.
- Be creative. I recently started building a luxury entity to my company. It took 4 months just to create the logo, tagline, and to co-brand it with WPG. It was vetted by my Wharton and SDA Bocconi Business School Professors, as well as my classmates in a Strategic Management of Luxury Businesses course.
- Do not try to imitate what your competitors are doing.
- Be yourself not someone you are not.