Norman Ng

Branding = Positioning, Positioning, Positioning.

In Communications Strategy, Reputation Management on September 7, 2011 at 11:40

The realtor marketing properties would tell you that it’s all about Location, Location, Location. Drawing reference to that, in PR / MarComm terms, we ought to perceive branding / reputation management in terms of Positioning, Positioning, Positioning of People, Services and Organisation.Get this formula right, and it’s route 66 to the tune of the Forbes / Fortune listings.

Why is this important? Because you’ve giving potential stakeholders good opportunities to deeply understand what you represent, and to what extent you can deliver their specific needs, focusing your persuasion at every nook and cranny, from your People, your Services, and your Organisation. So here’s the beef:

“Service” Positioning – I think the key question here on a client’s mind is,”will it work?” Remember, stakeholders and pitching their resources in the open, looking for the best bang for the buck, so your services must, in no uncertain terms, convince them on why you are Faster, Better or Cheaper, as compared to your competitors. Give them a comparison, help them make objective decisions. If you can provide technical specification variances, good. If you can get other client endorsement, better still, since a majority of people believe more in 3rd party endorsement rather than advertising. I love BLENDTEC‘s “Will It Blend” series of viral social media videos on its shocking blending prowess – from golf balls to iPads (RIP). I’m 100% persuaded of its functionality. No doubt. Therefore, in service positioning, its all about the efficiency / effectiveness model, use the Faster, Cheaper, Better pitch, it’s likely to get you quite a fair mileage on persuasion points.

“People” Positioning – Credibility is key, because stakeholders need to know whether you’ve the right level of expertise and knowledge and skills to manage their issues / challenges. And we’re not talking merely about what academic / employment histories you have, but rather, how have you solved challenges in the past? Stakeholders want to be confident about you as a credible choice, they want to know if you can give them the “Aha” moments.

So having an Ivy League degree may sound good, working for Fortune 500 companies starts to raise eyebrows, but converting $20,000 in startup capital to annual revenues exceeding half a billion, from selling household water filters to present day global environmental solutions from Algeria to India is another. The lattermost case is none other than Hyflux Ltd. It says Olivia Lum, its CEO turn companies around, it says she bring value to shareholders, it screams CREDIBILITY. So the next time you assemble a team of folks to snag that $100 million contract, don’t forget to put your people first, share how they have, and can deliver value to stakeholders.

“Organizational” Positioning: Lastly, organisation. This point articulates the “integrative” elements of your organisation which combines the human talent / expertise, and professional service capabilities, all under one roof. It about giving stakeholders good reasons to form perceptions that you are a reliable partner of choice, because you harness the ability to synchronise your value proposition and resources that best delivers their needs. Again, endorsements are always good persuasion elements. Whether its former customers or employees, it adds up to a more compelling picture that you are indeed the right choice.

Branding is a thoroughly fundamental issue. Stakeholders are on the constant lookout for solutions that most effectively / efficient gets the job done. And by incorporating the 3 Positioning strategies on People, Services and Organization, you too, can reap the rewards of favorable brand equity and corporate reputation.

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