What is Positioning?

I attended the Growing Your Own Business show at London’s Olympia today. To be honest the exhibition wasn’t great, unless you want to buy into a franchise, which by the way is an excellent route into business if you’re struggling for ideas.

Part of the show included a presentation theatre where I listened to Jeremy Martin talking about his sports drink business ‘For Goodness Shakes’. Having never seen or heard of the product or brand, it was a weak case study, although an entertaining presentation.

However, Jeremy did run a great workshop afterwards all about positioning and I want to share his ideas with you.

First of all, what is positioning? Jeremy defined it as “what your customers think your product is”, later elaborated to “what you want your customers to think your product is”. In other words, how you want to be perceived.

He used the example of Ryan Air and how its position is being like a flying bus rather than an airline. This is designed to make you more comfortable with the low price and minimal service and sets RyanAir’s place in the market place, relative to its competitors – Easyjet, BMI Baby etc.

So what can you take away from this?

Positioning is an essential ingredient of your brand promise. When you define your brand, what it looks like etc, take the step first of thinking what you want your customers to think your product is. (To be even more effective you really should identify what needs your target market has first, then identify your position). This will then help you to set the guidelines for your brand.

The Ryan Air example is good. Jeremy’s own product is positioned as a sports recovery shake, which works with his target audience. I haven’t tried it yet, but I surely will now – thanks for a good workshop Jeremy. (What a good example of the value of PR).