The way your company and brand was positioned before COVID-19 is likely not as effective.
How you communicated with prospects and customers now needs, in many cases, to be overhauled.
COVID has changed your customer’s needs, goals, and priorities. They’re questioning and rearranging their priorities. What they buy and why has changed overnight.
The best marketing puts the customers in the center of everything. It is about their interests and needs, not about your product.
But before COVID, many companies leveraged a product-centric approach. It was flawed but not fatal because the rising economic tide raised all ships, even the ones not tapped into their customers.
Now, if you’re not laser-focused on solving your customers’ problems, you are dead on arrival. Dramatic? Yes. Inaccurate? No.
B2B Brands need insight and knowledge about who really matters.
They need to make heavy investments to learn and truly understand what their customers want, how they feel, and what’s important. How has their view of the world changed? Is it business as usual or has the business been turned upside down?
While companies are anxious to make things happen (publish content, host Webinars, advertise), it is a waste of time and money if you don’t revisit and refresh your brand positioning.
In simple terms, positioning clearly aligns your products and their unique attributes with customers’ needs and desires. It positions your product as the best and only choice in a world full of options.
I’ll give you a simple example of how COVID has changed the positioning game. Look at how Peleton has cleverly updated its homepage. “Connected” has different connotations: connected to the community, connected to your workout classes, or connected to your physical and mental health. It’s a lot more effective than simply saying “Stay in Shape at Home” or “The Ultimate Home Gym Machine”
How how does refreshed brand positioning happen?
There are many ways to do it but the keys to success are: being open to new ideas and different prospects AND always thinking about how your positioning connects with customers.
Here is a five-step process to refresh your B2B brand positioning.
Product: Focus on what your product does and how it delivers value. How is your product special or unique? What makes it better than the competition? This step can be a challenge due to internal biases. But true insight happens by being honest and self-critical. Ask your customers how your product delivers value and the reasons they bought it.
Target audiences: Focus on who really matters. Who’s the ideal customer? How is your product used and why do they love it? What’s the buying process and the trigger that spurs them to look for a product like yours? To discover this information, talk to your customers. Talk to ex-customers and prospects. Get insight from your salespeople, customer success, and customer service reps.
Competitive landscape: Every market has fierce competition. There are companies selling similar products at similar prices. And these companies are doing their best to outflank, out-market, and out-sell you. What is their brand positioning? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How are they unique or special? Having insight into how rivals walk and talk makes it easier to craft brand positioning that is different and captures your strengths.
Your Story: With insight about your product, target audiences, and the competitive landscape, it’s time to develop your positioning. Positioning is a powerful statement about why what you do matters, the value delivered, and how it meets the needs of your ideal customers. This is delivered through positioning statements, unique value propositions, elevator pitches, or mission and vision statements.
Launch: Your new and improved brand positioning is ready for launch. Update your Website, marketing, and sales collateral, social media accounts, and presentations to pollinate your brand story.
This is a simplified plan to craft positioning that resonates. As important, positioning sets the stage for B2B marketing success. It offers clear themes and ideas to use on your Website, blog, sales sheets, videos, infographics, and eBooks.
Positioning makes sure your brand story is coherent and consistent and always focused on your customers and how you can best serve them.
Last thoughts: Update your brand positioning on a regular basis to reflect changes in strategic goals, product, market, and competitive landscape. Many companies adopt a set-it-and-forget-it approach and it becomes quickly outdated and out of touch.
I’m an action-oriented marketer who helps B2B brands move faster. I help them brands develop powerful positioning, create strategic plans, and provide tactical oversight that maximizes B2B marketing ROI. Let’s connect for a free 30-minute consultation or send me a DM.
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