Why CEOs are the keepers of strategic positioning

Is your positioning broken? Is your story unclear or confusing?

No problem. Hold a workshop.

Gather a few people, sticky notes, and a whiteboard.

Within a few hours, you’ll have new positioning.

Problem solved.

Workshops are fun, but they aren’t how positioning is developed.

At best, workshops produce one point of view from limited inputs.

It’s like dipping a toe in the water instead of diving into the deep end.

Creating a clear positioning that supports marketing, sales, recruitment, and fundraising involves:

  • Engaging multiple stakeholders: employees (up and down the organization, not just the C-suite), customers, ex-customers, prospects, partners, and investors.
  • An in-depth audit of the competition to discover their strengths, weaknesses, and positioning.
  • Industry research to identify key trends and what’s emerging over the horizon.
  • Strategic thinking on how to position your company and product. It could be focused on low prices (Walmart)quality (Chipotle), speed (Domino’s), customer service (Zappos), performance (Nike), etc.
  • Testing to determine if the new positioning resonates with the people who matter.

Companies with clear positioning will have more effective marketing and sales and will outflank the competition. Companies with weak positioning will have trouble connecting with customers.

CEOs need to ensure that positioning is a corporate asset, not a liability.  And the CEO has to oversee or, at least, ensure that positioning is scrutinized on a regular basis (e.g. quarterly).

If you’re looking for help with positioning, let’s talk. In the meantime, here’s a free DIY guide (ungated, of course!) to positioning.

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