Brand positioning is the most important decision you’ll make when branding your startup so that your startup will become famous the way you envision it could. Ironically it’s the most challenging decision I guide entrepreneurs through.
Positioning is about why customers will choose you above the competition. In this step, we will discover who you want to attract and why your product or service is truly unique. When I start this conversation with clients they often tell me, “we have the best quality,” “we offer the best customer service,” “we are the best,” “we are the most unique.”
Here we need to dig much deeper than words like “best,” “quality,” “unique” and “customer service.” We need to get specific about you and your business. It’s time to be brave.
As a startup you can’t afford a target market, what you need is a clearly articulated competitive advantage and an ideal client to sell it to. Finding this narrow focus (to start with) will help you intensionally build your reputation. It will shape what people say about you and how they spread the word. “Chilwin is the straight–talking lawyer that helps tech startups,” “Dr.Dani helps the busy modern woman with digestive problems.”
Your startup will stand out when you’re brave about what you sell and who you sell it to. Typically, people try to be all things for all people in hopes of getting some customers. When infact you need to be brave enough to avoid certain groups. By focusing on the customers you want to serve, you concentrate your energy where it needs to be. It’s ok to exclude certain customers. Sometimes we have to say “no” to make room for saying “yes.”
When you’re just launching your niche it should be uncomfortably narrow. I say this because most often it makes my client feel uncomfortable. If you want to sell to people between the ages of 30 to 60 you’ll need to get way more narrow. Instead, I’d like you to imagine if you could only speak to one client. How old is this person? Are they male or female? What lifestyle choices do they make? Where do they shop? This doesn’t mean you will only have one customer or that you will be limited to this narrow niche forever, but it’s how you will ignite your presence in the market.
Imagine you’re building a fire. Would you start with the biggest log? If you did, would the fire burn? Likely not. You’re common sense tells you to start with a small fire and then build it bigger once it was already burning. The same methodology applies to your igniting your market. Start small, with the right ingredients and then gradually build the fire from there. You follow?
Gabrielle Bernstein is a writer, vlogger, speaker and coach who is quickly becoming the next generation Oprah. She openly shares her personal journey of leaving behind addictions and moving towards a healthy spiritual life.
Her books “Spirit Junkie” and “Adding more ‘ing to your life” speaks to the style–conscious 30–something woman seeking more out of life. Gabby openly shares her life experiences, talking about spirituality in a way that is most relevant to the next generation of women.
Gabby doesn’t worry about speaking to everyone even though baby boomers and professional men might be drawn to her too. Instead she focuses her conversations for her fast growing gal–pal–tribe. While you may think this approach is limiting her growth, it didn’t stop Google from having her do speaking gig for their employees.
That’s the power that happens when you step into your authenticity and get brave about who you are. You become famous for something specific and you attract like-minded customers.