How to Position Your Business As Essential During Uncertain Times
When industries fall on hard times, a company’s natural reaction is to cut costs. To make sure your offering doesn’t end up on the chopping block, you need to position your offer as essential. This means adapting your lead generation strategies and messaging to what’s relevant and tailoring content to how it best serves your target market opportunities.
Why You Need To Pivot Your Position Strategy Now
Let’s start with: what does it mean to ‘position’ a business as essential?
Timing is more important than ever right now as budgeting decisions are being made in hours or days in order to keep the companies you’re marketing to out of the red. You want to strategize before you resort to low prices or other setbacks. That’s why you need to act now to create effective positioning and value proposition.
The goal is to make yourself critical to your client’s success- something they definitely don’t want to cut. Instead of becoming irrelevant, you want clients and prospects to see that you’re on the ball and can give them exactly what they need the most right now.
Unfortunately, this may very well mean cuts to your own budget as you refocus to align with present needs. It may not be easy, but the companies that will be thriving six months, a year, or several years from now will be the ones that took action early on.
How To Create a New Product Position
As a marketer, creating a new brand positioning strategy doesn’t mean scrapping everything, it means re-evaluating what you have and re-framing it in a way that makes it essential to your target audience and relevant to the current environment and demographics.
This can be just as much for new prospects as it is for existing customers. It’s time to really make sure your clients really understand your USP and UVP and why your product or service is something that they should start or continue to utilize.
There are several approaches that can help you adjust key elements of your marketing plan but what you really need to do is to “read the room” and quickly transition to messaging that supports your customers and prospects’ current needs so you can support them best where they’re at today.
The following are a few questions you must ask yourself to adjust your positioning.
How Does Your Offering Solve Customer Pain Points Today?
This requires some market research to determine how to best frame your brand position around what is most beneficial to potential customers. Your messaging through marketing efforts should educate the customer on why they need you today, not yesterday so that you can maintain a competitive advantage.
For example, if you are a staffing agency, you might need to adapt your marketing message to how you can support remote work needs and how many industries are still in need of qualified candidates to work from home.
How Does Your Offering Balance Pricing and Value?
Pricing in business strategy and marketing messages is a delicate balance. Lowering your prices to gain market share may not help you meet revenue goals, and you run the chance that your new customer will view your product or service as less valuable than it should be.
So, you need to determine where you fall in this spectrum, and balance pricing with unique value in your brand positioning statement to be able to help your target customers as well as your own business to survive.
The best way to solve this issue is to price your services based on the value you bring to the table and the impact your offering will have on the customer’s bottom line. And this is an ongoing process.
You should always be trying to add high-quality value to clients as opposed to selling or marketing to them. With this approach, they are far more likely to see you as indispensable as opposed to being off-put by your pricing and approach.
Consider Whether or Not You Should Change Your ICP
A parallel exercise you should run while you’re working through your messaging is to re-evaluate your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). If ICP is a new term for you, then think of this as the segment of customers who would be best for your business right now. As the market changes, so may your ICP.
For example, if you’re selling customer engagement software to small businesses, and a recession occurs, for repositioning, you may need to update your ICP to include mid-market or enterprise companies because your research shows that customer churn will be lower if you move “upmarket.”
With your new ICP identified, now you can adjust marketing materials and messaging. While this is just an example, it’s indicative of the kind of positioning process that will keep you from drastically falling behind in sales.
What’s the Competition Doing?
Another aspect of an effective market positioning strategy is to examine how your competition is adapting to the changing horizon. If there isn’t significant differentiation, you already have a leg up on their position strategy. If they’re adjusting, watch what they’re doing and plan to differentiate in your own adjusted messaging.
Retailers for example, while outdoor outfitter L.L. Bean closed their retail facilities in the wake of their states’ non-essential mandates, they have kept business moving by transitioning into creating medical face masks out of products they already have in their manufacturing facilities. Although medical face masks are not part of their brand identity.
Bella Canvas Alo Yoga has also done the same. Both of these companies recognized what’s on the customers’ minds, and stepped up to make it happen. In response, many of their other competitors have taken to similar strategies and messaging. As a business, when it comes to competition, uniqueness is crucial.
Examples of Companies Who Position their Brand Well
Apple is literally a textbook example of a strong marketing position strategy. Apple is known for creating beautifully designed and innovative technology that is entirely unique from all other similar products on the market. They know what customers want and how to resonate with them.
Amazon is another fantastic example of a company positioning its brand. Amazon began as a book-selling company online. Jeff Bezos, at the time the CEO of Amazon, saw in consumers’ minds that they wanted an online store that extended beyond selling books online but all products imaginable.
Implementing New Brand Strategies
Once you’ve adapted your messaging and created clear differentiators, you have to implement them into your strategy. Whatever route you take, you should focus your messaging around solving the problems of today, being essential, and being relevant.
Creating a new brand strategy is more of a shift than it is starting from scratch. You already have the messages and campaigns in place; you just need to figure out how to adapt existing email marketing, blogging, social media, ads, etc to your new focus.
You should also be considering new content categories and keywords to add to your existing repertoire. Some of these may be similar, but slight changes in messaging can allow you to cast a wider net.
Be sure to revisit your funnels and map your new SEO topics to the right funnel stages so you aren’t missing out on segments prime for conversion. This is a simple and effective way to find the overlaps between existing campaigns while also introducing your new strategies.
What’s Next For Your Marketing Strategy?
Re-framing your position and moving your marketing budget around to the campaigns that produce the most ROI are your best chances for survival and better understanding within customers’ minds. If you need more help with successful positioning, we created a webinar to help you take action now.
Check out 12 Ways to Reallocate Your Marketing Budget to Drive Growth and Save Money so you can roll out your new campaign cost-effectively.
Topics: B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing