SBM 101: The Art of Positioning

rows of different applesSmall Business Marketing 101Did you ever notice that there aren’t many music stores around? It used to be you could run to the mall where there would be a music store that sold almost any album around. They even sold posters, music books, and all sorts of memorabilia. And now, almost all of those stores are gone.

Online businesses came along and wiped out stores like this almost over night. Why? The truth of the matter is that few of these retail businesses did much to remain relevant. So when Amazon showed up offering a great selection at an excellent price, consumers made the switch in a hurry.

There are still small music stores around. Here in Utah, we have a small franchise called Graywhale CD Exchange. They are a cool little shop that specializes in exchanging your old CDs for new ones. They then turn around and sell our old ones for profit. They are great little shops with knowledgeable staff and the key to their success has been their willingness to find ways to stay relevant and position themselves within the marketplace in such a way that allows them to be profitable.

Are you doing things to differentiate your business from your competitors? Have you found unique ways to stand out and remain relevant with your customers?

I’d like to keep this post short and sweet. There are literally dozens and dozens of books on differentiation and positioning. However, one of the best books on the subjects is called “BE DiFFERENT or be dead” (amazon affiliate link) by Roy Osing. In his book, Roy introduces one of the simplest and most effective ways of thinking about differentiation. He calls it your “only” statement. It might look a little like this:

  • We are the only marketing agency with expertise in Hispanic social media marketing.
  • We are the only music store in town that will take your old CDs in exchange for new ones.
  • We are the only coffee shop around that offers organic, fair trade coffee in every cup we brew.

I cannot recommend Roy’s book more highly. Not only does he cover positioning, he goes into an entire “BE Different” strategy and how you can use it to create a remarkable, profitable, sustainable business.

  • How is your business different?
  • If you had to write an only statement for yourself or your business, what would it be?
  • Do your customers understand your unique positioning? Do they care?

Here are few more resources to help you get started:


2 thoughts on “SBM 101: The Art of Positioning

  1. Jason,
    Good post, and one that is exceedingly important. Here’s another blog Article I wrote on the subject that overviews Tom Peters and Seth Godins thoughts on the topic. Check out “What’s Your Remarkable Point of View”…
    Thanks for the mention and confidence in my work. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

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