Why Positioning Matters

In marketing, the terms “value proposition” and “positioning” come up a lot. But both are often misunderstood or used interchangeably.

A value proposition captures the essence of what an organization stands for – why it’s in business, its raison d’être. It should be the first thing anyone on the inside thinks about or articulates when describing that organization.

Positioning is more specific and is often captured in a positioning statement. A company can have a positioning statement for the firm itself, but it’s more likely to have several – for each of its products, offerings or practices. In this regard, positioning is a subset of the value proposition.

A positioning statement should capture these elements:

•  Specific audience

•  Product or service offering

•  Distinctive competence

•  Competitive differentiation

•  Reason to believe

Why does positioning matter?

•  It helps your firm identify and stand for something that you may do better than anyone else in your marketplace

•  It helps individuals within the organization internalize their own advantages and differences, so they can readily explain and promote them

•  It also keeps them focused on what your firm does best, and from pursuing business that may look promising but turn out to be distractions

• It allows principals to better manage the overall practice by better understanding and nurturing its individual components