Communications | Sep 3, 2010 | 0 Comments

[how to position anyone or anything]

[the questions you must answer]

If you’re rethinking–or even over-thinking–how to market your organization (or yourself), try boiling your mission down to its essence by answering the following three questions.

The questions came from someone who commented anonymously on a blog by Marc Hausman, CEO of Strategic Communications Group. I’ve used variants of the same questions for years, but I like the simplicity of these. I’d give that person credit if s/he had left a name. The explanations are mine.

Why do we do what we do?

Think back to your original idea, the need you wanted to fill. Some people call this a mission, some people call it an opportunity, some people call it a calling. Whatever it is, frame it very carefully—not too broadly or too narrowly.  And remember to be true to yourself.  When you finish answering this question, you should feel excited and re-energized.

Why should someone choose us?

Unfortunately, most organizations or individuals neglect to do a critical analysis of their current position or their real potential in the marketplace. Don’t be them. Think long and hard about your “competition,” both direct and indirect, and whether you are really better/faster/easier/nicer/smarter. We all like to believe we are unique but sometimes this is more of a personal desire than a business reality. You must be honest about yourself before you can uncover your true value.

Why do we do this and not something else?

This is where you communicate about your passion, dedication, and skill. This is where it gets personal. Nobody can answer this question for you or your group. But a good marketing consultant can take what you decide and turn it into compelling messages in your business communications.

Next step: Use the answers to compose an elevator speech of 100 words or less. This short “manifesto” is the genesis of all of your marketing messages, and should appear in some form on the front page of your web/blogsite, your facebook page, and your brochure. For more advice about elevator speeches, here’s a great blog from Dan Hutson you can read.

What do you think? Do you have other questions or frameworks you like to use for positioning?

Photo credit: e-magic on flickr. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

This blog first appeared as a guest post on Social Media Design, courtesty of Lori Randall Stradtman.

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

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