Three signs your tech company is badly positioned (and what to do about it)

One of the core challenges you face as a marketer in the tech world is creating a simple, consistent brand that sticks in the minds of customers and distinguishes you from competitors. The foundation of a memorable, differentiated brand is a strong positioning platform.

Strong positioning is always based on research. But you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on focus groups or collecting data from huge surveys to get more consistent, effective positioning.

We believe that you can capture the insights you need by taking an inside-out approach—starting with the people you know, like current customers and internal leaders—to attract more like them.

As the Director of Brand Exploration at New Kind, I focus on using this “inside out” research strategy to help build brands. Over the next few months I’ll be sharing how you can employ this technique for clarifying your own brand positioning and story.

Great positioning makes your job easier.

Great positioning can serve as the basis of all your marketing decisions. Your positioning platform becomes the foundation for all the stories you tell—from your website to sales playbooks to product campaigns. The best positioning platform offers a wellspring of marketing ideas to build your long-term brand while driving short-term leads.

A strong positioning platform includes:

  • Why your organization exists: mission, vision, and values
  • Which market you’re competing in: competitive landscape, competitors
  • How you’re different within your competitive landscape: product, service, or approach
  • Who your target customers are: personas

The first step is to identify symptoms of weak (or non-existent) brand positioning. Start with a quick audit of your materials, keeping an eye out for these three signs.

Three clues that your positioning platform needs clarifying:

1. You find tech cliches on your website and marketing materials.

Could your competitor claim the line on your homepage? Leaning on cliches to describe your organization is a sign your company’s story isn’t clear. If your team has trouble finding unique language to articulate who you are as a company, you can be sure potential customers will have trouble differentiating you from competitors.

2. You use a variety of messages across verticals, across marketing campaigns, or across pages on your website.

If you feel lost in a sea of different campaigns, or the pressure to constantly generate new messaging ideas keeps you up at night—you may have lost touch with what’s most true about your company. The strongest brands are based on a simple, consistent story that explains why they exist and how they solve a potential customer’s problem.

3. You’re on a content treadmill

Is your team is working around the clock to meet deadlines without clear insight into how each piece fits into the larger brand story? If you feel like you’re on a wheel of constant production to drive leads and short term revenue, it may be time to step back and reevaluate your strategy in the context of your positioning platform.

We believe that some of the best positioning starts from the inside.

We’ve found that an inside-out approach to research works. It’s simple, scalable, and less expensive than conducting external research. It validates how you think the world sees you with real data. And it gives you a great baseline to build your brand and story.

In future posts, I’ll share research techniques to help you build a strong brand positioning platform that will make your job easier. If you’re interested in learning more about brand positioning right now, check out this guide. Or subscribe below to our blog digest to get our newest insights delivered to your inbox.

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