Taking a position is not (just) about having a positioning.
It’s about taking a stand for something. It makes your ‘why’ punchy and fizzing. It’s about action. It doesn’t have to be about activism but it is about action towards a shared goal.
I’ve come to love the energy of this approach.
The Brand Reboot helps founders achieve faster sales and investment by helping them become crystal clear about the value they bring to people’s lives and then how to communicate it.
Our position? We hate the waste founders deal with every day: wasted opportunity, wasted money and wasted time.
We feel it is unacceptable yet too easily dismissed as collateral damage – as ‘just the way things are’. While waste is, and has to be, part of the creative process we feel it can be better managed.
Education, experienced objectivity, and a structured coaching process can reduce the time, money and opportunity-cost of getting early sales and successful repeat investment in a business.
We know our structured coaching programme delivers sales and investment faster. So we’re impatient to help ambitious founders and we’re intolerant of any time (and therefore money and opportunity) wasted. That’s our position. We hate waste.
We help founders quickly get to a ‘position’ for their company too.
So what is a position?
Here’s some useful synonyms of ‘take a position’: “To insist, assert, declare, fight, say, take a stand, resolve, come to a decision, decide, position oneself, state one’s opinion, be firm, be assertive.”
It’s taking a stand, with a point of view and an ambition.
It’s a rallying cry and it attracts a community, so you work your socks off to live up to their needs and expectations of you.
Consequently most companies shy away from it.
Nike empowers the athlete in all of us. Apple provides the tools for creative, world changers. Do they succeed? A lot of the time. Critically, they should always be trying.
Adopting a position is part of company strategy, not (just) marketing and sales.
This is because a powerful position is a really effective decision making tool for everything you do. When you know your position you can make faster decisions in any given circumstance. You can say Yes or No instantly; just ask, “Does this opportunity support our position on a cause or a need? Or does it distract or counter it?”.
You’re seeking ‘decision compounding’. Every decision must build on the last so that over time you become a beacon for those who share similar values.
Your position aligns with your personal values (as a founder) and can bond a group inside or outside of an organisation.
So decide what is, and is not, important to you as a group of people working towards a shared goal and let your position become a ‘north star’, a guide.
Positions can include; supporting equality, inclusiveness, tolerance. Or they can exclude, promoting exclusivity, premium quality or even mockery. Your position can align yourself to certain people (creative people, ambitious people, disenfranchised people). Or can reject people. It’s your position, so it should inspire whatever you need to grow your business.
Crucially, positions need to be inspiring.
Businesses can tell stories about their position for ever, if it’s an exciting position in the first place. Ethical positions can inspire hours of rich behind the scenes content. Exclusive positions can paint fantasies and attract dreamers. Performance or achievement positions can spark movements. Political positions can foster debate.
You express your position with a written ‘point of view’. This is your story. Keep it short but emotional. It should inspire people to follow and contribute.
But remember, your #1 job is to not be boring.
Humans filter messages through heuristics (rules of thumb). We seek that which is similar, new, extreme, relevant etc. We filter fast.
Being boring means the content or message will be ignored.
A punchy position with an inspiring point of view will never be dull. And it can unite people which drives change and in turn drives your business.
I love the work that Dan and team are doing at Heights.
They’ve taken a stand for brain health.
Starting with a newsletter, they now produce a brain supplement and a podcast uniting those seeking a better mind and a healthier brain. They believe “A healthier brain leads to a better life” so the business is there to “make your brain better” because stress and breakdowns come from ill minds creating ill bodies.
Their position forces constant action.
They are seeking to make a change in the world. They provide ever more sophisticated help, advice and supplement innovation. Their activities are compounding their growth because they are becoming the change they want to see in the world. It’s solid work!
So find a motivating, exciting position for your business – one that forces you to take a stand and inspires daily action to make the change you want to see in the world.
Get in touch. We have the tools. You bring the ambition.