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Blogosphere on Positioning: Tom Asacker

Posted on Saturday, Feb 6th 2010

Tom Asacker sent me a couple of interesting pieces, including The 7 wonders of branding:

Look. Branding today can only work through ideas that customers want to connect with. People can neither be hypnotized with media images nor cajoled with flowery prose. You must truly understand their pain, speak their language, and be felt like a part of their inner world of hopes and dreams.

In the venture world, we often ask the question: “Is it a pain-killer or a vitamin?” to test this.

Tom also sent me Mark is right and right on!:

“As I have often said, ‘positioning’ has never been about a ‘line,’ it has been about a ‘position.’ And a position is about standing for something. And if you stand for something that means you should be doing the right things to support that something. Because that means you’re real. And a brand is as real as you and I are.” – Mark Ramsey, Hear 2.0.

Indeed. My BlackBerry email has stopped working about seven times in the past 60 days. Each time, I have to call Verizon customer support to get it to work again. BlackBerry’s primary brand positioning is around reliable email access on the phone. It is supposed to work. By not working, it is giving me reason to think that its brand positioning is fake!

Finally, in W.C. Fields on attitude, Tom asks:

So tell me again. What “position” did Jobs carve out with the iPod? What specific “benefits” did he articulate? What comparisons did he make?

Positioning is passé. Yup, you read it right. Things are simply moving too quickly. So instead of trying to occupy a unique “position,” develop a unique attitude. One that will alienate half of the world and turn on the other half.

The background strategic marketing analysis of the iPod is actually quite thorough. The market penetration segment was teenagers, the comparable was the Walkman, and Jobs addressed one of the music industry’s core issues around piracy by creating the iTunes store from which people then started buying digital music. But the way Jobs sold the iPod was really all about attitude. Cool has become Apple’s real positioning, above and beyond the products it sells. The products support that general attitude, and within its segments (now much broader than the original fan boys), Apple enjoys a cult-like following.

This segment is a part in the series : Blogosphere on Positioning

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