Whether you are new or a long-time established business or the one person totally responsible for marketing, at some point the cold, hard reality hits you. The realization comes to you that simply creating the best, most useful and valuable product or providing the absolute most needed service or even the most brilliant business model just isn’t enough.
The toughest part for most businesses today, big and small, is getting noticed, not coming up with an idea for a business. Let’s face it, no matter what business you are in it is crowded, noisy. It is tough to let your target customers know who you are, what you do and why they need you, your service or your product.
You created a great product, or provide the best service in the world and no one is calling. Now it is a mission critical necessity for you to not just survive, but to build your business and to begin to prosper. Remember, if you don’t, your competitors will . . .
After all, if your prospects, customers and clients can’t see any difference between you and everyone else out there with similar services or products, then why would they consider you? Or for that matter, why would they even notice you?
Tough questions to ask yourself, aren’t’ they. But they are necessary if you want to survive and even go so far as to prosper. In face you not only need to ask the questions, you need the answers to these questions.
These are business critical brand positioning questions. But if you’re a small/medium business or small practice marketing company and simply do not have the expertise and resources to get in front of the whole concept of “branding”, what can you do?
For me the answer came a few weeks back when I noticed a “free” eBook Differentiate or Diminish being offered by Kevin B. Levi, a name familiar to me.*[see footnote] I subscribed to his link, and downloaded the book, thinking that for free it probably would be little more than a superficial outline.
But what I received turned out to be a single great resource that every small/medium business must have. With over 80-plus pages of brand positioning insight and instruction it took a complex subject, broke it down expertly and then explained in a clear and concise way the “what”, “why” and “how” of what he refers to as The Art and Necessity of Business Positioning.
I was intrigued. He had managed, in a very concise form, to arm me with all the basics of differentiation – one of the more complex and difficult to master principles of marketing. But that was just the beginning.
Branding and Positioning strategy is a fairly specialized niche of the “art and science” that is marketing.
It seems that Kevin has come up with a clever idea based on the premise that small business - and marketing people too - could use an in depth, comprehensive and affordable do-it-yourself resource kit for this. What he has put together is a well thought out and extremely comprehensive set of do-it-yourself tools, references and informational guidance he calls his Brand Positioning Toolkit.
This do-it-yourself toolkit walks you step by step through the process of identifying your business’s uniqueness by performing a comprehensive competitive analysis. It includes step-by-step instructions that guide you through the process of crafting your succinct, highly targeted and value-based 35-word brand positioning statement or what is more commonly called an elevator pitch.
As you progress through the kit, you will then learn how to develop supporting key messages that substantiate the claims made in the brand positioning statement. These all-important, hard-hitting statements will focus on your key differentiators, your key target audiences, your primary products/services.
Once you have this messaging platform completed - including your brand positioning statement and key messages - the toolkit then guides you along and shows you how to come up with proof points and value propositions to validate and support the brand positioning statement and each key message.
The result is a comprehensive, business-value-based, brand positioning platform that you can use to develop any and all sales and marketing materials, tools and collateral. These easy to use tools work and can help you craft new brand positioning for your organization in a single day, without any prior brand positioning or key message development experience or expensive “professional” consultants.
So whether you are a new business, a small operation, a large company, are new to marketing and need to know how to brand your products or a seasoned professional looking for that go-to reference package, this is a “must have” reference toolkit for you.
* A Little Bit about Kevin Levi
I first became aware of Kevin in 2007 when he published his piece on SmallBusinessBranding.com entitled Branding on a Shoestring Budget. I was an early subscriber to what was then a groundbreaking marketing resource. It was full of cutting edge, new tech marketing knowledge and resources all formatted in short, simple and quick-read pieces.
What originally caught my attention was Kevin’s ability to take highly complex branding and positioning principles and translate them into short, simple and easy to follow narratives that even I could understand and relate to. He simply had the knack for giving valuable knowledge a real world connection.
Kevin is the primary architect behind the Brand Positioning Do-it-Yourself Toolkit!, and is a living, breathing example of his handiwork. He has successfully used these strategies himself for years to re-position over 40 companies around the world in a broad range of industries.
With over 17 years of experience currently Kevin helps companies of all sizes hone their messages and develop differentiating company positioning strategies and content. He is someone whom I consider to be a consummate corporate branding specialist. He has recently authored two company positioning books, "Differentiate or Diminish: The Art and Necessity of Business Positioning," and "Selling Your Distinction: Utilizing Differentiation to Drive Your Business."