We design companies are a troublesome bunch. We are curious, inspired, fun, passionate and generally a little too scattered for our own good. We want to be everything for everyone not because we are greedy but because we believe that we can apply our problem solving process to any problem and with any client. To a certain extent that is true but it is not something to build a business on. Business is about finding a focussed need in a market and then supplying a product or service that fulfills it.
Trying to fulfill too many needs and you will be left in ambiguity.
Positioning is power. Choosing a specialization and accurately communicating it to your market puts you in that place of power. Once you have made that dedication to positioning your company (what others in the business world call core business strategy) and made the hard decision to close the door on other seemingly enticing opportunities you can begin to speak to your market as an expert. Becoming a focussed expert will give you a clear voice in a competitive and cluttered world.
With this done you can begin to answer other core brand questions: Who needs to know about you? How will they find out? And really, why should they care?
When your are a focussed expert with a recognizable specialization you can develop trust. Trust is the new form of business currency. It’s why any client will listen to you and want to work with you at all. Trust takes your client relationship from a top down scenario to a lasting partner relationship. The client no longer makes demands of you, but asks for your valuable input. A key reward to focussed positioning is that you now can play a vital role in your clients decision making process.
Design companies of all forms have always had a challenge with their brand positioning. Designers, by their nature are creative and curious and desperately afraid of saying no to any project that comes their way. This is a quick way to a dilution of your competitive advantage and erosion of your position in the client relationship. Define your position, own it, and you will stand out in the minds of your prospects.