Positioning: Choosing to be the best

Positioning: Choosing to be the best
Positioning requires focus, and focus requires making choices. Only when you make choices can you become the best at something. Take Noma, the restaurant with chef René Redzepi at the helm, for example. The restaurant that is seen by many as the best restaurant in the world. Or Usain Bolt, the sprinter who has dominated the 100 and 200 meters for years and leaves the competition behind with ease. It’s no wonder he has been named IAAF Athlete of the Year 5 times! The best employer, the best oliebol (Dutch pastry), the best actress. We could go on and on.

positioneren-kiezen-besteBeing the best pays off

The best restaurant is fully booked months or even years in advance, the best sprinter secures one lucrative contract after another, the best employer attracts the cream of the crop talent, and the seller of the best oliebollen (Dutch pastry) sees long queues around New Year’s Eve. Being the best often pays off, but what do you need to do to become the best?

Bron: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

To be the best, you must choose

Scandinavian top restaurant Noma chooses to only serve dishes with ingredients they can find “around the corner”. Fascinated by Japanese cuisine, they even decided to temporarily relocate the entire restaurant and almost 80 staff to Japan.

Usain Bolt was a promising cricketer in his youth. He enjoyed this more than running, but still chose the latter. Of course, to become the best at something, you must be fully committed to the goal, accumulate a lot of hours, and have the necessary talent.

Positioning: What can we learn from these top performers?

In developing a brand, you also have to choose. What offer, what target audience, what message? Not choosing often leads to a diffuse message, an incomprehensible offer, and the absence of (perceived) brand values. In addition, clear choices reduce distractions, as you no longer have to spend time on things that clearly fall outside your area of attention.

But choosing is difficult!

Agreed, when you choose, you also immediately throw away the rest. Positioning yourself in a certain way ensures that the desired target group understands you better, but everything outside of that will feel less at home with your brand. So positioning is exciting.

However, we can only think of positive examples. Examples where making a choice resulted in a stronger and more successful brand.

Think of IBM, who dared to fully focus on the enterprise market around 2005. They sold their personal computer division to Lenovo, completely abandoning the consumer market. They saw the fierce competition in the PC market, with brands like Compaq and Dell, and chose differently. Currently, IBM employs more than 350,000 people and is worth about 140 billion dollars. A bold choice, but it has ensured that IBM is still one of the most prominent IT companies in the world.

Brands that made choices but were not successful?

Positioning is not easy, but if you really want to become very good at something, it seems necessary. Or do you know of any examples of brands that positioned themselves, focused on only one or a few product-market combinations, and were not successful with them? We would love to hear them!

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