This post will consider the importance of strong construction brand positioning, which most construction companies could benefit from.
We will explore the five key ways to create successful business messages around the products and services you provide to your key target audiences.
It’s the general job of marketing to provide prospects with:
- Clarification of their company’s core products
- The applications relevant to each product or product type
- The company’s priority supporting services
These messages will undoubtedly involve clarifying who the company are marketing to and what (reassuring) outcome their clients and customers can expect as a result – the ‘what happens after’ a product or service has been installed.
To achieve this, you must first understand where your business (and its products and services) fit within the marketplace.
Careful brand or organisational positioning is the only sure-fire way of attracting the right audience to grow your business profitably and effectively.
Positioning will not only enable your businesses’ employees to articulate what the business does and who for quickly and confidently, it will also help your prospects to find your business much more easily online.
Read our post on ‘Better product positioning (and why it will help you become more profitable).
Developing your positioning statement
A consistent company positioning statement should be set in stone.
Again, it’s the job of marketing to ensure that a fixed ‘umbrella’ message is portrayed across all media, through all marketing channels.
Developing your corporate positioning statement should be a central focus for any business.
When was the last time you asked three members of your staff (or three different customers for that matter) to say in one sentence what your business does and who for?
And better still; when was the last time they all said exactly the same thing – and that what they said matched your own view?
We often find inconsistency and confusion when it comes to company positioning in businesses both large and small.
It doesn’t matter that the products you manufacture vary, you must identify one statement that is relevant to your business as a whole.
Once that exercise has been achieved you can set to work on developing what we call reassurance statements for individual audiences related to your products and their relevant applications.
Your business should not be all things to all men; if you can take your current corporate messages and drop your competitor’s logo in front of them – and it still works – you have weak positioning.
Here are our FIVE key exercises to assess how well your business is positioned…
1. Start at the top
The directors should always be your first point of call when it comes to positioning. If messages are not purposeful, coherent and consistent at this point, then chances are that confusion will flow down throughout the whole business, from staff to loyal customers to potential prospects.
2. Check your messaging
Your positioning statement should be a direct expression of your company’s products and services – what they are, what they do and who they are best suited to. Ensure that all communication material is scrutinised for messaging inconsistency; this should range from print to online sources. Regardless of which medium you have used to advertise your brand, the message itself needs to remain consistent. Too many messages across a multiple of articles and magazines will only confuse your audience and lead them to question your company’s credibility.
This exercise will also define the messages used for the rest of your communications; this is important and will be needed to lead activity such as PR and social.
3. Ask your customers and prospects
Surveys are a simple and effective way of measuring both internal and external perceptions of your company. Identifying how both customers and employee’s view your business will ultimately determine whether your positioning is effective. The more disagreements there are in your team, the more likely it is that you’ll experience a similar reaction from your customers. Contrasting opinions reflect upon the quality of your positioning.
Read our post on ‘5 Simple Tactics to Audit the Success of Your Building Materials Website’ for useful tools to use.
4. Review your product offering online and within your printed literature
Is it still relevant? Are some product performance criteria or benefits out of date? Which are your most profitable products? Which are the services that are quickest and easiest to perform? Are these products and services being given priority in your business? Have they been allocated sufficient resources to keep these ‘Halo’ products and services in the front of the minds of your customers and prospects? Has your marketing budget and energy been distracted by new products to new audiences? Aliens, that you might not know that much about?
Check the balance of your marketing resource and make sure you’re making it work hard.
5. Review the results
Using the results from surveys and different materials, identify where you currently are (in terms of buy-in from all parties – directors/staff/customers) and how big the gap is from where you want to be. This comes back to the original question of how do you want to be perceived and by who? Perception surveys create opportunities for improvement; the useful feedback from internal and external sources allows you to reflect upon the results and refine your positioning accordingly. These improvements may simply involve bringing things up to date, or taking a more in-depth look into what your company represents.
Remember, it’s all about identifying who you are before any further steps can be taken. Positioning allows you to demonstrate the unique contribution your company makes within the construction industry; it is the starting point to creating and maintaining a successful reputation.