I recently wrote a chapter on branding and positioning for a B2B marketing publication, one of the points I raised was that in order for you to effectively brand and position your business, you must know your business S.H.A.P.E.
This was inspired by a phenomenal book I read at the beginning of the year called ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren, in which he asserts that in order to know your purpose you have to first understand your S.H.A.P.E, which is essentially the unique combination of qualities that make you, you. The same applies for a business; in order for a business to effectively brand itself and occupy a unique position in the market, it has to first understand and then leverage its unique qualities in a way that resonates with its target audiences.
So, if you’re contemplating a business idea and considering where you could position it in the market or you already have a business and you’re considering how to re-position your brand, you may find the table below useful.
It will soon become apparent that your business is more unique than you may have realised and most likely has a natural fit in the market.
Uncover your business S.H.A.P.E and then work it!
|Situation||What is your current situation? This doesn’t only include an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, but also your company culture, financial situation and business model|
|Human resources||What human resource do you have? Do you have specialists and experts within your business whose expertise can be leveraged to your advantage? Human capital is more valuable than ever, talent costs a premium, so much so that there is an increasing trend towards acquiring companies purely for the talent that they possess, because of the market advantage that it affords. Be sure to leverage your expertise in the positioning you adopt.|
|Abilities||What can you do best with the resources available? What range of products and services should your business offer?|
|Passion||What business areas are you passionate about? ‘Passion’ is not a word we hear often in business, but I suspect that it governs more business choices than we care to admit. The truth is that the things that we are passionate about tend to be the things that we are best at. This is evident in some of the most successful companies that exist in the world today, such as Google and Facebook where passion is rife.|
|Experiences||Make a point of learning from the past? Learn from past successes and failures and relevant business experiences. Use your experiences as well as those experienced by others as an influence in your strategic decision making.|