3 People Who Shouldn’t Define Your Brand Positioning (And 1 Who Should)

By Jordan Eller

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Brand positioning is one of the most critical elements of sales and marketing in the life sciences.

As CultBranding.com says, “brand positioning is the process of positioning your brand in the mind of your customers. Brand positioning is also referred to as a positioning strategy, brand strategy, or a brand positioning statement.”

A strong, differentiated position will elevate your brand above your competitors and expand your digital footprint. On the other hand, a flimsy, generic position will make your brand forgettable and uninteresting.

So who should be responsible for shaping your brand positioning? In order to clear up some misunderstandings about this subject, let’s start with who shouldn’t be responsible for defining your position.

Your audience shouldn’t define your position

This is a controversial one, since ignoring your audience could cause serious problems for your business. But it’s important to understand the crucial difference between making your audience responsible for your position and responding to what your audience wants.

Performing market research, processing feedback, and digging for patterns in your analytics are all important elements of uncovering what your audience wants from you. However, they shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor in how your life science brand is positioned. Just because they may want to buy from you doesn’t mean they should dictate the direction of your brand. Listen and react to your audience, but at the end of the day, the singular person responsible for defining your brand’s position is…

…Whoops, almost spoiled the whole blog.

Your prospects shouldn’t define your position

Similar to the previous point, your prospects shouldn’t be responsible for defining your brand position. Just because you believe someone might become a customer doesn’t mean you should tailor your brand around that individual.

Some prospects are just poor fits, and sometimes it takes a long time to figure that out. In many cases, it only becomes apparent later in the qualification process. This is why you should be confident in your brand position and not compromise your values to accommodate the needs of someone who might become a client.

Your competitors shouldn’t define your position

It’s easy to fall into the trap of “this is what our competitors are doing, we should do the opposite!”. While it’s good to be aware of what your competitors are doing, you should avoid setting arbitrary branding goals simply to stand out.

“Your competitors would love to define your position. Don’t let them do this.”

The truth is that your competitors would love to define your position. If they have power over your brand position, then they have power over your entire business. Don’t let them do this. By being confident in your own branding, you project strength in the marketplace and avoid having outside actors influence your brand positioning.

Now that we’ve run through who shouldn’t define your brand positioning, let’s talk about the one person who should.

You should define your position

The only person who should be responsible for your positioning is…you.

You alone get to decide what kind of story you’re telling. You alone get to decide how to position your brand in the marketplace. Your audience, prospects, and competitors are all factors that can (and should) play into that decision, but at the end of the day, only you can define how your brand is positioned. Either you can do it…or your competitors can.

If you are responsible for marketing life science services or products, you have to define the ideal positioning for your services/offerings. Otherwise, you’ll be at the mercy of others. This is the most important challenge you have; get this right, and everything else becomes tactical. Get this wrong, and you’ll be fighting an uphill battle forever.

Even though developing positioning can be challenging, it’s actually not that difficult to do a better job than most of your competitors. In our experience, only a few life science companies have done the hard work necessary to define their positioning clearly. If you do, you’ll be ahead of the pack.

Even though you alone have to define your brand positioning, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Forma has over 30 years in helping life science companies position themselves for success, and we’ve got the track record to prove it. If you’re looking for a partner to support your positioning and messaging efforts, check out our Brand Strategy and Differentiation services to see how we can help you achieve your sales and marketing goals.

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