How to achieve buy-in for “outside-in” positioning.
We hear from a lot of clients that it’s difficult to gain traction for consumer insights, particularly those that could be strategic or transformational. Even today, when consumer expectations are changing dramatically, companies are still prone to taking what is known as an ‘inside-out’ view of their business, one that focuses upon an internal orientation. It’s an approach embedded in a real-world dilemma of using existing resources most efficiently and going to market thus.
This tension is often most apparent when we hear an organization discuss the need to re-assess their brand positioning strategy. Companies that successfully develop a new positioning take an “outside-in” approach that focuses on creating high value for the customer. Those that take an “inside-out” view tend to find less success, as they fail to recognize and integrate customer insights that lead to a new positioning strategy that delivers sales and revenue goals.
This internal resistance to integrating customer insights that will build a better “outside-in” approach to positioning happens for several reasons:
Developing an “outside-in” positioning requires two elements: leveraging customer value and engaging internal stakeholders. We call this approach Customer and Stakeholder Centricity, and is designed to provide guidance on key positioning issues such as:
This phase engages your internal stakeholders in what the positioning work will require and how to get there through activities such as developing clarity on company goals, identifying gap areas, and prioritizing large opportunities.
This provides the critical understanding of how your brand is currently perceived by your customers and prospects in a competitive context. Special attention is paid to the customer journey and where your brand needs to strongly communicate its value and benefits.
In this phase, all possible positioning approaches are tested to determine which one is the most persuasive and to find key supporting messages to use at critical touchpoints along the customer journey.
Activating a new positioning requires that each functional team has the most relevant customer insights to deliver on the broader goals within their owned responsibilities. Developing action plans for each function, as well as outside agencies, will ensure that the new positioning based on the “outside-in” approach will be the foundation for future innovations and communications.
Want to learn more about using the Customer and Stakeholder Centricity approach for your positioning work? Contact us.