Are you fit for market?
A tricky question, for sure, but one we should all be asking ourselves at the moment – or indeed at any time. As the landscape shifts and changes, so too should your approach to positioning. Are you still the only product in your whitespace? Who else might steal your food?
It’s not about rebranding or launching a new website but more about identifying the opportunities and staying aware of the market and competition. What we’ll look at today is how you can stay fit for market.
A few must-haves
Before you can work out whether you’re fit for the market or not, there are a few things you should tick off your list. Of course, we’re not saying these are the only areas you need to consider, but they’re certainly three of the most important.
Find the whitespace
First, you need to find the whitespace that you can operate in. By whitespace, we mean an area of the market that you can sell in or work in that isn’t currently occupied by a competitor. Whitespace is defined as somewhere where there are unmet needs of customers and is a business process used to reveal opportunities such as products, audiences, or improvements.
Take fast food, for example. Consumers didn’t know that they needed or wanted that particular service or product until it appeared, but when it did…the rest was history.
And, being more granular, when fast food restaurants first opened, they offered a wide-ranging menu. But when McDonald’s first opened, they just focused on best-selling burgers and outstanding customer service. Clearly, it worked for them.
Finding the whitespace involves research and customer interviews, such as focus groups. It’s also about innovation, who you target, how users will interact with your product, and where your brand differs.
What are your audience needs?
So, you’ve found your whitespace. You’ve found something that no one else is offering or something that meets the needs of consumers that weren’t being met previously. But who fills your whitespace in terms of consumers?
You need to be clear on who your audience is in order to position yourself appropriately digitally. Where do they hang out? What are they talking about? What are their interests, and what turns them off?
These are all questions you need to be able to answer when trying to nail down your positioning and can be answered through thorough research.
What are you saying to your audience?
To truly position yourself in the whitespace you have found, you need to consider the message you want to send carefully. From topline marketing messages through to your content strategy, what you say to your audience will significantly impact how your positioning is affected.
Your content should inform and educate your audience, hopefully acting as a conversation starter around your services. Not only that, but your content should guide prospects through the funnel and position yourself as the only choice in the minds of your audience.
Sharing your value as a thought leader can help to position you as the go-to source of information about your product or service and, even in your whitespace, set you apart from your competitors.
It’s also about the key messages on your marketing materials. What are you conveying to your audience? What’s the core message you’re trying to get across? Your positioning statement is what makes you unique and cuts through the noise to offer clarity – get this right, and you’ll be well on your way.
Is your positioning fit for market?
Considering all that, can you look in the mirror and say you’re fit for market? You may want to go back to the drawing board, perhaps once a quarter, and reexamine your positioning statement, competitors, and content strategy.
What you say to your customers and audience is critical, especially at a time of economic upheaval (not to mention political uncertainty). People may be watching their pennies at the moment, but if you’re positioning is correct, and you’ve identified the whitespace to operate in, you’ll be fighting fit for the market and ready to take on the competition.
It’s also about revisiting your proposition from time to time and ensuring that the value you offer is still there and you’re conveying it in the right way. Staying relevant is equally as important as your positioning, so your proposition shouldn’t be forgotten.