Positioning by polling and committee

May 31, 2008

An election year is a great time to be reminded of the fundamentals of branding and marketing. We’ve been hearing about the Democratic, Independent and Republican “brands” for months. Here’s what I think you should take away from it.

If you have a platform–you can test it with polls, you can run it by committee, but ultimately you have to determine where you stand, stand there and make it so with consistency of message and delivery. Even film-makers assess their films with test screenings. Ultimately a final edit is needed and then people have to get to work on being that brand. Even politicians who have polled and adjusted…polled and adjusted…have to start talking and doing to back up their platform.

The best companies, with the most recognizable brands, don’t wait for concensus and approval. They have a vision, they know their consumers and they execute on that brand courageously.

You cannot poll or committee yourself into a position. You need a plausible position, input from those that matter and then the collective “you” (leadership, employees, and partners) have to be the brand. Being your brand is the best possible test of whether you’ve got a winner.