If Someone Has to Win.. Then Someone Has to Lose.

In our positioning work, we focus our time on designing winning strategies for our clients – strategies that are projective, aspirational and that focus on growth. Nothing surprising here. After all, positioning is all about the future and directing efforts to finding meaningful “white space”.

However, if your brand is to increase its share of the category, then normally some other brand or brands have to experience a corresponding decrease in business. However obvious this may sound, we often find that this factor is not given sufficient airtime in the positioning debate. Great positioning work requires looking at the challenge through two equally important lenses – your clients’ business and your clients’ competitors.

The simple truth is that wherever you identify fundamental weaknesses in competitors, these should be viewed as potential positioning areas of opportunity. The “you lose, we win” approach gives real focus and specificity to your plans and makes the business of positioning more tangible and more credible, first with the business folks internally and then with all those involved in the roll-out of the new positioning.

Some examples:


In all of these cases, you know that the work was not exclusively directed at how to win, it was also about who was going to lose…and by how much. In our experience, the best positioning work not only sets a course for success through the eyes of the organization – it also takes advantage of the Achilles heels of the major competition.

>>MORE on out-thinking the competition and Sterling’s War Gaming approach.

Simon Williams

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