I recently came across an illustration of the right way to go about developing a focused and differentiated positioning from a very unlikely source – a trainer at my local gym, YMCA.
Fitness Trainers are relatively undifferentiated in today’s world and most compete on little more than price. Typically, it’s the conditioning of the trainer that serves as a key indicator of their skill and success.
But the other day I watched a trainer at my gym illustrate her services by going through a series of sophisticated positioning progressions with a potential client that helped to crystallize her single-minded positioning in our local area.
- Certified Fitness Trainer – everyone has some sort of qualifications that few consumers can decipher and/or appreciate
- Female, Certified Fitness Trainer – while once unique, females make up at least half of the trainers now
- Female, Certified Fitness Trainer, Focused Exclusively on Women – not unique enough since the dynamics of the market generally lend themselves to women wanting to train with female trainers
- Certified Fitness Trainer, Focused Exclusively on Helping Women Get Ready for their Wedding Day – differentiated and focused around an event that helped to establish a stand-out positioning within both the gym and the community
What this fitness trainer settled in on is a User-Based positioning, which according to the marketing literature and our research is one of the most powerful genres of positioning.
How was she able to get there while most biotechnology and pharmaceutical positioning development projects are mired in attribute and benefits-based positioning genres? She understood that positioning helps her establish a beachhead of clientele from which she could broaden her brand without niching herself in the process.
So, how has her beachhead played out?
- Most of the brides, pleased with the results, stayed on well after their wedding day
- Focused-positioning aligned to a specific event resonated with initial customers and encouraged them to share with other friends within the engagement age cohort
- Demonstrated results with young brides resulted in her making clients of some of their Grooms who were motivated to keep pace with their future/new wives
The beauty of this illustration is that it simply and effectively highlights the core philosophies of good positioning. I never did finish that workout . . .