In the dynamic landscape of the life science industry, the importance of establishing a strong and authentic brand identity cannot be overstated. This identity serves as a guiding beacon, enabling companies to navigate the tricky waters of an ever-evolving industry with many different players, each claiming to deliver something unique. At the core of this brand identity lies the positioning framework – a strategic tool that encapsulates a company’s values and resonates with its customers. Many companies overlook the powerful undercurrent that authentic positioning can have – not just with customers, but also within their organizations. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of defining a positioning framework that aligns with a company’s authentic values and explore how to achieve success in positioning.
The Essence of Positioning
Positioning is the process of creating what you want to be in the minds of your target audience, under defined competitive conditions. Positioning is ultimately based on values. Many times, companies turn to positioning in order to differentiate brands in the market.
An effective positioning framework addresses what a company stands for and what it aspires to be for their customers – and why that matters. It can be a ‘North Star’ that guides a company’s marketing efforts and drives the attitudes and behaviors of its employees who influence customer experiences.
Authenticity at its Core – Why it Matters
Authenticity has become a prized commodity in today’s hyper-connected world – it breeds trust. Consumers are more discerning than ever, and they seek brands that align with their values and beliefs.
When a company’s positioning values are aligned with its actions and behaviors, this breeds the authentic experience customers appreciate. The results translate into promises kept, increased brand loyalty and better metrics on repeat purchases. These measures are founded in trust.
Many life science companies are now coming out of a period of disruption, new competition and rapid growth. As such, many are looking to modify their marketing position and target new opportunities. The key question they may ask themselves is: Can we authentically deliver that or aspire to deliver that? This may mean addressing branding and installing change management in parallel. A new positioning framework will achieve more when employees in customer service, product development, sales, marketing, etc., can understand how their behaviors impact the company’s promise to customers and prospects.
Authenticity can inspire your organization. When employees see that their company’s values are reflected in its positioning, they are more engaged, leading to higher productivity and better retention rates. What’s more, they learn to embody those values to the customers, completing a circle of trust. In other words, if you take better care of the inside, the inside will take better care of the outside.
Differentiation – How do YOU Stand Out?
In a crowded marketplace, a good positioning statement helps a company stand out. It gives a unique selling proposition that goes beyond features and benefits, creating a lasting impression.
A thorough competitive analysis will help you see how to differentiate your company in a sea of sameness. Analyzing the competitive landscape will provide an understanding of the marketplace and how your competitors communicate their values. It will also indicate a roadmap to get your company from its current market position to something unique and authentic.
Crafting a Positioning Framework That Will Help You Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk
To Thy Own Self be True: Begin by gaining a deep understanding of your company’s core values, mission, and vision. Identify your unique strengths and value propositions that set you apart from others.
Market Research: Conduct thorough research to comprehend your target audience’s pain points, desires, and values. This in-depth understanding will guide you in tailoring your messaging to resonate with them effectively.
Competitor Analysis: Analyze your competitors’ positioning strategies to identify opportunities for differentiation. Look for gaps in the market that your company can fill or ways to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Messaging: Develop clear messaging pillars that encapsulate the essence of your brand. These pillars should represent the key themes that consistently appear in your communications. They should align with your core values and resonate with your target audience.
Execution: Create internal and external programs to deliver the messaging and the promise you are making to your customers.
Defining a positioning framework that encompasses authentic values is more than a marketing exercise. It gives leaders leverage to inspire change and gives staff – who see the problems and opportunities firsthand – the power to keep the brand promise.
A Case Study to Consider
At Brandwidth Solutions, we have helped many clients tackle the formidable task of developing a new positioning framework. In one such instance, we worked with Millipore Sigma’s Bioprocessing division to create a market position that met their specific criteria for success.
We first initiated a comprehensive discovery phase, designed to delve deep into the challenges facing MilliporeSigma’s Bioprocessing division. This phase comprised two core components:
- Looking Outward: We meticulously analyzed the competitive landscape. By studying competitors and plotting them on a matrix relative to their messaging, we demonstrated the division’s current market position and how it could break away from the competition.
- Looking Inward: We conducted extensive stakeholder research involving 40 stakeholder interviews. This invaluable insight revealed the sales and marketing challenges the division faced in the absence of a cohesive market position.
Working closely with the Millipore Sigma team, we developed and iterated a positioning framework that drew upon their most basic values and aspirations. This framework then drove customer-focused message development and embodied the Bioprocessing division’s passion to work in close collaboration with their customers to bring life-saving therapies to market.
If you need help with your positioning – contacts us! We can show you how to stand out in the competitive landscape while staying true to your values and customers.
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.