Naveen Sharma of Lodgify (SC 2014) shares his team’s takeaways from a power hour on positioning with Adam Butters of Albion. A leader in the space, Albion has worked with a variety of brands including Wonga, GiffGaff and to round out an already diverse portfolio, Jose Cuervo. Adam stopped by Seedcamp HQ to share some insights to the newest teams to join the Seedcamp family on how they can start thinking about brand positioning for their early stage startups.
So, you have a potentially great product or service, and have figured out all of its amazing features and functionalities – time to share it with your potential customers! …But wait a minute, did you make up your mind on how you actually want to position it within your market? What signal do you want to send to your target customers? Let’s dig deeper – do you remember your overarching purpose, out of which you have derived your vision, your mission, your value proposition? Having a clear positioning as well as a true and overarching purpose that is consistently reflected in your product, your company, in everything you do and stand for, can be fundamental for the long-term success of your startup.
“A brand’s positioning is a powerful signal”
Startups tend to sometimes lose sight of their purpose and where they wanted to initially position themselves in the market. It just happens as you grow and focus resources and brainwork on product development prior to launch. We at Lodgify realised (and so did probably a few of the other Seedcamp winning teams who joined us for Seedcamp onboarding week in February 2014), that we moved to Seedcamp with only a blurry idea left of our original purpose and positioning plan.
Fortunately, Seedcamp organised a workshop with exactly the right guy to mentor us on our positioning and remind us of a couple of things we had slowly forgotten: Adam Butters from Albion. Adam’s workshop on brand positioning helped us sort out some of the puzzle pieces that floated around in our heads and which we had to put back together.
We went through the signals that people use to determine what you stand for as a brand, and spoke about the associations that they create with these. We also went into more detail about the target audience and what category we accordingly had to place ourselves in order to differentiate from competitors. Having an experienced professional like Adam challenge and review all these aspects from different angles and perspectives proved invaluable to us.
Receiving guidance on these important points helped us refocus on certain elements of our brand and not only reformulate our positioning, but also structure our vision, mission, and purpose. And with this clearly laid out for us again, we are finding it much easier to plan certain aspects of our go-to-market strategy and to continue with the development of our company and product in general.
Finally, all of this is providing us with a kind of airbag for when the s*it may hit the fan – and it surely will at some point – as with this “noble” purpose and vision that we now have back again in our heads, we always can reboot, refocus, and get back on track.