Brand Positioning – Things to Consider
I read a nice perspective on positioning, click here, that made me say bravo for the quick hits indicators on knowing when its time to refresh an offering, and what to strive for when executing (i.e. – build on current perceptions rather than trying to change them).
In regards to which execution does a better job of repositioning a country, I do not believe that question can be answered. At least not at this moment. The answer is dependent on the degree to which the employees, in this case citizens of each country, meet/exceed the expectations established by the stated promises.
In the case of Canada, I will respectfully challenge the position that they erroneously walked away from their heritage (i.e. Maple Leaf). While they may have work to do in terms of distilling the attributes that define Canada, it is 2012 and a lot has changed since the Maple Leaf was conceived. Through my own place branding experience, I’ve learned that like all other consumables, a city is the net sum of beliefs maintained by residents and those who can become or explore what it is like to be a resident.
So, if Drake, Blackberry (YIKES!), and Legalizing Gay Marriage permeate the souls of our northern neighbors, then by all means, Canada should represent those beliefs which they’re naturally inclined to act upon.
I mean, positioning (or repositioning) is all about telling a story that reflects what people believe they will attain by contributing to and/or using, as employees and customers, respectively. In our ever-transparent world, practitioners of brand must evolve the approach to shaping a brand. Meaning, we have a responsibility to champion truly authentic definitions and articulations of offerings that the people working on can stand behind to the same degree as those being asked to buy.
Said another way, let’s go beyond associating a brand with identified choice drivers, and infuse the beliefs held by the enablers. In this case, we’re talking about bus drivers, school teachers, career moms, entrepreneurs, little league coaches, corporate executives, retirees and everyone who contributes to making a country’s fairy tale, otherwise known as “Brand Promise”, reality.