People categorize things in their mind to make it easier to learn and remember. We all have pre-existing knowledge that allows us to make quick assumptions about new things we discover. For example you probably have a pre-existing idea of what a personal trainer is and when you meet Lisa “the personal trainer” you have a pretty good idea of what she does.
Now Lisa’s broad position is “personal trainer” but where she positions herself within that category will influence her success. Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book positioning explain that brands occupy space in the mind by rank. Being number one or number two in your category pays off big time while being third or below creates a big drop financially.
Take a look at Amazon’s list of book categories under exercise and fitness you can see different positions that Lisa can position herself in:
- Ab Workouts
- For Children
- For the Aging
- Hip & Thigh Workouts
- Injuries & Rehabilitation
- Injury Prevention
- Quick Workouts
- Tai Chi & Qi Gong
- Weight Training
- Running & Jogging
If a prospect is looking for a personal trainer but has injuries, chances are Lisa the personal trainer that specializes in injuries and rehabilitation will most likely be their choice.
When Lisa positions herself she must:
- Match her specialty to the type of customers she is looking to gain.
- Match her hidden gems to the right category
- Evaluate her choice against the competitiveness of other brands that are occupying that space.
When you don’t occupy a space in the mind or your positioning is too confusing to a prospect – you fail to be considered even though you may be great.
So there you have it, if you can’t take over the world – make your world smaller.
Also published on Medium.