Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Objective Positioning

A friend of mine told me I had built a house of straw that would be destroyed by the competition.

Now for a little background.

O'Brien & Associates is a commercial architecture firm that is known for it's "practical" design.  In other words, it doesn't design a building that looks really cool, but is too expensive to ever be built.  There is, however, a market out there for building designs that are almost too expensive to be built.  This market segment would include design competitions for museums, opera halls, important municipal buildings, etc.

So I've been working on a flanker brand for O'Brien & Associates to tap into this market.  The brand is called O'Brien Design Studio.  The talent is in place.  I've finished the web-site (www.obriendesignstudio.com) and the marketing collateral.

But I was losing sight of what the product actually was.  For example, I had put on the website a list of clients we'd worked with from the "old" O'Brien & Associates in an attempt to leverage relationships.  This is business plan stuff.  A list of old clients would only confuse prospects.  The new offering has an incredibly small portfolio, thus the "house of straw."  

I was trying so hard to make the offering work that I had taken my eye off the actual product.  And it was showing up in my copy.  My friend put me in my place.

When positioning your new offering, run it by a completely objective set of eyes.  You may be amazed at what you hear.       

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