We have all been through the strategic process of developing positioning concepts. When we engage in these strategic projects, we can get so caught up in what we are allowed to say that we end up limiting our own creativity and the creativity of our team. Sometimes a reminder that positioning is internal is important to re-ignite creative minds. Positioning is NOT external communication. We should not be so limited in what we say when it comes to positioning especially in the earlier, brainstorming stages.
Positioning is always internal; it is the north star; it is as aspirational as you can make it. Positioning is designed to stay within the four walls of a company. One key to ensure that you are getting the most out of your team creatively when exploring early potential opportunities is to avoid getting caught up in what we can and cannot say for legal reasons.
If you don’t set regulations aside, you can dilute your brand’s differentiation and that initial thought or idea, weakening positioning.
Here are 4 things to do to ensure strong positioning that isn’t diluted:
1. In the early stages of exploring a range of positioning options, don’t be prematurely limited by concerns of what can be communicated externally.
2. Keep the positioning very crisp and powerful in the internal form so as much of it as possible is retained and is getting communicated in the external form.
3. As you go through internal approval process, take the time to provide the appropriate context to the regulatory team. Walk them through the positioning and make sure they understand what you are trying to accomplish. Additionally, as you go through the internal approval process, explain the intent and purpose of the positioning to encourage legal and regulatory to support the idea.
4. Respond to legal and regulatory objections by acknowledging their points, then asking, “How can we do this?” to shape the idea for regulatory and other compliance challenges. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before actually getting started.
If an idea has merit, see it through until the end.
As we move into 2021, keep this in mind. Inspire your team into the next year and remind them that infusing creativity into positioning concepts sets the foundation for truly distinctive and impactful external communication. Creativity is more important than adhering to compliance challenges.