Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Positioning Follows Environment

During the past 24 hours my world has been consumed by discussions of corporate positioning and to-market strategy.

Yesterday, I joined several Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) colleagues for a public relations/social media plan review meeting with an emerging growth client in the e-commerce space. In talking through the company’s market situation, competitive environment and corporate goals, it was agreed that our launch campaign will feature a bold leadership statement which differentiates the company from successful offerings currently available to customers.

It’s a strategy designed to put the company on the map more quickly with customers and investors, even though there are a number of risks associated with its execution.

This morning I was reminded that product or service differentiation isn’t always required to achieve a desirable competitive positioning. An article in today’s New York Times discusses video site Joost’s relaunch as a Hulu clone, the well received video service from Fox and NBC.

Joost’s management is counting on concern among media companies such as CBS, Time Warner and the CW Network of the growing momentum of Hulu.

“If you are a principal content owner aside from NBC and Fox, do you really want one Web site that controls all professional TV?” asks Mike Volpi, Joost’s CEO. “Everybody who is not NBC and Fox is encouraging us to do a good job and be a player in the market.”

My view is that it’s ultimately a company’s market environment that should have the most significant influence on the setting of corporate goals, as well as related positioning and messaging. While Joost’s me-too approach may lack differentiation, it’s the right play at this time.

1 comment:

T said...


I could not agree with you more. I graduated from Purdue University last May and I thought I had utilized the internet and social networks very well. I was wrong. All I really used was facebook. I had a LinkedIn profile, but never updated. Now, I work for a social media company and we recently launched a college program that aims to educate students about social media tools through free events (planned by students) and campus blogs (maintained by students). The program is called SocialMediaCamp.us. If you are interested you can find more information on our website (as well as contact information, if you would like to send me an email). http://socialmediacamp.us/.