How to be different in a sea of sameness?
There are many parts to the process of designing a believable, relevant, and highly distinctive impression or mind-space to occupy. Here I focus on the OUTCOME, not the process of positioning.
It is possible to land at a differentiated positioning, eventually… over time – if you have it. The alternative is to get down and do the heady work of designing your position in the minds of your consumers.
It is important work, because it is how and why people choose you.
It is a time-consuming process that requires you do some real thinking, so many business owners skip the process altogether. With sad consequences, as I will show you today.
I have some examples of what happens with good positioning and contrast that with poor or no positioning. I hope that whatever your field of business, you will gain some insight that will serve to guide and direct you.
I decided to use the field of Hypnotherapy for my examples because hypnosis is a category about which everybody has an impression or opinion.
You probably have some idea of what it is, what it does, and what it is for. You may also have ideas about who needs it or uses it.
According to my trusty friend and ally, Google, here a list of issues and conditions people cite as reasons for seeking hypnotherapy:ADD/ADHD – allergies – anger management – asthma – bereavement – birthing – chemotherapy – chronic pain – creativity – depression – emotional clearing/trauma – enhancing memory – exam nerves – exzema – fears/phobias – fertility – fibromyalgia – insomnia – irritable bowel syndrome – migranes – motivation – nail biting – pain control – panic attacks – pre-/post-op surgery – procrastination – prosperity – relaxation – self-esteem/confidence – sexual problems – sleep problems – sport enhancement – stammering – stop smoking – stress/anxiety – teeth grinding – weight loss/management/mastery
So, how do hypnotherapists distinguish themselves in this muddy sea?
Well, the possibilities are endless… I see Breaking Habits, Managing Symptoms, Coping with Psycholgical Issues and Traumas, Healing, Coaching, Attitude Change…
The point in having a tagline is to reveal the essence of one’s positioning. I culled 70 hypnotherapists’ taglines from the internet and found the positionings behind their taglines reveal that few thought this through.
Before we get to the examples I have selected for you, we should define what we are looking for.
An effective positioning – whatever your line of business – should reflect Who needs you and Why (what problem do you solve).
3 Key criteria of positioning are
- Clarity (what it is and for whom)
- Relevance to the consumer (what matters to them, believable, and in their words)
- Distinctiveness (show you are different from direct competition or similar offerings)
If your positioning meets these 3 criteria, it probably will have the power to appeal to and persuade the people you care about.
Let’s look at a few I found aiming at what I call the “attitude” positioning:
- Optimize your mind, optimize your life.
- The power is yours.
- Open the door to possibility.
- Live the life you’d love to live.
These are all completely lacking in specificity and thus clarity, relevance and distinctiveness. Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe in “selling the dream” or marketing the transformation – but you do need to articulate the dream in order to sell it.
Here are some of the more successful “attitude” positionings and why they are good:
- Peace of mind is an inside job. [tools for change targeted at stressed and frazzled]
- Gain clarity, resolve blocks, spark change. [you know when you need this hypnotherapist]
- Take control of your life. [help for those who feel life spiraling out of control]
Demographically targeted but non-specific “coaching/counseling” positioning:
- Change happens with hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy and counseling for adults and teens.
- Helping people help themselves.
- Wellness with hypnosis.
Nebulous New Age:
- Inner quest Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy.
- Mind over body.
- Hypnotherapy and Intuitive Counseling.
Contrast those with sharp, defined, and specific New Age:
- Solution Oriented Hypnotherapy. Interactive Guided Imagery, Integrating Mind, Body and Spirit.
- Mental & Emotional healing and spiritual transformation through current & past life regression.
Almost there “clinical” positioning:
- Specializing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, fears, panic disorders, self injury, chronic pain and persistent symptoms and conditions.
Brilliant “clinical” positioning:
- Helping women and teens suffering from PTSD, Panic Disorder, Anxiety, Phobia and Depression.
Close to brilliant “general hypnosis” clearly targeting people who need immediate results:
- Get results fast: change habits, overcome fears and improve performance now.
A final parting shot – a few that are completely useless, and by now I am sure you can see why:
- Specializing in ONE-on-ONE custom hypnosis for maximum effectiveness.
- Caring and productive personalized sessions.
- Experience the true power of your mind.
As I said at the beginning, developing your positioning is heady brain work, but it is your invitation to your ideal client to come and work with you so you can do what you love.
Isn’t it worth a little time and effort?
Marketing costs money. Spending it on the useless nonsense of some of these examples costs you even more. It costs you clients.
Your positioning comes from your heart, but it needs to appeal to your ideal customer.