A well-respected marketer made an argument recently about purpose-driven isn’t a positioning in the market place but expertise is. I wonder if he saw something that I missed as a fellow marketer. After read his blog a few times, I decided to write today’s blog.
Before we move on to talk about purpose-driven, let’s understand positioning first. It’s a term that marketers use to differentiate one business or organization from another. Taking and owning a positioning give the business or organization competitive advantage, especially in a crowded category. Generally speaking we consider a positioning from these 4 aspects: category(industry), value proposition, competition, and the differentiator. As you see, positioning isn’t a single dimension measurement but a combination of a few.
Purpose-driven is a part of positioning.
Both Ecosia and Google offer search engine service. The former uses 80% of business profit to tackle climate change worldwide, while the latter takes the opposite stand to support climate misinformation. Who would you support? The difference between the two is positioning.
When both Camp Arowhon and another camp offer similar overnight summer camp for children between age 7-15, the former emphasizes learning and care culture, while the latter is about having fun and competition (popularity). Whom would you choose to send your children to? The difference between them is positioning.
When Dr. V founded Aravind Eye Hospital in India to eradicate blindness caused by cataract, he offered surgery and services as other eye doctors did in the country. He chose to stand with the poor by creating a unique business model: the service is free for people who can’t afford it but donation-based for people who can, while many others set out to make profit. Who would you choose if you need the service and have the means to pay? The difference between them is positioning.
When brands that have met the brilliant basics marked by their industry (in order to compete) have the guts to take a purpose stand by owning it, it has become a strong differentiator than the ones who don't.
Being able to care is the point.