The rich conglomerates spend millions in order to make their way into the brains of their customers. And what can the poor small companies offer? Information. Whetted, sharpened, and chiselled information. In the form of a brochure (in former times) or a website (today). The prospective customer is dead before he has even become a customer. He drowns in the flood of information. Here is a totally different approach.
In the year 2002, the market for office property was accurately divided in two: firstly, there were the extremely expensive cosy locations in the big city, and secondly there were the extremely inexpensive ones in Walachia. There was nothing in between. Then the MainAirportCenter (MAC) came and demanded the usual brochure.
Characteristics of the MAC: situated near Frankfurt airport, investment architecture, relatively high rent. Not precisely an easy sale. Some other – not spectacularly rented out – office buildings were already situated near the airport.
So what to do? Lots of thinking, short slogans. After all, there is not only the most central airport of Germany nearby, but also the most central motorway interchange and the most central ICE railway station. There was no other location in Germany from which you could travel to all other locations in Germany faster. And we had our slogan:
The fastest office of Germany.
In order to support our story and our positioning, we did not make a brochure. Instead we designed a distance-time-money measuring divide in the web. For all companies who still sat in Walachia in their allegedly inexpensive quarters. Now they were able calculate how much time and money they saved by sending their employees to the customers from Germany’s fastest office, rather than from Walachia. Dell moved in quickly. The first tenant had been sitting in Langen before and the sums they had spent on unproductive travel times had been exorbitant.
Do not believe in the fairy tale that people are interested in plenty of information. Do not believe you have all the 30 seconds of an elevator pitch (all you get is one sentence). Only believe what you can test.
Is your positioning easy to communicate? Can the managing director tell it as easily as the trainee? Can it be told as easily by the media as on the telephone? Can you use both other people’s words and your own? Then you have a good positioning. Otherwise all you have is secret knowledge in the bosom of your managing director or in your archive drawers.
Regardless of the web. Regardless of the digital media. Among your customers and prospectives, it is still the ancient medium that sells best: the story (which, of course, must contain your positioning). That has bee true as long as humans exist. If you lived in the Stone Age and wanted to be invited to the campfire, you had to have a good story. Then you got food, drink, a place to rest and sometimes even the women of the hosts. If not, you were lucky not to get slain.
That, at least, is something that will not happen today.
(Translated by EG)