Position – Where and how you position matters…
It was a board meeting, I reached faster than the long arm of the watch, it had to complete another semi-circle. Sometimes it appears like a waste of time to be much ahead of the scheduled meeting time, but it helps in being calm and gives me ‘my-time’. I was neither dressed in a coat, nor a tie. I was in business casuals and expected everyone would be there in business casuals.
As the board members trickled in, I could see more of black and grey in the room, and everyone was suited and booted. The huge dossiers, projector screen, and munches on the table seemed to be present from the age of the mountains. Often, I have felt why cannot we have board meetings without leather, paper, suits, projectors etc., and break the stereotype? Even the agenda points felt frail and old. Yet, the stark difference was, me in business casuals, while the entire table was in formals. The Chairman took the table head, the aircon was in full blast, I missed my coat.
What was important for me to ponder was ‘Did the attire matter?’ The answer was quite easy, the attire did matter, the world would need presentation. Yet, content was more powerful than the attire, that the gravity of the eyeballs could easily find a direction to see throughout the meeting.
As an individual, building a personal position is important, that does not mean power dressing, fancy cars, Blanc pens, and the Porsche glasses – these toys are personal preferences, these do not give positioning.
As an individual where would you position yourself is vital. Being a ‘yes-man’ is a negative positioning of oneself. Being a ‘solution-provider’ would make the world look at you in a different position.
Similarly, when I meet a global icon, I am awestruck with him and have all the admiration to him. Yet, I would never communicate or position myself smaller. Him being 6 feet does not make me a dwarf, him being a billionaire does not make me a pauper. He has his position, so have we. The reader should never equate positioning with a status quotient or ego, that is the ugly part of a being, positioning is not to be in a place, it is actually a space.
An organization also requires positioning in terms of who are our target customers, the vendors we have, the market segment we operate in. A departmental store that is kept open expecting a pauper and a billionaire to walk around in the same aisle, would get neither. What does your store command, is it positioned to attract the mass or is it a Salvatore? Are you serving only the SME segment, or every person who walks in?
We will not accept a client who pays less than 5 lakhs is a positioning. We will not work for people who do not respect ethical values is a positioning. We will work with technology start-ups only is an example, and we would get vegetarian families only as residents in this complex is a positioning. A garment store which has only high style of garments is positioning, while a mega mall with every type of garment is also positioning. You would need to identify which is the market segment you would need to work and focus on that.
An organization also requires positioning in terms of whoare our target customers, the vendors we have, the market segment we operate in.
The price of a similar commodity would vary depending on where you are positioned. A salon could have the same décor as its competitor, but it could be charging twice its competitor, because this salon services lesser people with deeper pockets. The former might have positioned itself as a place where more the merrier, it is a people’s market. Every store, every sector, needs to know where it would like to stand. The deliverable of an ‘India – entry services’ is the same across the country, but some players would command a million rupees for the same engagement as opposed to a few thousands by a few. Both the players have their own market, but it is important to choose your SWOT and position in the market.
As I sat in the boardroom, the attire did not deter me much, although I made a mental note that I should be dressed to the occasion but if I had put myself down in the meeting, it would have not helped me at all.
I realized, even in a room of a dozen people, a person would require positioning. We would need to position ourselves; positioning sells. Positioning is not a personal ego; it is the right way to get a mind share.
Even God requires positioning, let alone sapiens. The world respects a stone only when it is on the altar.
Therefore, where an individual positions himself is very important.