Positioning is the place your company holds in the minds of your current and prospective customers on any given factors, relative to your competition.
I had to pull this from one of my old conference talks because, frankly, I thought it came from the seminal book, Positioning, by Al Reis and Jack Trout.
But it turns out, it’s more like a mashup of the ideas they talk about.
The takeaway is this: positioning isn’t something that exists objectively in the market.
You can’t simply say what you do better or differently than the competition.
That’s messaging. It helps, but it’s not positioning.
Positioning lives in the minds of your current and prospective customers relative to the competition.
Those two bolded parts matter.
What matters most is whether your intended positioning sticks in the minds of current and prospective—and how it fits in relation to the competition (their other choices).
You can help guide your company or product positioning with good product, marketing, and messaging strategies, but that’s it.
Much like brand, it’s an ongoing dance.