Own a Sandbox – Positioning Your Brand

by Benj Miller | Apr 20, 2021

Recently we were having a brand conversation with a client. We had worked together to create a brand strategy for them when they were launching their company. Any time you are branding in an infant stage of an organization, you are branding around the bets you were making when you started the company.

As you go, grow, and learn – you mature. The same bet you made on day one will likely not be the same bet you make after being in the market for a while.

In this conversation, the client was struggling to win deals in the market where they were competing. The competition was too far ahead, too well known, and too well funded. After a deep dive through the business and the brand, something interesting happened.

The bet was still right, but we allowed market inertia to pull the brand into a sandbox it wasn’t trying to compete in. Once we realized this, the solve was simple – reposition back to the original bet, which was why it was winning the deals it was winning.

When you position your brand you need to be clear about:

  1. What sandbox you are playing in 
  2. Why you own that sandbox

In this case, we moved over to an adjacent sandbox in which we provided clear market leadership. That leadership was around a specific problem. If you don’t have that problem, then you are probably looking in another sandbox… one in which we were not positioned to win.

Sometimes you need a better or clearer reason to own your sandbox.

Sometimes you need to look for a new sandbox.

Don’t be afraid of owning a small sandbox. It provides a much richer environment than getting bullied or losing in a crowded one.

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 by Benj Miller

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