Positioning is not a copywriting problem

Positioning is not a copywriting problem

It's a business strategy problem.

This drives me nuts. And should drive you too! 

Creative firms are run by creative-first, rarely business-first. They learn business on the go, and that's absolutely fine. Smarter of them use advisors.

And here’s the issue.  

I’m seeing consultants trying to approach positioning problems with copywriting as a tool. That’s an ass first approach! That’s bad advice!

Positioning is not a copywriting problem. It’s a business strategy problem. 

It’s not about choosing words that differentiate your firm. It's about understanding the market, clients motivations, buying process, and spotting a market position.


 Pushing your current elevator pitch or mission statement through a thesaurus won’t solve your business problems. Sorry not sorry.

I’ve seen advisors approaching this from the wording perspective. I’ve seen firms implement it. I’ve seen badly positioned firms as a result. I’ve even seen shops closing for that.

And this makes my blood boil. Because I like creative firms. These are good guys, and the world would be a better place if there were more people like that.The times are tough for creative firms. 

Following a slowdown, that some reported late 2022, and the worst 2023 I've seen in my business career, this year is not giving us reasons to drown in optimism. 

It does not mean there's no work on the market. There is! 

What I mean is that the work is not abundant as it was in a few years following covid. And in order to recalibrate, and keep your business on track, relying on what worked previously is most likely not going to work.  

What makes the challenge more difficult is a range of industry shifts that are not helping either.  

What are these? Let's name a few.  

Number 1 - The fall of agencies.  

Buyers are becoming more agency-avert. In-house teams are on the rise. Studios are different, and this may depend on who you're serving, but either you'll be affected directly, or indirectly via agencies.  

Number 2 - Market saturation.  

The number of undifferentiated small studios and one-man shops entering the market and offering this or that kind of design, motion or creative services is truly mind-boggling. It's everywhere. And they all fight for clients, swallowing the lower end of the market. 

Number 3 - The collapse of communication channels.  

Many creative firms (mind included) used to rely to some extend on email outreach. Whether it's a good tactics is a separate discussion, but for many, that was a part of the mix and made sense.  

 This channel virtually collapsed beginning of 2023 with the rise of generative AIs. 

Another channel that could be helpful, was relationship building and networking on the back of social media platforms, like LinkedIn. I'm seeing this channel collapsing too. Why? Because of the amount of sales pressure, it's becoming much more difficult to make new connections and open relationships this way.  

That leaves us with low hanging fruits on the ground and demands way more sophisticated, often offline methods for generating new business. 

There's more, but let's leave it here. 

Because of all that, today more than ever, positioning your offering correctly is a make-or-break challenge for your business.  

But you don't have to do it alone. Use advisors. Most of great and successful studios I know get support. 

Stay prolific. Till the next one! 

Thinking bigger, seeing farther, making impact. Insights into building and evolving creative businesses and B2B brands. Coming at you from "the fast thinker", Patrick Kizny. #b2b #branding #marketing #creative