The essence of early brand engagement

In its most basic form, early brand positioning is a glimpse into where you want to be in the future. It’s the vision of how you want your product to be perceived after it is launched.  Years ago when we were pharmaceutical sales representatives, we learned there are two truisms to being successful. First, you have to know the Package Insert inside and out because it is the playing field for your product and you have to know the ins and outs of every possible positive and negative aspect. Second, you have to “walk the patient across the doctor’s desk,” in order for a physician to consider your product in a particular type of patient. Once the physician understands the type of patient you’re describing and the key selling points, the question they ask themselves is “why should I use your product over my current choices?” A good sales representative has to understand what a customer likes about his current choice, why his product would be a better choice, and how to make that value evident.

During development, press fast-forward to observe a day in the life of a sales representative. If you were that sales rep, what would you want to be able to say about your product? Through that lens, you have to know what space you want to own in your customers’ minds and be able to support that positioning with a compelling story backed by data and reasons to believe.

Working backwards from the space you want to own and the story you need to tell to support the desired positioning then directs your development efforts to prove that story with the right data. The value of early brand positioning is the vision it helps create that puts you in charge of the course you chart. If you know where you want to go, it’s much easier to get there.