The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Anti Positioning Is Enticing …


That thing that planners, marketers and advertising in general spends eons going on about.

Of course I understand why … having a clear and concise territory that you play in helps society associate you with a role/purpose that, hopefully, will pay dividends in the long run.

Now the thing with positioning is it’s as much about sacrificing what you’re not going to be as it is defining what you are.

As much about who you’re not going to appeal to as who you will.

For the last 25 years, I’ve been a massive advocate of that until I saw this …

The photo – and quote – comes from a band called Illust8ors.

I don’t really care if you’ve never heard of them, but that reference is amazing.

Rage Against The Machine and Maroon 5.

Two bands that should never, ever be in the same sentence and yet – despite all you would think – it makes me want to check them out rather than shut the door on them.

Who knows if they mean what they said.

Who knows if their music is like Rage Against Maroon 5.

But I will soon … because while some may say they’ve positioned themselves broad, they’ve achieved exactly what a great positioning does … pull people in.

17 Comments so far
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Which came first, the positioning topic or the band description? It works in a way only you would see and only you could pull off.

Comment by Pete

have a wild fucking guess.

Comment by andy@cynic

I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Comment by Pete

I believe Kerrang and Smash Hits have both died Andy. This was from Classic Rock magazine – which I am sure will offend you as much as the weekly trips to Helen Reid’s newsagents that I used to make so I could catch up on the latest in metal whiles staying warm from the cold and the rain.

Comment by Rob

based on those fuckers description of themselves, ii dont know if you were reading kerrang or fucking smash hits.

Comment by andy@cynic

If you are going to challenge the concept of positioning, surely validation has to be measured by the success of the band? That said, I’m intrigued enough to want to know more about them.

Comment by George

Sure … and the fact you and me both are checking out a band that we [1] have never heard of and [2] never would normally consider is proof it is successful.

Come on, don’t tell me you meant it in terms of ‘sales’ of their albums. Please tell me you didn’t make that fundamental error. Of course that is the goal, but there’s only so much ‘positioning’ can do.

Comment by Rob

One must be “pulled in” to make the clear and concise affirmation to be “out”.

Comment by thundermurphy

it’s a well-known method to prove any math theorem. Or, as Holmes famously said; ‘when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth’

Comment by Han Xi

So who should we blame for this, Rob?
Futurebrand or Simon Cowell?

Comment by Ian Gee

It only pulls you in if it’s interesting. There’s so many bands who could make that claim and that renders it meaningless and uninteresting. I couldn’t care less about them based on this and have no recollection of their name.

I tend to agree with your premise, but your example doesn’t illustrate it for me.

Comment by John

Sure, but by the same token there’s a lot of brands that could also claim any number of positioning owned by a competitor and so there is something to be said for simply being the one to say it first.

I agree it could quickly be rendered useless if every other band starts doing a similar thing, but for these guys, I think it proves the premise has some merit even if this example is not the tightest of examples. [Ooer Missus]

Comment by Rob

Oh come on. Marketing 101 – the customer decides what you stand for not you. Making the claim is just flying a kite – if,like me, people say well that could apply to any number of bands even that dodgy one from Nottingham – then there was no point making it

Comment by John

Interesting, as usual, positioning is only as good as the people doing the job.
Usually, it makes loads of money for brand consultants and naff all for the brand

Comment by northern

im almost happy youre back. thats how fucking bored i am on here.

Comment by andy@cynic

Doesn’t work for me. At least the example doesn’t. Seems less like a positioning and more like an attitude of “fuck you, we play music.” So maybe this is actually an example of positioning vis-a-vis brand personality.

Comment by Elliot Langerman

and your comment is an example of why fucking planners confuse creatives. what the fuck?

Comment by andy@cynic

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