Hi, Tator Tot.
"You have a bold and brave heart to wear these clothes," the tailor tells me.
She is crouched on the floor, pinning an extra fold of fabric around the inseam of these candy-pink pants I'm wearing. Nearby hangs the matching pink jacket and a second new suit: black with a riot of bright butterflies.
I watch her in the mirror. I debate how to respond.
I've had a sh*t week. (The asterisk is there because I don't want any scolding from those gatekeeping email filters who sprout halos of piousness at that word.)
This week had too many details. Too many deadlines. Too many plates spinning. A couple of them smashed on the floor, requiring a Costco-sized application of Super Glue. I'm mentally spinning them right now in my brain.
I don't know this tailor; I've never worked with her before. But there's something about her...
Let's weigh our choices, my brain says:
Option 1. Respond with Platitude? ("Thank you... mumble mumble... it's my... umm...brand.")
Option 2. Respond with
"Thank you," I say, out loud this time. On impulse, I choose Truth:
"To be honest I don't feel bold
and brave right now," I tell her.
She stops pinning as she looks up at me, through the mirror. "Oh," she says. "I have something for that." She goes back to work.
Mental plates stop spinning. What did she mean by that?
* * *
Ten minutes later, as I'm leaving her shop, she pushes a brochure into my hands. "Also pick up clothes Friday," she says. "Open 11-5. Cash only. No cards."
Outside, I look at
On one side is her tailoring business card, with a heavy old-school font and a sewing machine that looks like it ran screaming from the low-rez library of Windows 95 clip art. "Susan," the font reads.
The flip side of the brochure is partially in Korean. It's sales collateral for health and beauty supplements—herbs and serums and sprays and little bottles. Little wellness nips?
suddenly remember something else Susan told me as I was leaving: "No annual fee." (Ah. Now I get it.)
Confusing, isn't it?
Two totally different businesses, working out of the same storefront.
* * *
That was a few weeks ago. Ironically, one of those spinning plates was a talk on brand positioning I was due to give in Vegas.
Brand positioning is often misunderstood. But in Vegas, I broke it
Brand positioning is the rich, warm place you thrive in that lets your customers see who you are. And how you're better than all the rest at delivering what they need right now.
It's not a logo.
It's not a tagline.
It's not only your value proposition. (Although that's part of it.)
Brand positioning signals why people should care about you. That care is what makes them think of you first—before all your competitors.
I like the Venn diagram Qualtrics offers to explain positioning—see below, adapted/edited by me.
I like it in part because I can't
resist a good Venn.
And I like it because Qualtrics uses plain language in describing where to focus. (Not "inadvisable zone..." but "dumb zone.") Feels more honest and real, yeah?
(Here's the original.)