If the answer is yes, you are not alone. There are thousands of advertising agencies that wake up everyday and wonder if their agency brand position is going to help them get the attention of a desirable account. Unfortunately, they go to sleep knowing that they haven’t found that super special secret sauce.
What makes this daily exercise worrisome is that these agencies clearly know that they won’t differentiate their brand by having a positioning that sounds like the agency down the street, in the next state or across the world.
Advertising Agency Positioning…
Agency brand positioning has been the bane of agencies, especially “full-service” agencies for decades. A primary communications path has been… “we do great work.” Sorry, except for this month’s hot shop it is very difficult to sustain the “we do great work” creative shop mantra and aura.
Not surprising, because of the difficulty agencies have in creating differentiation, it is VERY difficult for clients to really make a distinction from one creative shop (or digital shop) to another. Take a look at the San Francisco section of my Pinterest ad agency directory to see just how confusing the world of agency marketing can be.
There have been dozens of articles, seminars and presentations on this subject. Just for the sake of repetition, here is a short list of some of my favorite adjetives and “USP’s”:
- Media Neutral
- Very Creative
- Brand Builders
- Idea People
- Responsive – You Come First
- Your Marketing Partner
- Experience: We Come From Big Agencies
- Service: Better service than you will get from a big agency
- Oh, We Only Assign Senior People To your Account
Big yawn, right?
Is there a solution? Yes. I suggest that your positioning quest can take one of three approaches.
First: Have Personality
Think about how your brand positioning could express a unique personality trait or business approach that can act as a benefit story. A brand “personality” that I lived with at Saatchi & Saatchi’s London office was the rallying statement…
“Nothing is impossible.”
“Nothing is impossible” worked for clients looking to win in competitive markets and it worked for staff as a guide for the relentless pursuit of excellence. By the way, it also helped us stay the course in our new business efforts.
Second: Go Niche
Full-service or even “digital” isn’t at all narrow. There are simply too many of these types of agencies for anyone to stand out. However, at least digital starts to put an agency into a smaller pool. But, I suggest that you could go narrower. Just as there have been agencies known as being TV agencies, there are digital shops known for their mobile, email, Facebook, Pinterest, analytical skills.
Yes, you probably can do everything. But, being able to do everything is nice to say but is very forgettable when a client searches for agencies and they all say .. we do everything.
Third: Stand For Something Different
This could either be a distinctive service offer like mobile marketing expert or if you are a “full-service” agency find a narrow, own-able positioning like London Advertising’s clearly distinctive:
“We create One Brilliant Idea that can work in any media, anywhere in the world.”