Everyone wants to buy from a leader. You want to buy from companies that give you confidence that when you lay down your money, to know that you’re doing right by yourself, your family or your business.
So if everyone wants to buy from a leader, every business wants to be a leader. So what kind of leader is your company? What kind of leader should you be? The answer can go a long way toward focusing your public relations and marketing efforts in the right direction.
Consider these five leadership styles:
1. The Visionary Leader: The company that looks ahead. Keeps the customers at the state of the art, and guides them to the future. Visionary leaders think beyond their own product, shape industries, and tell us which way the world is headed.
2. The Market Leader: The one that dominates market share because they sell the most. They are the leader because they make good products, sell them well, and at some point “everyone else” buys their stuff, so it’s a safe choice. Not the flashiest or the coolest, but solid and reliable. Many Market Leaders are content to continue as Market Leaders; others look to extend themselves into the role of visionary.
3. The Technology Leader: The geeks and the nerds. The ones who get known for making the best products, with the most elegant feature sets or innovative designs. As leaders, the team’s experts explain technology and advocate for better solutions. They quickly integrate ‘what’s next’. They position their team as the smartest guys in the room who can solve their customers’ problems with their smart thinking.
4. The Best Practices Leader: These are the process experts. They know what’s going on in the customer’s world, and are always thinking about how to solve problems and make things better. They’re team has typically been there, done that, and can send you a whitepaper on how to implement best practices that enable customers to lower costs and improve speed and efficiency. The Best Practices Leader wants to sell their solution, of course, but doesn’t mind sharing their broader knowledge of how to do things right.
5. The Customer Service Leader: These are the customer advocates. They are there for their customers. They differentiate on service – fast response, easy to reach, easy to do business. Go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. It’s a positioning that works in industries where most products are largely the same – what the customer needs is to know that their vendor will take good care of them.
Every company uses different styles, often more than one at once. Choosing a primary leadership positioning style focuses public relations and marketing strategy. The key is to choose a strategy that fits, that amplifies the existing products, brand, and company culture.
For further discussion:
• Agree or disagree with these leadership positioning types?
• What other categories would you add?
• What style does your company use?
• What well-known companies would you attach to each of these leadership positioning styles?