Shows Main Idea – In the 1980s, the book “Positioning, the Battle for the Mind” came out, which had a profound impact on marketing that continues to this day. As with all good ideas in our culture, you’ll find them in some form in the Bible. And when it comes to connecting to the minds of your audience, it’s vital for Christians to understand this concept.
You may want to read:
- Why People Won’t Listen to You
- Two Reasons Why You Should Start Writing Today
- The How and Why of Good Blog Content
Though I will be speaking mostly to marketing, you’ll learn how this principle—positioning—is vital to any idea that you want another person to grasp. If you’re a church, ministry, or business, you must understand this principle if you’re going to connect well and help those you desire to serve.
I’ve been reading business and marketing books since my late teens because I’ve always been intrigued by success stories. Perhaps coming from a dysfunctional family where learning how to do things well was not an option, I found “the story” of those who know how to overcome intriguing.
Of course, it was after God saved me that I began to realize that real success was His mercy to me, but I also learned that my relationship with God was not a passive adventure. He wants us to actively and aggressively work out what He is working into us (Philippians 2:13-14). And though all credit goes to Him, we must learn from His special and general revelations, which means we can benefit from His common grace on unregenerate image-bearers.
What Is Positioning Marketing?
“Positioning” is the process of understanding what already resonates in a person’s thinking and then connecting (or positioning) your product or idea into the mind of that person.
The thinking is that we live in an over-communicated and distracted culture, and if you attempted to create something that nobody has ever heard of, it would not resonate with them. Let me give you three illustrations, one from the world, one from the Bible, and one from discipleship.
- Seven Up, the UN-Cola
- The Unknown God
- Twelve Universal Assumptions that You Can Make about Anyone
Your Ministry Is a Business
When Christians think about what I do, they call it a ministry. Rarely would any of them call it a business. When I share with an unbeliever what I do, they understand it as a business. None of them would call it a ministry. Ironically, both demographics are correct—it’s a ministry on the facing side, but behind the curtain, it’s a business. A church is the same way.
- Social Media
- Web Development
- Strategic Planning
- Personel Development
- IRS Tax Laws
And if you’re not business minded, you may fail at what you’re doing. The magical idea of trusting God, so all you have to do is “build it, and they will come” is bogus. There are zillions of bloggers out there, posting their honest thoughts that nobody is reading. Part of the problem could be the quality of their ideas—they are poor articulators of the truth, but there is no question that if you don’t resonate (position) with your audience, they won’t listen to you.
Mission and Method
Know the difference between the error of the seeker-sensitive movement and the legalist who won’t change.
Many Christians operate about twenty years behind the culture. And because of this, they don’t relate well to the people and times in which they live. Though the gospel never changes, our methods must always be changing, or we’ll end up like Blockbuster or Radio Shack.
Fundamental Idea – Don’t fall in love with your methods, but fall in love with your mission. If you keep your mission in view, you’re willing to adapt your methods in an ever-changing world, which will keep you relevant, expanding, and influencing.
E.g., the man behind a desk, with a white shirt, necktie, and a big Bible. Today, there is the redemptive use of technology where more than 70% of the world prefers content on mobile devices.
- Mission: Our mission is to help people by providing practical tools and ongoing training for effective living.
- Method: Our methods evolve every week, month, and year as we learn how folks are appropriating God’s common grace, which will aid us in reaching them the way they want things.
The Christian Analogy
- The Christian Life – This principle is similar to salvation and progressive sanctification. God saves us, which is a “one and done,” unchanging experience, but we must learn, grow, and change if we are going to be all that Christ wants us to be.
- The Christian Church – This concept also applies to churches, too. When churches begin, they continuously change as they adapt. But after a church gets to a certain point, like ten years, they stop changing. They become “stuck in their ways,” and if they persist in their “stuckness,” they will lose their vibrancy and may die.
Though our mission has not changed since we began this ministry, our methodology has changed in many ways because our culture is not the same as it was in the mid-2000s.
Ways We Position Ourselves
- Our brand is coffee, with no “Christian paraphernalia.”
- Our vibe is relational: my signature is our logo. All of our pictures are real, not fake or photoshop. Our four primary colors are warm and friendly.
- Our product is helping people improve.
- Our means for reaching the culture is the “redemptive use of technology,” which has evolved since we started because technology is never the same.
Call to Action
- Are people listening to you?
- Is your audience growing?
- How are your methods for reaching your audience?
- What are some ways that you’re positioning yourself in the minds of your audience?
- What are some ideas that you’re learning from your culture that you can implement into what you’re doing?