Positioning Mission-Driven Organizations


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How you position your mission-driven organization is a vital part of your identity, as it differentiates you from others. A firm positioning strategy can become a strong center of gravity for all your communications.

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  • On their face, Profit driven and mission driven organizations may look very different. Their core goals are certainly based on different values. From the inside out, many non profits, and institutes of higher education may consider their missions to be very different from those of a profit driven organization.But as you can see, the strategies at the end of the day are not all that different. And where we consider how brand positioning can help – not just from a communication perspective, but from a cultural and operational perspective as well.Now, you may be asking yourself, why isn’t having a clear, understandable, believable, and supportable mission enough?
  • Positioning Mission-Driven Organizations

    1. 1. Marshall Positioning Mission-Driven Organizations A strategic approach to differentiation Marshall Strategy November 2013 info@marshallstrategy.com www.marshallstrategy.com @MarshallStrat
    2. 2. About Marshall Strategy Marshall Strategy is a privately owned, entrepreneurial agency, staffed with senior people with multi-industry expertise. Our services are aimed at one simple goal – improving brand value. We develop and implement strategies that increase appreciation and enthusiasm for our clients, including creating positioning strategies that are meaningful, memorable and lasting. 369 Pine St., Penthouse San Francisco, CA 94104 415.677.9525 s info@marshallstrategy.com www.marshallstrategy.com @MarshallStrat © Marshall Strategy 2013 2
    3. 3. Introduction Mission-driven organizations are formed to accomplish goals that go beyond achieving a profit and include a societal benefit. On the surface, profit-driven and mission-driven organizations may look very different. The first seeks to create shareholder value, while the latter strives to make a positive impact on a community, region or institution. In reality, each type requires similar behaviors from its employees, customers and investors to be successful. This is where brand positioning comes into play. A strong positioning strategy can have a profound effect on an organization’s success, by clearly differentiating it from its peers in relevant ways. © Marshall Strategy 2013 3
    4. 4. The Role of Positioning Despite differing goals, profit-driven and mission-driven organizations rely on brand positioning in similar ways. Profit Driven Goal Mission Driven Shareholder value Meaningful impact Brand Positioning Create a preference Strategies Command a premium Maximize efficiency Create awareness Inspire support Motivate resources © Marshall Strategy 2013 4
    5. 5. Three Keys to a Successful Positioning Initiative Each of these keys to success has a valuable outcome: Understand the mission Believe the mission Support the mission © Marshall Strategy 2013 • Better understanding yields higher awareness. • Belief in the mission creates a preference. • Desire to support you builds loyalty. Together, they lead to success of mission. 5
    6. 6. Your Mission Statement A mission statement is vital, but it is not enough. As shown below, these top universities’ mission statements include important and valuable principles, but they are similar. Be sure to distinguish your mission. How does it need to be thought out to be distinctly understood and valued by all audiences critical to your success? To advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today's complex world. Devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. A world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. © Marshall Strategy 2013 6
    7. 7. Positioning Framework The role of positioning is to convey ownership of your mission in a way that no one else can. It connects your mission to any number of forms of expression such as identity, messaging or even in how you operate. Identity Messaging What is your mission? Definition How should it be perceived? Expression Positioning Campaigns Operations Experience © Marshall Strategy 2013 7
    8. 8. What Is Positioning? Positioning is a singular idea. It is how your organization needs to be thought of by all internal and external audiences critical to success. It is the idea that drives how you operate, communicate, recruit, plan and execute, and how you measure success. Awareness Mission Position Preference Loyalty © Marshall Strategy 2013 8
    9. 9. Key Positioning Criteria In order to know which idea, and which articulation of that idea, will best position your organization, there are five criteria it should satisfy. Unique • Can anyone else say it? Credible • Will people believe it? Relevant • Will people care? Sustainable • Will it last? Motivational • Will it engage emotionally? © Marshall Strategy 2013 9
    10. 10. Case Study DAI This mission-driven organization needed to be seen as a differentiated and valuable player in international development. Mission: To be the global leader in providing social and economic development solutions to business, government and civil society in developing and transitioning countries. Challenges • Undifferentiated mission among other development organizations • Emphasis on specific technical disciplines vs. overall differentiators created a sense of fragmentation • Multiple competitors for funding from one dominant sponsor (USAID) © Marshall Strategy 2013 10
    11. 11. Case Study DAI Challenges Multiple practices (skills) across multiple markets fragmented how DAI was thought of. Reliance on these details for differentiation was not adding up to a meaningful idea. Clients Markets USAID U.S. DOD MCC Corporate Global Corps. Europe World Bank DFID EBRD Africa DAI organization Skills Agribusiness Governance Water & resources Finance & banking Global business solutions HIV/AIDS CMR Mission To provide social and economic solutions for business, government and communities in developing and transitioning countries. Middle East Project locations Africa Middle East South America Eastern Europe EC ADB Asia Americas © Marshall Strategy 2013 11
    12. 12. Case Study DAI Positioning In reality, DAI had a highly differentiated position. • Their solutions were all based on sound economics and agricultural practices. • They were highly effective in the world’s most challenging environments. • Their method was to help people turn their own adversity into sustainable prosperity. We distilled this position into three key words that clarified and complemented their mission. Mission To provide social and economic solutions for business, government and communities in developing and transitioning countries. Positioning Advancing Human Prosperity © Marshall Strategy 2013 12
    13. 13. Case Study DAI Positioning Story Advancing Human Prosperity Who we are DAI is a leading international development group committed to advancing human prosperity and institutional effectiveness in some of the world's most challenging environments. What we do We enable businesses, governments and communities to prosper by providing creative and sustainable solutions to economic adversity. Why we are better We are able to leverage 35 years of global experience, extensive local relationships, world-class technical capabilities and our commitment to continuous learning to solve new and old challenges. © Marshall Strategy 2013 13
    14. 14. Conclusion This idea, “Advancing Human Prosperity”, conveyed not only DAI’s mission, but also the unique way that mission needed to be perceived across their many operations. In three simple words. How you position your mission-driven organization is a vital part of your identity, as it differentiates you from others. A firm positioning strategy can become a strong center of gravity for all your communications. “To succeed in our over-communicated society, a company must create a position in the prospect’s mind, a position that takes into consideration not only a company’s own strength’s and weaknesses, but those of its competitors as well.” Al Reis, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind: How to Be Seen and Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace. For more information www.marshallstrategy.com © Marshall Strategy 2013 14