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Positioning and Trust


Positioning and Trust

20 July, 2023

I recently bought some flights to take my teenage children away in the autumn—an ultra-competitive market where comparing prices is the game.

I have a lot of sympathy with the travel industry (to name but one), with ‘disruptor’ web portals whose sole game is to skim margin. Why invest in infrastructure when you can take your piece of the pie by making the supply chain have a bun fight?

I can’t see who wins long-term, but still, I remain part of the problem, busy comparing prices. The irony comes when additional charges appear further down the line, like paying extra to ensure we sit together.

I used to be loyal to a specific airline because I felt a little bit special. I belonged to a gang, and I didn’t mind paying a little bit extra. Now, I don’t. (No, a loyalty card is not enough.) So it becomes about the lowest common denominator – price. It’s the same with banks, energy companies and telcos. It seems that new trumps loyalty for big business.

But anyone who runs a small business knows it’s the opposite. And, while some customers will always want to base decisions on cost – acting like a contestant on The Apprentice – a good brand must revolve around perceived value. A person charging a third more but taking half as long – should they be judged on an hourly rate?

It’s why positioning is important, and why strong relationships are essential. Trust is worth a premium.

New may be shiny, but are you really moving forward if you keep losing what you have?

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