October 11, 2010

How to get in a new position

By Mary McDonald

The conversations that led to the positioning statement on our homepage went on for months, but the topics of those discussions rarely concerned the statement itself. We talked about why websites alone aren’t enough to help every client reach as far as they can; about the types of clients we want to work with and who we have to be to get their attention; and about reinvention, relevance and trust. It was a circuitous route to our new positioning, but it was the best way to get there, because when the time came to write our new site’s content, the real work of defining the new nGen Works had already been done.

Had we applied some kind of strict process to our repositioning that kept us on a narrow march toward an arbitrary deadline, we would have missed those exploratory detours that help you discover all of the things you don’t want to do or be. These aren’t wrong turns that waste your time; rather, they help you pare down your messages until you’re left with the one that passes all of your tests for honesty and authenticity.

The goal in crafting messages for the site was the same as our objective for every other aspect of how we approached the expression of our new direction: be ourselves, be clear and bold, and leave plenty of room for the next wave of tools, ideas and inspiration that’s always coming into view. Once the positioning statement was nailed, the rest of the language flowed from that, simply letting people know this is who we are, how we think and what we can do.

In a way, we ended where we began. We started our transition process with no limits put on where it would take us; the positioning at which we arrived does the same.

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