One brand impression or two?

Thank you to those who commented on my positioning/campaign alignment query on LinkedIn and the over 5,000 people who viewed the discussion.

The reason for my question–I found in talking to clients and colleagues that there are divergent beliefs on the need for distinct positioning and campaigns by target audience, especially in healthcare, where insights and understanding can be markedly different. I initiated the thread with a strong point of view that has been challenged by many who disagree with me, all whose opinions I respect. 

In the end, I still feel the “holy grail” is unification whenever possible, with customization at the messaging level. To achieve this, there has to be agreement that positioning is an implicit idea and that positioning should answer an unmet need that transcends target audience differences. If insights don’t support this, then all bets are off.  And I have worked on products where that is the case.  

When it is, I would argue that we, as marketers, are obligated to find a branding element or device beyond the logo that pulls everything together. Otherwise, we risk confusing those we are trying to influence. I guess fundamentally, given my CPG history, I believe that brands benefit from having one, single-minded identity, conveyed over and over again.  

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