Positioning Done Right
I think RXBARS taste awful.
If I thought this was part of my workout plan, I’d dread exercising even more.
In RXBAR’s defense, I only tried one flavor once.
But it only took a single bite for me to cringe and start inspecting the packaging for what the heck I was eating.
I don’t know how I missed the quite obvious ingredient list plastered on the front of the package.
I guess I was too focused on not passing out while I frantically scanned the sparsely-stocked coffee bar for something to eat (blood sugar issues).
Clearly, RXBARs aren’t my thing. But it looks like I might be the only one who isn’t taken with the healthy snack. In the first half of 2018, sales of RXBARs hit the $110 million mark. That’s a lot of bars sold—even if they are charging a hefty $1.72 each.
Actually, RXBAR and I have a very mature relationship—I don’t like them, but I greatly respect them—not for their whole, started in my parents’ basement gone wild genesis story or because their Instagram page is particularly clean and pretty.
How to Build a Killer Business
So how did they do it? How did they go from mom’s house to millions?
Super easy. All they had to do was find a hole in the market and fill it. Just kidding. That is what budding entrepreneurs and people who have never run a business think when they start brainstorming about how to make it big.
They kind of miss that one tiny aspect of building a rockstar business—investing in a brilliant brand strategy and the execution of integrated marketing and advertising.
Without marketing and advertising, RXBAR was just two broke dreamers playing around in a rent-free kitchen.
Okay, I don’t want to discount the exhaustive work it took to cut the fruit, stir the pot, and walk into CrossFit after CrossFit trying to get fitness buffs to take a bite of the bars.
Building a business from scratch is not for the faint of heart. You don’t really have any concept of working overtime until you’ve tried to start a business. And oftentimes, it’s not until an entrepreneur crumbles to the floor in exhaustion, that they realize they need help.
What I love about Peter Rahal, and what makes him wise beyond his years, is that he did the work (x100) but, more importantly, he didn’t have this crazy ego about his capabilities.
Smart Business Owners Aren’t Know-It-Alls
Rahal is a big-picture thinker with grit. In the early days, he learned a lot about business and marketing but the extent of his package design knowledge was, well, knowing his product should have great packaging.
It was just Ziplocs before it was striking, easy-open, heavily-branded bright rectangles.
And therein lies the wild success of RXBAR—having a founder who acknowledges that other purpose built teams are way better at delivering marketing and advertising services—and having the forethought to hire out for their weaknesses.
He made some mean bars and left someone else to turn mashed up fruit and nuts into handheld avenues to your best life, delivered by a company who really gets your dedication to eating whole, healthy foods.
The Positioning Gods
The secret to making people buy your product or service is making them remember you. We’re not talking, oh, I think I’ve seen that pink bar before—we’re talking, OMG, I love those, they are such a good company—they’re so (transparent), I feel like I can trust them with my (health).
Before RXBAR, did we ever have to feel like we had to trust our snack bars?
RXBAR’s marketing and advertising strategy invented the positioning of transparency within the healthy snack market.
By presenting a strategy-driven, consistent position in everything you do for your target audiences, you earn preference over your competitors. Your communication becomes believable. Your position makes a specific promise to prospects and customers. —Brian Fabiano, Neuromarketology
Brand positioning is the single idea of your business that people will always remember about you.
Positioning is usually something that business owners need help with. When you’re knee-deep in your business like Rahal was, most business owners call in help to capture the essence of their brand. They need an outside marketing and advertising agency to zone in on what distinguishes their brand from all others—and create a strategy around it.
When Mr. Rahal’s business was getting started, the snack bar market was insanely saturated—and it still is. I walk into Target and I’m seeing an entire aisle of snack bar boxes.
How do you get people to remember that your brand is special? How do you get them to grab your product, not theirs?
It’s such a big deal—differentiating your product from the myriad of options on the market is where you win or lose. All those boxes look appealing and all are full of tasty treats. Mr. Rahal knew he had to keep feet walking past the Quaker, Cliff, KIND, and Luna bars to snag his pricey goods—and feel good about doing it.
Bragging, Not Bragging
Often, brands don’t understand that positioning must inform all aspects of the company’s marketing and advertising campaign. A brand’s positioning is the golden thread that weaves through every facet of the brand.
Positioning is a promise to be delivered. — Brian Fabiano
Positioning informs everything from the brand’s corporate identity to marketing communications, and right through to every piece of copywriting.
Take a look at the copy below taken from RXBAR’s website. RXBAR’s goal is to show that they are legit—that big companies do business with them. And integrating their transparency positioning, they flat out tell you what they want you to think. Cute, right?
Selling, Not Selling
RXBARS’s transparency positioning also informs their paid advertising as seen in the Google ad screenshot below. Their transparency cannot stop at their web copy—it must also continue into everything they touch, including their advertising.
My applause goes to RXBAR’s marketing and advertising company. So well done. RXBAR (or the stellar marketing and advertising company they hired) understands marketing through and through. They know that if they delivered the feeling of transparency on their website and on their social media, but then switched to hard-core sales mode once they hit paid advertising, their brand would become disjointed, and ultimately, their lack of continuity would be a major turnoff to consumers.
Your brand’s positioning should inform everything your business does—from packaging, to marketing, and right through to paid advertising. RXBAR is the king of marketing and advertising. They took a homemade product and made millions by investing in a marketing and advertising firm that knows what they are doing and that provided a marketing and advertising strategy that allows brand positioning to inform all elements of their overall business strategy.