The poetry of correct positioning

Lift OffDo you ever look at an initiative that a group or company have taken and think to yourself, “Wow, that makes sense”. I got that feeling list week, while looking at a press release here in the Isle of Man. You see, the Isle of Man is trying to promote itself in the Space arena. This is a growing global market which generated in excess of $125 billion in 2005 and the Isle of Man is positioning itself to participate in this market by providing services and incentives (including zero tax) for Space business to move locally. According to this article, the Isle of Man offers:

As well as being a benign tax and regulatory environment, the Isle of Man has a good physical infrastructure to support space-related activity. It has been home for many years to niche aerospace manufacturing concerns and is also at the forefront of telecommunications, making it well-placed for this developing sector.

Anyway, the news article that caught my eye spoke about two Manx students who had been sponsored to spend 2 weeks at the Internetational Space School in the US. It was just such a perfect fit that an organisation established to promote the Isle of Man within the Space industry was also using it’s clout to help local students, fire local imagination and potentially improve it’s prospects in that it’s educating and improving the future workforce that may well be running it one day. It fitted so well that it sung to me!

It’s not that Space makes me wax lyrical, it’s just that I cringe whenever I see some campaign being undertaken by an organisation that has nothing to do with it. And I’m not ever referring to cigarette companies advertising at sports events or collecting money for preventing heart attacks. I’m referring to, for example, an airline sponsoring a dog show or a small online firm wanting to buy space to put a sticker on a race car. Notable efforts, but so dissonant that their effectiveness is lost in the noise they generate.

So here’s some advice that companies need to keep in mind (particularly small ones vying for attention). Just because you have an opportunity to advertise, contribute or sponsor a particular event doesn’t mean that you have to. Look for the synergies between what you’re doing and what the event is out to achieve. Go back to the basics and analyse what sort of business you’re in and what you have set out to achieve. Does this activity help you in your quest? If not, then you’re better off standing at a street corner, giving flash drives away to complete strangers. At least you’ll get some fresh air out of it!

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