I am a devotee of the marketing concept of positioning. It is derived from the marketing classic “Positioning” by Reis and Trout. While the concept is simple it is rarely followed, and is in my less than humble opinion is the reason most marketing strategies fail.

The essence of positioning is that the marketplace is so crowded with messages that in order to be remembered you must have a unique and distinguished place in the mind of the consumer. This usually means that you must fine tune your mission and purpose to be valued and remembered.

Fortunes thrown at poor or unpositioned concepts fail to create memorable impressions. Cleaver ads or dramatic graphics with no compelling reason to buy a product or service are wasted creative orgies.

Effective positioning is as much about what you are not as it is about what you are. In order to focus you must shed the less important to focus on the critically different. In a very crowded market place there is just no time to make multiple points.

In the midst of one of our greatest financial crisis, our new president has focused on too much. We are not in the terrible position he inherited because of our health care problems, global warming, or the lack of universal college education. These may or may not be real problems but it is ludicrous to insist that “we are paying for the sins of our past” and then insinuate that somehow our current problem is directly related to not addressing those problems.

This is not problem solving; this is shameless political opportunism. It may be politically convenient to insist that every political ill must be resolved to address our problem but it is not true or effective.

The best way to address our crisis is to identify it and focus on it, not to tie it to every issue and completely change the foundations of our government and economy.

In fact that is the certain path to failure.