Tune in to CNN and nearly every day there’s a new poll gauging the public’s approval or disapproval of someone or something. When the numbers are distant, the result seems clear. But when they’re a few points apart, we are reminded of the “margin of error” – the difference between those numbers and “the true value.
Design is inherently subjective. What strikes one consumer positively might turn another consumer off. The aim is to connect with the largest portion of your target audience in a positive way – and provoke an equally positive reaction. Because of its subjectivity, design has a “fudge factor” – a margin of error. A new beer package can look 10,000 different ways but if the product inside doesn’t change, it still sells.
Positioning, however, has no margin of error. The images designers place in consumers’ minds have to be DEAD ON. The public’s perception of your product or services has to be clearly defined and set apart from your competitors. And to do that requires strategy.
So unless you’re a pollster or you forecast the weather, don’t count on a margin of error to bail you out. When it comes to market positioning, wrong is disastrous.