How Agency Positioning Impacts Pricing

positioning impacts pricing

Market positioning establishes consumer perception, which determines how your pricing is viewed. To be clear, we’re not talking about your agency’s particular pricing structure, but rather how positioning impacts your level of pricing.

When you can clearly explain your unique value proposition—how your deep expertise sets you apart from the pack—it ensures that your customers see you as irreplaceable, and worth every penny you charge. In this way, pricing becomes less of the conversation, and in many cases, no longer a matter of negotiation.

The more ROI-driven or innovative your offering, the better. If you offer something that cannot be replicated by a competitor, you have greater flexibility in what you charge. Makes sense, right?

In the end, clients will think about what they paid when they’ve considered the quality, results, and experience they had. Those positive experiences will yield good referrals (of equal or greater quality).

Internal Positioning and Your Company’s Value

When thinking about positioning, it’s not just your clients’ perception that matters.

First, you’ll need to position your services internally; that is, among your own team. Why? Because a team with a growth mindset should communicate your agency’s value proposition consistently and cohesively both among the team and to prospects and existing clients.

After internal positioning, external positioning must also be tackled. Discover and understand what your ideal customer needs to experience as a result of your service, and position your agency around that.

Why Positioning Can Be Hard For Agencies

Let’s face it, creatives fear boredom. And many creatives believe that by niching down to a particular service offering, industry or vertical—or a combination of these—they will be stuck doing the same thing day in and out.

Whether they know it or not, agencies that are poorly positioned actually offer commoditized services.

This allows prospects and existing clients alike to easily find a replacement because no unique value proposition has surfaced. If your prospects and clients tend to run you into the ground on pricing, with scope creep, and their expectations of your time, your positioning needs some work, friend.

What Does Great Positioning Look Like?

Your agency’s positioning should be derived from the cross-section of expertise and passion of your team. This means that your offerings will be founded on skill and strength of expertise, with the passion and pride to see work through. Your team is the backbone of great positioning because of their problem-solving capabilities. And with that, your services can be at a premium.

When positioning is undefined, it leads to confusion in the market, which attracts unqualified and non-ideal clients, typically with smaller budgets. Teams become unhappy with the type of work they have to perform or produce each day, which leads to both client and employee attrition—and an overall loss of profit and even cash flow issues.

Great positioning is always at the root because clarity in the market means qualified leads and ideal clients who are willing to pay premium prices. Passionate teams are happy teams, which leads to both client and employee retention—and higher profit margins.

The exercise of positioning will transform your agency into one that can grow and thrive. If you’re ready to make a courageous move, put your stake in the ground, and charge a premium for the work your team does, positioning is the first step.

Author: Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell is an Integral Leadership Coach, helping creative, media and technology leaders transform life and agency. The former owner of a cause marketing agency for 14 years, she focuses on purpose, positioning, people, pipeline and profitability. She is a keynote speaker at leadership conferences across the country, has been featured in The New York Times, Woman Entrepreneur, Medium and — for which she most recently became a member of the Forbes Business Council. She is currently authoring her first book on redefining leadership in the emotion economy, and is the host of THRIVE: Your Agency Resource, a bi-weekly video podcast sponsored by Workamajig that helps agency owners navigate personal and professional growth.

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