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Tuesday, 30 November 2010 08:13

Every Company Has An O.P.O. What Is Yours?

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Every Company Has An O.P.O.

What is Yours?

Every company has an Optimum Positioning Opportunity (O.P.O.). The opportunity for the company to claim a unique strategic position that they can own in the mind of their customers and prospects.


It is the position that will differentiate you from your competitors and be compelling and appealing to the people you want to reach. It is the strategic position upon which you base your brand platform and therefore will influence all of your marketing communications, your company’s culture and organization.


To be truly effective, a company’s O.P.O. must address the following three areas:

  1. What can you offer or promise
  2. That will appeal to and resonate with your customers and prospects
  3. That your competitors either can not or have not yet claimed


You reach your O.P.O. through a discovery process that encompasses three spheres of factors that affect your business:

  1. Looking within the business itself-its products and services, its culture and organization, its policies and practices
  2. Looking at the customers and prospects-who they are, who they aren’t, how they decide, what is impacting them and their decisions
  3. Looking at the competition and the marketplace-who are the competitors, by product, market segment, geography, and what is happening in the overall market that is impacting the business


This discovery process leads to an area of overlap that addresses those points that enable you to identify that singular and unique promise that will differentiate you and motivate your customers and prospects.


Every company has an O.P.O. Moreover, you do not have to be unique to own a relevant, unique and compelling position around which you can build your brand. A number of years ago a gasoline company claimed they were the gasoline with octane and positioned themselves as the gasoline with pep and will improve your car’s performance. What they did not say was that all gasoline has octane.


Don’t settle for “me too” strategic positions that are neither differentiating nor compelling. Build your brand around a unique strategic position-your O.P.O.


Every company has one.

What is yours?

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Dennis Bailen

Dennis Bailen

Dennis Bailen, Core Strength Marketing Principal, is a marketing consultant focusing on brand strategy and positioning. His background includes advertising agency, senior marketing management and consulting experience. Dennis has taught at a number of colleges and universities and published a workbook preparing students for careers in marketing and advertising.

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


  • Comment Link Dennis Bailen Tuesday, 30 November 2010 23:17 posted by Dennis Bailen

    Thanks Fitz-great question. I think of the O.P.O. as a broader concept than the competitive advantage. If you think of the example in the blog regarding gasoline, the company in question actually created a competitive advantage where one did not exist by "owning" the idea of octane and improved car performance. If you start out only looking for a competitive advantage rather than an O.P.O., you may miss the opportunity to create a stronger and more compelling differentiation that could come out of the discovery process. I hope that helps clarify at least my perspective re the difference between the two concepts.

  • Comment Link Cathy Ftiz Tuesday, 30 November 2010 19:22 posted by Cathy Ftiz

    Dennis would you say that the OPO is the same as the competitive advantage (or another term would be to call it the competitive difference). I often find these two terms get tossed around and at times can confused folks and lead them only to think of benefits and features. Your comments would be helpful.

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