You vs Them—Does Your Camp have Power Positions
Before you even begin thinking of flyers, emails or any form of advertisement, take some
time to reflect on your Power Positions and how they relate to what parents want. This will
help you market your camp with much more clarity and impact.
A power position is a superior placement in relation to other, similar offerings. It’s the thing
that differentiates you from others. It is what your camp offers that is:
- Important to your customers
- Unique to your programs & that you deliver with excellence
- Defensible (you can prove through a stat, quote or story that it is true)
Most camps have (within their genre) similar goals for kids and offer the same types of
activities and experiences. To make your camp stand out, you need to evaluate what you
have that is different and point it out to your audience.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some areas that are important to pretty much all camp parents:
- Quality: In an ACTIVE survey of over a thousand parents, “Quality of Programs &
Staff” was stated as the number one reason parents chose a camp. You have an
exceptional program – make sure your marketing shows off the quality of your
programs and staff. Can you capture metrics that show a high percentage of return
campers? Do you have elite supporters or the endorsement of a well-known
individual? What and who can help support your quality claims?
- Convenience: No one has time to print out forms, hand-fill them and mail them
with a check, or worse, drive them to you. Paper days are o-v-e-r. Yet many camps
still “force” parents into this outdated process… Look at what parents actually crave.
Think of what you do or could do to be insanely convenient to do business with. For
example, you could give parents a way to register their kids online and pay the fees
24/7, and you’ll not only attract more parents but you’ll also create a positive
experience for them.
- Results: “Skill Learned” was the fourth-highest rated criteria for parents in our
survey. Think about your success stories and how you can use them to show parents
the skills that their child will learn at camp. If character-building is the desired result,
ask campers to share stories of how camp changed their lives for the better. How
can you measure skills learned and communicate them to prospective families?
Often, just thinking through this process will surface the fact that your power positions are,
well, powerless… You might have interesting aspects to your camp but if they’re no different or better than your competitors and if parents don’t really value them – you really have no power position.
Remember the sequence:
- 1st: What’s important to parents
- 2nd: What’s unique & exceptional about your program
- 3rd: How you can defend