Today I was having a conversation with one of my favorite copywriters/CDs and the doubt plopped into our heads: why, after all, did we need a positioning to do a good campaign? We knew what the campaign was meant to achieve and it could be done without there ever being a positioning attached to the product.
Predicament. Because on the one hand you cannot mess with the longest-standing pillar of communication and Mr. Ries' brain child, but on the other some of the coolest things we've seen lately are loosely linked with a positioning of any sort (I mean between Gorilla and Cadbury's positioning there is, like Mr. Izzard would say, a bit of a winded road, left at the traffic lights...)
My answer: it's for peace of mind and continuity, otherwise you'd have to have a stroke of genius every time you communicate and that hardly ever happens.
There's more to this conversation but ... maybe after a good night's sleep
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.