Are you like a Swiss Army knife in your positioning?

Are you like a Swiss Army knife in your positioning?

March 14, 2023

Source: Unsplash, Paul Felberbauer

Sometimes I am a little bit provocative in positioning projects.

Yesterday, I inelegantly stepped on a CEO’s toes. I did ask:

“Why are you a swiss army knife?”
“Why aren’t you Yanagiba, a high quality sashimi knife?”

With this question, I repeatedly provoke board members or senior partners in Professional Services at the beginning of our positioning projects.

They are usually really excellent in very many different areas.

Some even impressively brilliant.

They have an extreme amount of experience, have worked in a wide variety of positions, and have made decisions on a large scale across industries and company sizes.

And yes, I know.

Their ‘backpack’ of experience is packed with skills that every company needs.

They are like a Swiss army knife.

They accomplish many things.

But the problem is:
Human swiss army knives are not to be positioned easily – if at all!


You may be able to do a lot, but you shouldn’t talk about EVERYTHING in the Tier 1-media and on LinkedIn.

This does not inspire confidence.

Companies do not become strong brands in this way, but disappear – sometimes quietly, sometimes loudly – from the market.

CEOs and top executives don’t become a trusted personal brand that way.

They stand for everything and therefore nothing!

Thereby a clear positioning stands out from the competition and differentiates razor sharp.

Differentiation = reducing complexity.

What does this mean for your own positioning?

Even if you can do many things:
✔️ Please concentrate on some selected key messages!

This is also a tip in our guide: “The social CEO: Strong arguments for digital visibility“.

The Social CEO - positioning advice for board members & top decision makers on LinkedIn by Susanne Mathony
Positioning consulting for boards & top decision makers on LinkedIn

In today’s cacophony of messages, it’s essential to stand out to key audiences through clarity.

Clarity is more important than cleverness❗️

So which knife are you?
The Japanese or the Swiss?

To put it another way:

What keeps you from making pointed statements in your PR or on LinkedIn?

If you haven’t found your strong voice for PR or personal branding on LinkedIn yet, let’s talk on the phone!

Author: Susanne Mathony

Susanne Mathony
Susanne Mathony

The positioning of brands and people are my passion. For more than two decades, I have lived out my calling with CEO positioning, strategic marketing and communications consulting, PR and business storytelling.
Added in 2014 was the Social Media Consulting. Here, the focus is on #SocialCEO and personal branding and positioning of boards and teams on LinkedIn.My home is Professional Services. At GSA and EMEA level, I worked for AlixPartners, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), Strategy& as well as Russell Reynolds Associates, among others.
As a political scientist and trained journalist, I started my career at a Washington, D.C., think tank.

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