What is that one thing on which all brand building and positioning decisions rest? What is the first thing every marketer and brand-builder should do before all other branding tasks? The answer to these questions, and more, is the Brand Positioning Statement. Join us to learn more about why your brand needs one…and how you can write a brilliant one.
Your Positioning Statement, for Better Brand Building and Positioning
What is a brand positioning statement? It’s a one- or two-sentence statement that succinctly and specifically names your brand’s target audience, defines the industry niche in which it’s competing, identifies its main [unique] benefit, and gives the target audience a good reason to believe in its promise.
As mentioned above, once in place, the brand positioning statement is the gauge against which all brand building and positioning decisions are measured. This includes the brand name, tagline, visual identity, features and benefits, marketing, packaging, language, communication channels, and much more. The positioning statement should always be in plain sight of all those working for your brand, and the question “Does this support the positioning statement?” should accompany all brand building and positioning processes and choices.
Now that you understand the importance of a positioning statement to brand building and positioning, you’re ready to get writing. Here is some advice from How to Build a Brand for writing a brilliant brand positioning statement, with some words regarding each component of the statement:
- Target Audience: This is the time to hyper-focus your attention to those whom you believe are primed and ready for what your brand has to offer. Who has the problems that your brand is best at solving? Who should be excluded from this group? Remember to be specific; people want to see themselves in your positioning statement, and the more focussed your words are, the more likely that all the right people will feel ‘spoken to.’
- Market and USP: In your brand positioning statement, you will tell your audience about your competition, or the market in which you’re competing, as well as your USP. Your Unique Selling Proposition should permeate the language of your brand positioning statement; it should also permeate every other brand building and positioning activity. In simple terms, it’s the one thing that you offer, within your market, that your competitors aren’t. In complex (and more necessary) terms, it’s the common point between what your ideal client wants (and hasn’t yet found) and what you do best. It should not be what both you and your competitor do best. The only battle taking place among you and your competition should be the battle of the differing USPs – not the battle of who does an identical USP best.
- Benefit: Your brand probably has more than one benefit for its customers; however, now is the time to focus on its most important one – and that doesn’t mean the one that you deem to be most important. It means choosing the one that you believe, after thorough research, will be the most motivational to your ideal client. Determine which emotion will be most likely to spur potential clients to action; then figure out which benefit most closely aligns with the stirring of that emotion. The benefit that you choose should not be trendy or shallow. It should be long-lasting and clearly significant along the timeline of your brand’s future evolution.
- Reason to Believe: Your ideal client will, by default, look for clues about ‘what’s in it for him’ in your brand positioning statement. The benefit is the obvious answer; however, it’s up to you to encourage your target audience to believe that your promise will be kept. This is more a matter of inference. Allow the reader of your positioning statement to come to this conclusion on his own – in that, he will find intrinsic value.
Creating a brand positioning statement is no easy task. It will require data research, the development of insights, and probably a number of rewrites. You may wish to use the following questions to evaluate your first draft, and every draft after that, until you believe that your statement is truly representative of your brand:
- Is there a hyper-focus on my ideal client (specific target audience)?
- Is the language clear and succinct?
- Does it set my brand apart from the competition?
- If I was reading it for the first time, would it conjure an accurate vision of my brand in my mind?
- Is it memorable?
- Does it promote trust?
- Does it motivate my ideal client to action?
- Is there enough flexibility built in for future growth?
- Is this statement something that I can build your brand upon?
Of course, How to Build a Brand is always here to help with all of your brand building and positioning tasks and questions. Please feel free to connect for more brand building and positioning tips, how-to guides, and examples.
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