There are a multitude of benefits from positioning your brand properly. Internally, a well-positioned brand will be able to make decisions more efficiently and have a crystal clear view of two key factors: who they are and what they stand for. To the outside world, sound positioning provides clarity in your market for your customers (whether B2B or B2C), while differentiating you from the competition.
Before diving into how to position your brand, we should get a general idea of what brand positioning actually is. Brand Positioning put simply, is how your customers perceive you within your market. By definition, it’s the conceptual space that you occupy in your customers’ mind.
To help better understand, let’s look at an example.
The Prius started the EV (electronic vehicle) trend and was positioned as an affordable, eco-friendly, alternative to gas guzzling automobiles. Then Tesla entered the market, playing in the same EV space as Toyota. Instead of competing directly for the same customer, they positioned themselves as a high-end, luxury EV. This allowed them to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market.
(Granted there are other major differences such as hybrid vs. fully electric, and the effect Elon Musk’s personal brand has on Tesla, but this example still serves its purpose)
What is a Brand Positioning Statement? It is a strategical tool, used internally, that defines your brand’s position in your market. It keeps everyone in the company aligned to the same values. More importantly, it’s used as a foundation — your single source of truth — that will guide the design, marketing, and operations of your brand.
The return on investment is consistency in the short and long term. By being able to measure every move you make against your positioning statement, you will be able to spot whether a decision is right or wrong almost immediately. Not only will be able to stay on brand at all times with your brand messaging and marketing efforts, but you will be able to define the space in your vertical. It is important to do so before your competition defines it for you.
By the way, if you don’t value brand consistency, you should:
For organizations with brand consistency issues, the estimated average revenue increase attributed to presenting the brand consistently is 23%. (Boost Profit With Brand Consistency | Inc.com
The following framework is one I developed to help companies properly position themselves. By following this framework you will be able to develop your own positioning statement and become more consistent in your efforts to connect with your customers.
For (Target), (Brand) (Does What) by (How) to (Why).
Take a few minutes and list all the people, tribes or communities that you serve. Afterward, take a good look at your list, and narrow it down to one.
“Everyone” is not the answer.
if you only use generic terms to define your target audience, then you can only connect with them in a generic way. The result is lower conversion.
Get as specific as possible and if you’re still struggling, try creating a few customer personas.
What does your brand do to help others? This could also be a point of difference, a brand promise, or even a value proposition. Again, get specific and don’t be afraid to embrace your creative side.
Using Apple as an example:
“Apple creates products based on seeing the world a little differently…”
How does your brand help the target? This could also be the target’s reason to believe or your brand’s benefit. Think of the features and benefits of a product. A feature may be the camera on an iPhone. The benefit is possessing a window to the world. Keep it short and sweet, make every word meaningful.
Following the Apple example above, the “how” could be:
“By creating deeper human connections worldwide”
Why does your brand exist? Why do you do what you do? Look at your brand’s core values and beliefs and pull from that. This may take some introspective time, but I believe this is a crucial question to answer. People don’t buy whatyou do, they buy why you do it.
Continuing with the Apple example:
“To inspire their customers to Think Different.”
After reading Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, I began to fully understand the importance of answering this question for your brand.
For (Target), (Brand) (Does What) by (How) to (Why).
For those who thrive on individuality, Apple creates products based on seeing the world differently by creating deep human connections to inspire their customers to think different.
For adventurous internet shoppers, Amazon offers every product from A to Z by building the earth’s most customer-centric platform to create a place where people discover anything they might want to buy online.
For people who enjoy a quality beverage, Coca Cola provides a refreshing, superior soda by combining flavor and innovation to bring people together and facilitate happiness.
How your brand is positioned is a factor in whether your company lives or dies. By developing a sound brand positioning statement, you will be able to instantly recognize when your decision making and marketing efforts don’t align with your brand’s core values. As a result, you will operate in clarity and consistency — building deeper connections with your customer.