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The Inbound Playbook

How To Craft A Killer Brand Positioning Statement.

11 Sep 2017

Whenever we think of a successful company brand, the first thing that pops into our head is their iconic logo.

Whether it’s the ‘half eaten apple fruit’ of Apple, the ‘tick’ or the ‘swoosh’ of Nike, or the golden arches of McDonaldsWe just cannot dislodge the image of their logo and ‘brand colors’ from our memory, no matter how hard we try… Now, that’s the power of a highly successful and timeless brand!

That’s because, though we identify a brand from just its logo and imagery, we take in a whole lot more than what meets the eye – The logo is a ‘symbolic’ representation of a company’s persona, which encapsulates a mix of values, promises and purpose, and through which we tend to instantaneously attach our own desires, emotions and self-image.

‘Branding’ immediately makes us think about the ‘visual elements’ that define a brand, such as logos, colours, fonts and product-image, but essentially these ‘visual identifiers’ are later additions stemming from a solid ‘brand strategy’ - which digs deeper into questioning and understanding the ‘why’, ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ of your business.

And the first element to stir that conversation surrounding ‘brand strategy’ is the ‘Brand Positioning Statement’. 

A ‘Brand Positioning Statement’ defines where your brand should be positioned in the marketplace. It explains what your brand does, who you target/serve, and how your company goes about doing this in your own ‘unique’ way.

Many of us tend to confuse the ‘brand positioning statement’ with ‘tag lines’. Your positioning statement is entirely ‘internal’. Its primary function or purpose is to guide the marketing, production and operational decisions of your company.

Tag lines on the other hand are ‘consumer facing’. When you boil down positioning statement into a catchy, memorable snapshot of the brand to convey both benefit and ‘personality’- you get a tag line.

Take a look below how Target, Volvo and Home Depot differentiate between their ‘positioning statement’ and ‘tag line’:

BRAND

Brand Positioning Statement

Tag Line

Target

Style on a budget

Expect more. Pay less

 

Volvo

For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety.

 

For life.

Home Depot

The hardware department store for do‑it‑yourselfers.

You can do it. We can help.

So, for these brands, their brand positioning statement acts as a litmus test to figure out whether any decisions made is ‘on-brand’; including the tag lines.

To start off with, here’s a simple template you can use to craft your brand positioning statement:

[Brand] provides [Target audience] with [Unique Value]

than any other [Your Industry] by [Proof Points].

When you use such templates it's important you work on many iterations and reviews to make sure the final statement is clear, concise and accurate, and it communicates everything you’ve wanted from your brand – which stands apart from the rest, with its unique value and proof points.

Here’s another definition for ‘positioning’ and ‘branding’ from Branding expert Adam Hanft (courtesy: Spark Capital):

POSITIONING – A way to create a market space and a mind space for your product that is so attractive and so sharply defined, it accelerates decision-making and de-positions the competition (if there is any).

BRANDING - An operating system that tells you how to think about yourself and your place in the world. The right brand defines what not to do with the same unblinking clarity that it explains what to do.

Adam clarifies that when put together, ‘branding informs how you fit’ and ‘positioning (the layer beneath it) tells you where you fit.’

A great example comes from the ‘positioning statement’ from Warby Parker, who has uniquely positioned itself in the market by challenging the eyewear industry, by offering affordable prescription glasses to the masses:

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Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.

As per Beloved Brands, primarily there are four elements which can help you create a Brand Positioning Statement: Who will your serve? Where do you play? Where will you win? and Why consumers should believe you?

These elements can be further translated into Consumer Target, Category, Main Consumer Benefit and Support Points:null

Now let’s see how this template can be used to build a brand positioning statement for a make-believe brand GRAYS:    

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For the healthy proactive preventers, who want to do more for their health, Gray’s is a guilt-free cookie that tastes so good you can stay in control of your health. That’s because in blind taste tests, Gray’s matched the leaders on taste, but with only 100 calories and 3g of carbs.
In a 12-week study, consumers using Gray’s once a night as a desert were able to lose 5-10 pounds
.

The statement above captures all four elements to position GRAYS as a unique brand in the niche surrounding healthy cookies. The statement can be further simplified and made concise to suit your needs.

An effective way, as Graham Robertson suggests is to build your positioning statement around the benefit clusters (both functional & emotional benefits). The trick is to find the ‘sweet spot’ – ‘the winning zone’, where you are meeting consumer needs better than your competitors. The image below illustrates the process:

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To Sum It Up…

We hope with the above insights and tips you are able to craft a killer ‘brand positioning statement, but here’s the real secret. A successful brand is the one that can stand the test of time, all the while being exceptionally true to every word and aspiration pronounced in the positioning statement, and by building a reputation that customers feel proud to be associated with.

If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.

Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email andy@element7digital.com.au

Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au 

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