A Brand Positioning Statement: It’s your brand’s destiny

Jul 9, 2012 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Advertising, Branding, Business Success, Creative


 

What’s in a brand positioning statement?

In clear terms, it defines your company’s direction… and actually acts as a compass through growth opportunities and changing market conditions. It is the critical platform for all communications. Without direction or focus, the brand goes…. absolutely everywhere… and not in a good way!

It seems very easy to create…. A few words that speak volumes. How difficult can it be? More to the matter, how significant is a positioning statement? Positioning Statements, or in the case of Consumer Packaged Brands, slogans, have been at the heart of advertising sell copy since the inception of mass selling.

It is an important component of your marketing initiative… if not the most important. Positioning is not just a fluffy marketing word… it defines and  identifies your Brand/Business. A brand positioning statement eloquently states your brand’s “stake in the sand”. Moreover, it expresses “This is who I am, this is what I do, this is what and how I deliver”. In basic marketing practice, the easiest way to describe a positioning statement is that it announces to the world what makes your brand stand out above the rest and how you do that in a very succinct message.

Keep your brand/business on track with a powerful positioning statement. So how do you go about developing one?

A good marketing exercise to do prior to attempting to create your own positioning statement is to look at the brands that have successful taglines and try to identify the key messages that the tagline promotes. Ask yourself if the statement is relevant to what the brand promises, or the product delivers….or if it speaks to the service the business provides. View the positioning statement in rewind. You’ll find that the good positioning statements easily reflect the market, the target and the benefit of each brand or business. Here are some to get you started: McCain “It’s all good TM”campaign, “i’m lovin’ it”, an international branding campaign by McDonald’s Corporation (they incorporated it with their logo), and Scotiabank “You’re richer than you think”.

In this new world of do-it-yourself marketing and branding, many start-up companies go at developing a brand positioning statement on their own. Often those positioning statements end up being descriptors of the brand. Like the warning copy on an Evil Knievel daredevil act, I urge you not try this at home… and alone!

Here are the must haves of a positioning statement, in no particular order:

1) The Promise: Must state what we offer.

2) The Benefit: Must clearly identify what’s in it for them.

3) Personality: Must reflect the culture and brand voice.

4) Originality/Uniqueness: Must be a thing of beauty and joy.

5) Simplicity: Must be so succinct as to  inspire a “wow”.

6) Longevity…. it must be there for the long haul.

What better way to demonstrate the importance of clearly stating the benefit simply within a positioning statement than with the Muppets!  Watch this video clip from the Muppets Take Manhattan movie, for Ocean Breeze Soap. The message is bang on!

Once you achieve the Positioning Statement…. you must, and this is so very  important: Use it consistently and frequently on all communication pieces. On business cards, web sites, apps, trade booths, ppt presentations, print ads, radio ads, digital ads, TV ads, leave behinds, etc, etc, etc.

This positioning statement will drive your message home to consumers,  just like a GPS and will definitely build the foundation for brand recognition. Check out our ebook “Branding Understood” to get your gears turning!

Does your positioning statement have what it takes to direct your brand’s destiny?

 

 

About the author

Christine Marr Christine helps to keep the gears moving at 3H Communications. Creating synergy with the team, getting the work done with the ‘big picture’ in mind…Her strength is coordinating creative to deliver jobs on time and to the best of our super abilities! She has over 19 years experience coordinating creative work.

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • Hi Christine.

    The six elements a positioning statement should have are quite accurately spelt out in your post. But midway, you seem to have confused a “tagline” with a positioning statement. “I’m loving it” isn’t a positioning statement. It’s a tagline. A positioning statement, written to chart a course for the brand, should not appear in the advertising. In fact, it works as a guideline for more than just advertising to build the brand.

    21st Century Brands that consumers champion often don’t have taglines at all. Try and find the “tagline” for Google. Or iPad.

    • cassie

      Thank you for your comment!

      As the marketing landscape continues to change so does the distinction between taglines and positioning statements. The lines are starting to blur. If a tagline embodies a whole brand, it can be read as a positioning statement.

      “I’m loving it” can be read as a tagline, but it does more than grab attention. It also speaks to their product and to the relationship McDonald’s develops with their customers.

      Other examples in the post include “You’re Richer Than You Think” from Scotia Bank. Again, it can be read as a tagline, but it also speaks to the services they offer and how those services benefit their customers.

      Our positioning statement and tagline is “exceed beyond”. We aim to exceed beyond in everything we do for our clients and we want our clients to exceed beyond as well.

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