The Secrets of Successful Brand Positioning Statements

A brand positioning statement – a one- or two-sentence statement that clearly defines how you want your target market to perceive your brand – is meant to be used as a filter for making decisions about your brand’s marketing activities. If you study those that are successful, you’ll see that they share some common attributes:

They…

contain four key elements – While there are a few different commonly used templates for creating them, successful brand positioning statements all include definitions of the market and target audience, a brand promise (a benefit for your target market) and the “reason to believe” that your organization can deliver on this brand promise.

are narrowly focused – Your brand positioning statement is about how you want to position your brand to your best target audience, not all of your target audiences. This means one target, one promise, and just one or two “reasons to believe” to back up the promise. This promise is based on your one best, most relevant benefit – the one that hits the sweet spot of something that your brand does best, that members of your target audience really want, that you do better than your competitor. In the digital age you really need a short form brand positioning as well as a long form. The short form is for limited space – single page ads, digital banners, etc. The long form serves as the inspiration for more detailed content such as white papers, case studies, videos, brochures.

present the emotional benefit – Your brand promise will communicate a benefit that your brand offers. Try to take this up a notch by going from a rational benefit (i.e. what customers will get) to an emotional benefit (i.e. how getting that benefit will make them feel). Why? Because as neuroscience has shown, most decisions are ultimately emotion-driven.

provide excellent & relevant reasons to believe – Your one or two “reasons to believe” need to be spot on. For example, say your company is a single-source supply chain provider for data centers, and your promise has to do with speed. Two good “reasons to believe” are your global sourcing abilities and your extremely fast processes. The fact that your organization has lower overhead than the industry norm, however, is not relevant to the “speed” promise.

are written for an internal audience – This is not an elevator pitch or mission statement. It’s a statement about who you are and who you want to be. As such, brand positioning statements can be long (in order to provide a precise definition of the target market), and often are not pretty.

are sustainable – In addition to being relevant to the audience, successful brand positioning statements are also clear, defensible and true to the brand’s core character.

A successful brand positioning statement will produce a clear image of what sets your brand apart from the competition for a particular segment of the market, and provide clarity and focus for your marketing efforts.

 

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