Developing a solid brand positioning statement is challenging for most people because it requires a great deal of market research, and that in itself can be a challenge to accomplish.
However, having a strong brand can make or break your business. It can be the reason for year-over-year growth, or decline. Often times, the brand itself can be more important than the product!
The key is to have all the right tools at hand before starting. In this article, I will help you understand what a brand positioning statement is, and why it is important to have one for your marketing strategy.
What makes a good brand positioning statement?
A good brand positioning statement is a short and concise marketing strategy that describes the unique value of your brand. They aren’t overly verbose or elaborate. In fact, the statement should be easy to understand, memorable, and (ideally) relatable to your target audience.
All of your marketing efforts should point back to your statement. This includes your website design, your social media accounts, the sales copy on your website(s), and the tone that you take in your communications with current and prospective customers. The statement rules all!
The cornerstone of your brand positioning statement is understanding your unique value proposition. Your unique value proposition is the reason a customer should buy from you instead of your competitors. Don’t get this confused with a mission statement. The unique value proposition is intended to focus on the benefits of your product or service for the customer, not your company’s philosophy.
Take time to craft a good unique value proposition because this will go a long way in helping you to create your brand positioning statement.
Once you have a unique value proposition defined, you can start with your market research.
This is the area where most people get confused, or overwhelmed. They aren’t sure how to go about researching their market.
Well, I have good news – the answer is right in Google. You are going to search for reviews in your market to gather the desires and pain-points shared by your target audience.
As you go about this exercise, think about how your business could possibly impact your customers’ lives, and what other options they could consider during their evaluation. Take notes as you go because this will help you to identify the weaknesses in your brand’s current position, and it will also help you find the gaps that exist in your industry.
After defining your unique value proposition and researching your market, you will be prepared to write your brand positioning statement. Remember, a brand positioning statement should be short and sweet. It’s a simple summary of what makes your business unique and separates you from the competition. Sort of like an elevator pitch!
Here are some examples from brands that you know:
For consumers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon provides a one-stop online shopping site. Amazon sets itself apart from other online retailers with its customer obsession, passion for innovation, and commitment to operational excellence.
For athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials. Its products are the most advanced in the athletic apparel industry because of Nike’s commitment to innovation and investment in the latest technologies.
For individuals looking for high-quality beverages, Coca-Cola offers a wide range of the most refreshing options — each creates a positive experience for customers when they enjoy a Coca-Cola brand drink. Unlike other beverage options, Coca-Cola products inspire happiness and make a positive difference in customers’ lives, and the brand is intensely focused on the needs of consumers and customers.
For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device, Apple leads the technology industry with the most innovative products. Apple emphasizes technological research and advancement and takes an innovative approach to business best practices — it considers the impact our products and processes have on its customers and the planet.
Creating your brand positioning statement is only half the battle. You need to continually evaluate its effectiveness.
I hesitated to include the examples above because, while helpful in terms of structure, they are also from some of the most establish brands in existence. In other words, they probably will not be changing anytime soon.
Other businesses don’t have this luxury. We have to craft our brand positioning statement, and then evaluate its effectiveness over time. Sometimes you get it 100% correct from the beginning, but other times you need to make adjustments based on what you find is (or is not) resonating with your target audience.
And you know what? That’s fine! It’s okay to make adjustments, but just make sure that you give adequate time for your assumptions to be proven or disproven.
You can measure the effectiveness of your new campaign but first establishing a baseline using your current metrics. Then, keep an eye on them over time. Metrics like:
- Incoming leads
- Conversion rate
- Sales per month
- Sales per quarter
- Media mentions
- Website traffic
And whatever else you qualify as important for your business. Tracking these and quantifying the metrics over time will give you insight into whether your brand positioning is resonating with people. I’d also recommend being proactive by using market research tools to gain insights from customers.
If your metrics trend downward, then an adjustment will need to be made. Again, that’s okay. While I understand not wanting to go through the entire branding exercise again, it’s worth it if it helps to prevent declining sales.
Your brand and its position in the market is continually evolving.
Your brand positioning statement is an evolving part of your business. You should be measuring its impact and continuously updated based on current metrics and customer feedback trends.
As your business grows and the market changes, take the time to also evolve your positioning statement. Your brand’s image should stay consistent, but the way you communicate that image can change slightly as your business grows and your industry evolves.
If you have ever wondered why some businesses last while others do not, this is why. The ones that stay around have positioned their brand as a cornerstone for their market, and they continually evolve it as necessary to make sure that it never loses that status.
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