Laws of Branding #1: Positioning Statements 2

In the previous article (Laws of Branding #1: Positioning Statements 1) we discussed what a positioning statement is and what its purpose is. This article will discuss how to create one.

The most important element is your target market – as narrow and specific as humanly possible. You need to determine their buying criteria and then establish whether or not your core competence fits.

The positioning statement comprises of five parts:

  1. Target market

You need to know the demographics, psychographics, geographics, needs, wants, pains, buying behaviours, beliefs, values, hobbies, and so on. A description that covers every element of a consumer’s mind.

  1. Category

As discussed in the previous article, people understand things in the context of what they already know. However, that is not to say you just throw it out there and hope it lands somewhere memorable. You need to pick apart your product or service to find the categories (they always fall in more than one).

  1. Point of difference

Once you have found your categories, you need to conduct analyses – macro, micro, competitive, etc. – and then find what makes your product or service different – in the mind of your consumers. Don’t simply state that your product is innovative; explain why. Don’t say you are a global leader, say how.

  1. End benefit

How does using your product benefit your specific target market? This is where you link all of this to the needs, goals, wants and pains of the target market. How will your product help them achieve what they want to in their daily lives, hobbies, professions, and so on?

  1. Reason to believe

How you are going to ensure that this benefit is delivered.

A positioning statement is constructed like this:

“To [target market], [brand] is a/the [category] that [differentiatior] so that [target market] can [end benefit], because/through [reason to believe].”

Let’s pick apart some iconic statements.

Apple:

“For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device (target market), Apple (brand) is the leader of the technology industry (category) that delivers the most innovative products (point of difference) so that they can enjoy seamless experiences across all Apple devices and be empowered with breakthrough services (end benefit) because Apple takes an innovative approach to business, best practices, considering the impact our products have on customers and the planet. (reason to believe)”

  • This is a great example of using broad statements such as ‘innovative’ but then explaining how and why.

Coca-Cola:

“For individuals looking for high-quality drinks (target market), Coca-Cola (brand) is a wide range of the most refreshing beverages (category) that delivers happiness unlike other beverage options (differentiator), so that they can enjoy a Coca-Cola drink and make a positive difference in their lives (end benefit) because the brand is intensely focused on the needs of customers (reason to believe).

It must be noted that positioning statements are pivotal to the marketing success of any brand, product and service. Thus, it is vital that you employ a professional to help you compile your statement through research and expertise.

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