Learn about the importance of a brand positioning statement before you start marketing your company's product and services.
- Marketing communications, often known as marcom, is at the heart of your business. It's all of the messages you craft and the media you use to communicate to your company stakeholders. You may think you're ready to start different marketing campaigns, promotions, social media, advertising, and PR programs, but hold on, not so fast. You need to ask yourself a very important question before you begin any of your marketing efforts. Do you have a brand positioning statement? After all, why generate awareness and drive leads and sales if you don't nail down a fundamental part of your brand's existence, your positioning statement? Without a brand positioning statement, you may be placing the cart before the horse.
In other words, it's really important to understand and communicate what your brand is about and your purpose for existing before you create awareness and put your company, products, or services in the marketing spotlight. So just what is a brand positioning statement? In simple terms, it's one of the most important sentences you'll write as a part of your marketing plan. The brand positioning statement answers these questions. Number one, what makes your brand different than any other brand? Number two, who is your audience, and how do they view your brand? Number three, what do they think about? Why would someone be attracted or drawn to what your company does or the products you offer? Now that you know what the brand positioning statement is, here's what it's not.
It's not an advertising slogan or a tagline. Taglines are what drive marketing campaigns, and they regularly can change. The brand positioning statement is at the core of the brand and the reason the brand exists for the customers you serve. The positioning statement serves a purpose which includes showing how a brand solves a problem or offers some kind of distinct benefit, providing some sort of stimulation, either emotionally or physically, offering a sense of belonging or a better self-image.
To help you visualize a statement, here are examples of famous brands and their positioning statements. Target, "Style on a budget." Mercedes-Benz, "Engineered like no other car in the world." Home Depot, "The hardware department store for do-it-yourselfers." Southwest Airlines, "The short-haul, no-frills, and low-priced airlines." When you have a positioning statement, you have to ask, is what we're supplying to the market and how we come across in our advertising campaigns a reflection of what people expect of our brand? Do all of your communications align to what your positioning statement says? For example, in the case of Target, whenever they communicate, the question becomes is what we're saying and doing actually offering style on a budget? The same thought process applies for the other brands too.
Mercedes asks is the vehicle we're offering really engineered like no other? Home Depot asks is our communication helpful to show how do-it-yourselfers benefit? Southwest Airlines asks do all of our flight promotions reflect the short-haul, no-frills, and low-priced airline? When it comes to the positioning statement, a few of the challenges for marketers include not placing yourself in your audience's shoes, not focusing on a problem or solution in your statement, and crafting lengthy statements that don't really get to the point.
When you're done with the positioning statement exercise, don't rush, you have to take your time, be sure to ask yourself one last simple question. Does this statement actually sound like us? If you can pass this test, then you've reached positioning success and you're ready to build the rest of your marketing communications program. Now think about your business and your brand. Have you clearly articulated your positioning statement as a part of your marcom program? Let the brand positioning statement guide you, not only your communications, but all of your important decisions you make about your business and the products you launch.
- Conducting research to understand the marketing landscape
- Identifying your buyer personas
- Creating your competitive edge
- Evaluating inputs before building a program
- Creating a marketing plan
- Developing messages that resonate
- Using an integrated marketing approach
- Including a mix of media to excite your customers
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- Monitoring your marketing programs
- Motivating your employee champions
- Getting your brand ambassadors on board