• nat sharp

7 steps to create a winning brand positioning

Updated: Oct 16


Three ice creams in cones

A handy cheat sheet to develop a brand positioning for your small business

What is a brand?

There is so much behind creating a powerful brand. And it isn’t just about creating a professional looking logo. A brand’s value takes time to build and is formed by things you can’t necessarily see or touch. It’s the value people give a company or product by way of how it makes them feel and perceive which builds a certain appeal and ultimate added value.


A brand does not exist within a company. A brand exists in the minds of your customers. A brand is the sum total of impressions a customer has, based on every interaction they have had with you, your company, and your products. (Lucidpress)

Take one of the world’s most powerful and highly valued brands. In 2013, Forbes valued the Coca-Cola Company at $173bn. The value of all its tangible assets, like manufacturing plants, distribution, bottles and the coke mixture itself only came to $93bn. It therefore attributed a further $80bn of value to the brand. This can be placed on its market share, it’s perception and appeal and the associations it has with other companies and so on.


What is a brand positioning?

You may have heard of ‘brand positioning’ but not quite sure what it is or why it is important. It’s a combination of things, including the story behind your business, what you stand for (commonly referred to as your values), your purpose for existing and what makes you different to your competitors. In essence it is the strategy of defining where you want to exist in the mind of your audience.


Can't we just design a logo?

Without going through this exercise you could end up with a brand identity which doesn't resonate, say the same as everyone else and with no real substance behind it.


A brand positioning will allow you to stand out from the crowd, support your pricing strategy and ultimately boost profits.


It’s a really interesting, fun and challenging process all at the same time but once you’ve done it, you can base all your marketing around it so you will get tremendous value. Plus your business development teams will also find it invaluable. We would recommend this is a collaborative process involving different parts of your business to capture the insight and get a well rounded view including business development, customer services and product development.


We've developed a handy cheat sheet for small business owners to make it easier to develop a brand positioning for your business.


Start my completing the 7 steps outlined below. Begin by capturing all thoughts that come to mind using bullet points. Don’t dismiss anything. Once you have completed, review and start to edit.


1. Essence – who you are


Jot down your first thoughts that spring to mind. What motivates you to serve your customers.

2. Purpose – what is the problem you are trying to solve


Write down the problems and barriers your customers have. For internal use only.


3. Target audience – who are you targeting


Build a picture of the main audience you are targeting also called an audience persona – where do they live/work, what do they do, what are their likes, dislikes, what are their main concerns.


4. Deliverables – what do you do


Sum up in 5-7 words. These are the features/main components of your product or service.


Consider:

  • What do you think you’re the best in the world at?

  • What value do you provide your customers that no one else can provide?

  • What service offering are you most confident in?

5. Differentiation – what is unique about you and what are the reasons to believe


Build proof points – how can you back up what you are saying. These are sometimes referred to as proof points. Make a list of three reasons to believe. Sum up in 5-7 words. This can eventually be used externally in your customer communication once you have perfected the messaging.


6. Personality – what are your values


Write down 3-5 words that describe what it is like to work with you/how do you behave?


7. Your Positioning Statement


Now you have done this, it is time to perfect your brand positioning statement. This can be done by completing the following template.


[Brand] provides [target audience] with [unique value] than any other [your Industry] by [proof points].


A springboard for implementation


Red arrow pointing upwards

Use this statement as a springboard to guide your implementation. This new brand positioning should act as an internal statement of strategy. Ensure you share this with all your staff and associates. It will help to motivate them, provide direction, ensure you are all aligned and talking about your business in the same way.


Ideally this should be part of a wider brand strategy for your business where you look at creating key messages which work alongside your positioning statement. If you are looking to create a new brand identity for your business, then discover what colours means in branding.


Want to see how this works in practice? Then view our client case study.


Image credit

Business card photo and arrow photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com

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