What can small businesses do to stand out in a crowd? The market has become extremely noisy. Getting your ideal client to notice you is difficult. But correctly positioning your brand and communicating it to your target audience can get you noticed. An effective brand positioning statement guides every aspect of your marketing strategy, making your marketing easier and more consistent.
What is a brand positioning statement?
A brand positioning statement describes what your business does and what makes you different to those you serve. It:
- Encapsulates the essence of your brand and conveys the unique value you offer to your target audience.
- Should highlight the way we want customers to think and feel about our business through their experience with us.
- Is an internal statement that guides your business decisions based on how you want to be perceived within the market.
Your brand positioning is the underlying strategic statement that is central to every marketing campaign. It forms the bedrock of your marketing strategy, serving as a guiding principle that differentiates you from competitors. And it resonates with your target audience. It will help you to create messages that establish value in the minds of your customers. Your positioning needs to be unique, valuable and yours alone.
How to develop your brand positioning statement
By developing your positioning statement before you implement any marketing activities, you create clarity and consistency in the way you speak to the market. This ensures continuity throughout all of your marketing and makes all forms of communications less complex and easier to manage. Without a positioning statement to guide the marketing effort, a company is apt to waste time and resources wandering aimlessly without direction or focus.
The idea behind this concept is to define the:
- Target customer
- Statement of problem and your solution
- Brand promise
- Reason to believe
Who precisely do you work with and why?
Identifying your target audience enables you create products and services that appeal to their wants and needs. But know who you really want to work with. And more importantly understand how you can help. This makes your messages clearer and more targeted for those you wish to work with.
Statement of problem and your solution
What is the single most pressing issue facing your target client that you can help them solve?
If you understand what your target client truly needs, define your solution that shows them that you understand their situation. Get their attention and they will listen to what you have to offer.
Focus on the benefits to your target. Be clear on how your product or service benefits them and why their lives will be better once they work with you.
Knowing your client’s single most pressing issue, how does what you offer help them solve it?
The more you can define the value they get from working with you, the more likely they will be attracted to your brand. This brand promise is the tangible benefit that separates you from your competition. It provides your prospects with a clear advantage if they choose to do business with you.
Value is not what you do, but why you do it and the results you achieve. Define the results your customers can expect when they work with you. Providing this value creates an emotional connection with your prospects.
Reason to believe
What is the compelling evidence to prove that your brand delivers on its brand promise?
Prospects will not just believe that you will deliver. You need to demonstrate why you are the best at delivering the solution that helps them. Tell the target audience how your main benefit will help them achieve what they want to achieve. Set their expectations and then deliver on them.
Build your positioning statement around the one unique benefit that only you can deliver. Then deliver on that promised value to help them achieve what they want to achieve.
Example brand positioning statement
Now let’s put the information together in a statement you can use as the base for your marketing strategy. Here is a template that can help you get started. Don’t worry if after you use this to ensure you have all the components covered your actual statement is somewhat different. The market category is a further refinement of the industry you are in.
For [target customers], [company name, market category] delivers [brand promise]. We [reason to believe].
The following is an example of a positioning statement for a sales consultant:
For small businesses who are struggling to increase sales productivity, XYZ Company, a sales consulting firm, delivers a repeatable sales process that supports the development of long-term profitable relationships with your clients. We combine sales process improvement with technology to help our clients spend more time with customers discussing their strategic objectives.
Now you have the foundation for your marketing strategy. When you choose your strategies, you can create your content from marketing collateral to Web sites to press releases. Make sure your messages support the desired positioning in the market.
Develop Your Key Marketing Messages
Your next step is to create your messages to use in all of your marketing activities. Your messages should focus on:
- Educating and informing
- Explaining the benefits of your services
- Creating an image and perception
Messages need to be clear and speak to the needs of your prospective clients. Make them want to find out more, drive them to your web site, and get them to take action.
Keep in mind the following points:
- Be honest and credible. Tell people who you are and what you do. Be clear and concise with the offer. Make it easy for the reader of your message to know what you are promoting.
- Test your message. Try your message out and measure the results you are getting to ensure the message is clear.
- Know your audience. Send your message to the right audience to ensure the best use of your marketing resources.
When you have developed a set of messages that speak to the needs of your target market, use them consistently and repetitively in all of your marketing efforts.
Getting Outside Help
As a small company it may be hard to determine your brand positioning and craft your key messages.
Creating good messaging is the result of understanding your audience and what parts of your product or service are important to them. While it does take time, going through the process forces you to focus your efforts. To do an effective job, it is often helpful to get an unbiased point of view to help you through their development. As they say, it’s hard to read the label from inside the bottle.
Don’t bypass this exercise. Creating a clear, defensible, differentiated brand positioning statement and supporting key messages ensure you speak clearly, consistently and with confidence to your target audience.
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