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Ultimate Brand Messaging Workbook
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Brand Positioning Defined:
At its simplest, brand positioning is the process of setting your business apart from your competitors in the mind of your audience that makes you their preference among their options. The goal is to associate yourself with an idea or category in the minds of people who might buy your services.
What do you think of when you hear the words, “soda” or “pop”?
Did Coke or Pepsi come to mind? These two products are positioned to dominate the soft drink category.
When you have a well-defined brand position, you gain so so so many advantages. Positioning can provides a framework on which your marketing messages hang, the services you offer are delivered or experienced and even the way you structure your pricing.
Here are a few of the key benefits of brand positioning:
It focuses you on a specific target market.
When you provide a limited set of services to a limited audience, your marketing becomes more powerful and effective. You are perceived as a high-value expert.
It clarifies how you are different from competitors.
You’ll finally know exactly what sets you apart and be able to talk about your firm in a way that gets prospects excited.If you don’t know this, check out Strengths-Finders 2.0. It’s a $13 investment and it’s what has allowed me to make
It determines how to nurture new/pre-clients.
Positioning arms you with an ability to overcome objections that are used in the nurturing and closing processes.
It informs creative decisions.
When you understand the core message you need to communicate to prospects, you can make informed decisions throughout the creative process. Your positioning becomes the DNA of your visual brand.
It drives service development and pricing decisions.
Knowing how you compare to your competitors helps you decide what new services to offer, and when. Are you positioned as a source of innovative services? A low-cost provider? A specialist or a generalist? The answers to these questions can affect what services you offer and how to price them.
5 Types of Brand Positioning Strategy
(4 of these book out)
Positioning strategies can take many forms, but not all are appropriate for online businesses and personal brands. Below are five strategies that are most relevant to positioning a business like yours:
“We offer everything those other people do, but we cost less.” This literally just happened with a tree cutting service my husband and I hired. One company far and away beat their competitors in the arena of pricing. Now, this is a very challenging strategy unless you have an inherent cost advantage, such as being a family owned business or systems that allow you to outsource more cost-effectively.
However, technology can be your best friend if you are using it more effectively than your competitors or worst enemy if you are way behind the curve.
In this strategy, you’ll focus on offering a service that is not widely available through competitors. You offer specialized expertise that, presumably, a generalist would not have. This approach can work well unless the service begins to generate strong demand and new competitors emerge to dilute your “specialness.”
A perfect example of this is another personal experience I had recently with my yard. We have a moss lawn. It’s SUPER easy to maintain versus a grass lawn BUT we had an explosion of weeds. I started doing research on the most effective way to manage this and quickly discovered that moss lawns are a niche in the yard maintenance world, just like “zero-scaping”in places such as Arizona or Colorado (no greenery).
In fact, I found a gal, Mossin’ Annie, who is a both entertaining and a specialist in moss lawns. She had every answer to my questions. She didn’t teach on grass lawns at all. Just moss. That’s niche-specialization.
This is another form of specialized expertise, and it allows you laser-focus your marketing. The idea is that your business has deep levels of experience working with similar business models. This can be risky though. If your target industry, let’s use real estate, experiences economic decline, your fortunes may follow if they lack the funds to invest in the tools and services they need to succeed.
Here’s an example. Let’s look at the event planning industry. A specialization would be wedding events or corporate events. Both have totally different requirements to evaluate event success but fall under the event planning industry and probably use similar system and tools.
“We help CEOs succeed” is an example of role-focused positioning — targeting a particular function in the organization. Instead of specializing in a particular industry or service, you target a collection of people who have a specific role. These buyers will perceive you as more tuned in to their needs and expect that you offer specific knowledge or expertise that will make their job easier.
Quality of service positioning.
This is one of the most common strategies used by brands and businesses, and (with very, very rare exceptions) it is one of the least effective. “We are committed to quality,” “we deliver the best service” and similar messages are so over used that they utterly fail to impress buyers. And because quality and great service are already expected, it’s not a compelling motivator for people to take action. By focusing on the other 4 positions, you will inherently present a certain level of quality in the rest of your brand messaging and positioning.
Before you can build out your brand position, you have to be crystal clear on your brand message.
If you want to double check if you have all the pieces in place, snag my brand messaging workbook right here!
Building A Brand Position Statement TEMPLATE
I’m/ We Are: (Your Name/Business Name)
A: (Brief Description of what you do)
We help: (Target Audience)
To: (Top Benefit)
As A: (Top Differentiator)
We: (Second Top Benefit)
Clients Hire Me/Us Because: (Other Differentiators, Benefits or Support Evidences)
Now if you are struggling with this statement, most often it’s because we aren’t sure about what makes us stand out from our competitors.
So what happens if you feel like you don’t have strong differentiators?
My numero uno recommendation is a little book called Strengths-Finders 2.0 by Tom Rath. It’s one of the best, most objective places to start your journey of discovery, especially as a personal brand.
You can also start by asking family, friends, former clients and industry peers what traits stand out most to them about you and your services or products.
Lastly, you can explore these options to create a powerful differentiator for your potential clients.
Embrace a new focus in an underserved area.
Own a trait.
Combine two traits.
Have FUN with this! Get creative. Listen to what people are saying in reviews of similar services or products. You’ll find clues that will help you nail your brand position down!
Now get out there and test some positioning statements. Good luck!