In a marketing world where everything seems to have been done not just once, but times ad nauseam, your brand positioning statement has never been more important.
This is your chance to shine. Your chance to set yourself apart from the competition. Your chance to position yourself.
Your key to success.
What your brand positioning statement is not? It’s not something to throw together quickly. You want to do this right. Because this statement will inform every, single marketing decision you make, from here on out.
A brand positioning statement serves as a guiding force that every creative asset will be measured against. For today’s branding professionals who are working with hundreds to thousands of digital assets for every product, service, or campaign, a digital asset management solution like MerlinOne is a must. With automated workflows, approvals, versioning and access control, and even built-in distribution tools, managing the complex creative process from concept to execution has never been simpler. MerlinOne serves as a central hub for all your assets, streamlining the process of ensuring that every asset is on-brand and in-tune with your brand positioning statement before it’s introduced to your audience. Download our white paper, The Content Lifecycle, below to learn more about how MerlinOne supports your brand’s creative processes from end to end.
How to Craft an Effective Brand Positioning Statement
Let’s take a step back from your brand positioning statement to discuss brand positioning. Bottom line: You can’t write a statement if you don’t have your core positioning down pat.
There are four required essentials to establishing rock-solid brand positioning:
- Your audience: Who is your demographic? What are their pain points?
- Your market: What is your market category? And, how does your brand better relate to your audience, in comparison to your competition?
- Your brand promise: Think back to your audience’s pain points and then ask yourself, how does your brand solve those problems? In the eyes of your audience, what are the greatest benefits your brand offers?
- Your evidence: What irrefutable evidence can you offer to demonstrate that your brand delivers on its promise?
Write it all down. Edit, revise. Be as thorough and as on-brand as possible. Then, you can write your brand positioning statement:
Brand Positioning Formula: For [your audience], [your brand] is the [your market] that best delivers on [your brand promise] because [your brand], and only [your brand], is [your evidence].
Example: For the young and young-at-heart, Walt Disney World is the theme park that best delivers on an immersive and magical experience because Walt Disney World, and only Walt Disney World, connects you to the characters and worlds you most desire. (Tagline: “Where Dreams Come True”.)
Best Practices for Writing a Successful Brand Positioning Statement
A brand positioning statement has to be powerful enough to make an impact, concise and catchy enough to remember, and true to your brand’s identity. Given the importance of a brand positioning statement, writing one is not a process to be taken lightly. Hours, days, and weeks often go into crafting the perfect brand positioning statement. Here are a few things to remember when writing a brand positioning statement:
- Craft your value proposition first. Your value proposition focuses on the benefits your customers receive by using your products or services and touches on the emotional impact of your brand. Your positioning statement, on the other hand, is your company’s “why” – and what differentiates your brand from your competitors. Use your value proposition as a jumping off point to clearly and succinctly convey why your brand is the leader.
- Your positioning statement should be in tune with your brand personality. If your brand is fun-loving, lighthearted, and not-too-serious, your positioning statement should also reflect these qualities.
- You can have more than one positioning statement. In fact, it’s common to have positioning statements for each market segment or brand persona, as each segment or persona may experience a different primary benefit from working with your brand. It makes sense, then, to have different positioning statements for each to serve as a guiding force behind all marketing messaging targeting those personas. Brands with multiple products may also have positioning statements for each product, as well as an overarching positioning statement that fits the brand archeteype for the company as a whole.
- Your positioning statement should serve as a guideline that business decisions can be measured against. By evaluating messaging, strategies, and other activities and decisions in the context of the brand positioning statements, you can ensure that all decisions and actions are in line with your brand.
How to Evaluate your Brand Positioning Statement
Your first draft may not end up as your final brand positioning statement. Before you sign off on what you’ve written, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will it help inform your marketing decisions?
- Does it effectively differentiate your brand?
- Is it believable?
- Is it flexible enough to allow for growth over time? (In other words, does it position your brand for long-term success?)
- Does it paint a clear mental image?
- Does it speak directly to your core audience?
- Is it consistent, across all aspects of your brand?
- Does it motivate your audience?
- Is it easily understood?
- Will it stand up to your competitors?
- Is it unique? (Is it different from your competitors’ brand positioning?)
- Is it memorable?
- Can you OWN it?
Again, if you can’t answer “yes” to all of these questions, then circle back and refine your statement until you can.
8 Examples of Successful Brand Positioning Statements
Typically, when you look at a consumer-facing ad, you’re seeing the brand’s tagline and/or current marketing message. Those change. What doesn’t: The brand positioning statement behind them.
Whatever your current collateral, be sure that it accurately reflects your unwavering brand position. Here are a few good examples:
Walt Disney World
By Jrobertiko – Denis Adriana Macias, CC BY-SA 3.0
Walt Disney World does branding so well, it hardly needs to brand itself anymore. Every, single piece of collateral goes back to their brand promise: magically making your dreams come true. From the moment you drive in, you know: You’ve arrived at the most magical place on Earth. Here, your dreams are about to come true.
Screenshot via jetBlue
Jetblue’s tagline – you above all – gets to the heart of the matter: Your flight experience is the most important thing and Jetblue will do whatever’s required. And that includes standard “extras” that their competition would charge extra for.
Screenshot via Apple
We’re doing a throwback on this one, but that’s because it works. Back in the 1990s, Apple was faced with something of an uphill battle against its competitors. Thus, it positioned itself as different – as rumor had it, distinctly different from IBM’s mere “Think.” It worked. Apple used the tagline through the early 2000s.
Screenshot via Chipotle
Chipotle is the fast-food chain that relies on exceptional ingredients – on real food with no GMOs, and other doesn’t-this-make-you-feel-good-about-yourself? promises. Hence, almost every piece of marketing collateral harkens back to this: food so good, so clean, so wholesome, you feel like you should be paying more.
Screenshot via Whole Foods
In the same vein, Whole Foods positions itself around the promise of the world’s best, cleanest, most sustainable, most ethical, and healthiest ingredients. Ingredients that are connected to the earth and to their local farmers. This ad firmly plants that idea in your mind: when no one had invented the Best Food wheel, Whole Foods did just that.
Screenshot via JW Marriott
JW Marriott is a luxury hotel and resort chain that wants you to “travel brilliantly.” To that end, they position their brand as the luxury hotel chain that cares about your experience. As the luxury hotel chain that hires the best, most qualified, most highly trained elite staff. As the only luxury hotel chain that understands you and what you need to, indeed, travel brilliantly.
Screenshot via Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a classic brand but with the flexibility for a fresh, modern take. The company’s marketing and advertising campaigns always stay true to the brand’s identity: refreshing and fun, while focusing on the positive experiences consumers have when enjoying Coca-Cola beverages. Coca-Cola inspires happiness and positivity.
Screenshot via Everlane
Everlane’s public-facing tagline fits the mold of a popular brand positioning statement model known as the Three Word Wonder: Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical transparency. The key to using this model to create a brand positioning statement is to ensure that the words used reflect promises your company can keep and that it represents the uniqueness of your brand, or your key competitive advantage. Everlane’s commitment to transparency and sustainability shine through in its latest mission: creating the world’s lowest-impact sneaker brand, Tread by Everlane. And, true to its promise, Everlane is completely transparent about the why and the how.
While your brand positioning statement is an essential framework that summarizes your brand’s identity, purpose, and competitive advantage, you need a robust digital asset management solution like MerlinOne to effectively manage the many assets that support your branding efforts across today’s myriad marketing and branding channels. Schedule a demo today to learn how MerlinOne, the digital asset management solution trusted by the world’s most iconic brands, supports your brand initiatives from end to end with automated workflows and approvals, built-in distribution tools, versioning and access control, and lightning-fast searching to find the brand assets you need when you need them.
And there you have it: how to write your brand positioning statement and how then to evaluate and revise it, plus several great examples to fuel your creativity. Happy positioning!