This post is one in a series designed to help SME businesses benchmark their business and create a best practice business improvement plan across all of their business processes. You can find the links to the full series here.
What is a brand positioning statement and why is it important to a successful business?
Positioning is the place in the consumer’s mind that you want your brand to own. It is the benefit that you want your consumer to perceive when they think of your brand. And it must be different to your competitors’ and defendable.
It isn’t enough merely to be different from the competition. It’s important to be different from the competition in ways that matter to your market/buyer persona.
To thrive and grow in today’s competitive landscape you need to find spaces in your market for which there are fewer or no direct competitors. It is a different approach from the traditional attempts of beating the competition with price and quality improvement wars.
And because our brains love to find things that are new, unusual or unexpected – a brand that is unique will grab attention and have an advantage over its competition.
How does your business measure up?
Review your business against this best practice benchmark now
BEST PRACTICE BENCHMARK: We have a clearly defined differentiated market position that sets our business apart from our competitors and this is clearly reflected in all our branding and communication material. #branding #marketing
Here’s a checklist to help you determine how well your positioning statement meets this benchmark
- Our Positioning Statement is clear and free from industry jargon and superlatives.
- Our Positioning Statement is based on the needs, wants, and desires of our target customer.
- Our Positioning Statement clearly states the business category in which we compete.
- Our Positioning Statement clearly states our point-of-difference from our competitors in one or more dimensions that is meaningful to customers.
- We have evidence that supports our ‘point-of-difference claim and can defend it.
- Our Positioning Statement is clearly the internal expression of how we want to be perceived by prospects and the foundation for the outward core message we deliver in every medium.
About the SMART-Connect best practice brand strategy advisor
For 25 years+ I have been a design and marketing consultant, leading a traditional agency through the economic and technological challenges the past few decades have confronted us with. My move towards the digital side of the industry began some time around 1999 - 2000. Witnessing the degree to which the internet reshaped our industry led me to shift over time and focus on helping business & corporations to strip away the hype surrounding new media and focus on strategic planning and design that attracts.
Today you would have to say that I’m 100% fixated by differentiation. Why? Because all of the great brands that we love succeed by finding a unique position in the marketplace, and we believe small and medium sized businesses can too. So we’ve made it our mission to help passionate entrepreneurs and business creators make the transformation from a business, to brand of choice, through the power of education, strategic design and branding that connects.
Instead of merely helping my clients attract attention, I focus on helping them find their point of difference and the values their prospects will respect, so the resulting designs and branding reflect what’s meaningful to the them.
Too many companies are drawn to social media as “the answer”, but without a strategy of any kind, they actually don’t have anything worth saying or sharing. For many companies, social media simply relays faster, with greater efficiency, and to more people than ever in history, that their brand lacks depth and meaning.
By thinking strategically, making real observations and planning, anybody can build a brand that stands out (and not blend in). Having nothing to say and no distinct way of conveying your difference and value will only result in your messaging using cliches, which means you're promoting your category, not your brand.