How Can a Great Brand Positioning (aka Strategy) Be Useful for You?
A brand positioning can give your brand and your customers clarity as to who you are and how you can help them. A brand positioning is to a business like the special sauce is to a Big Mac — it sets your brand apart and keeps people coming back for more, even if they aren’t exactly sure why.
What is Brand Positioning?
You may be wondering, “what the heck is brand positioning?” We promise it’s not just another fancy made-up marketing word, so bear with us as we explain exactly what a strategy is, and why it’s important to every business.
Basically, brand positioning is what gives your brand a defining purpose. It’s both the ingredients and execution needed to make sure the world knows your brand exists. The positioning includes the intangible — like tone of voice, competitor research, and mission statements to build the overall feel of the brand.
These are mixed with visual elements like logos, colours, and fonts to define the foundation of the brand guidelines, creating a blueprint for customer communication across all touchpoints: social media, website, advertising, and all the rest.
If you’re wondering what the difference is between a brand positioning and a brand strategy, the answer is simple: there is no difference. They’re just two different terms for the same thing.
Brand positioning is helpful in all sorts of ways. For starters, it helps provide continuity in the brand, giving direction to everything from consistency in email with your brand’s tone of voice, through to sponsorship decisions based on brand values. Visually, having consistent fonts, colours, and logos means your brand is easier to recognise and it’s easier to produce content in line with your brand’s core look.
Play Into Emotions
A brand positioning can truly be the secret sauce to set you apart. A brand positioning can help you develop the right tone of voice that’ll play into consumers’ emotions, pulling customers further into your brand. If you’ve found yourself becoming obsessed with a brand and following their every move, you’ve likely found a brand with a great positioning. Building loyalty and creating a brand that consumers want to be a part of is just another reason why brand positioning is so powerful.
Help Market Research
Having a clear brand positioning can help you find your ideal customer base, identify competitors, and keep your finger on relevant proverbial pulses. If you have a strong sense of brand self, it’s easy to know what is relevant to your brand and what is not — helping to clear out all the unnecessary noise.
How Does Not Another™ Craft Brand Positioning?
No one knows your brand like you do, so we start off all our projects with internal and external research to help us develop a brand positioning. We gather information through a brand survey and/or brand workshops, depending on the scope of the project. The brand survey is an in-depth, online questionnaire tailored to your brand, filled out by both internal management and staff and external clients or customers. We then take the answers — whether it’s from five or fifty respondents — and crunch them into an insights document. This document is what creates the basis of the brand positioning.
One of our recent clients, Evnex, had a comprehensive brand positioning created from their electric vehicle charging business. The company wanted to elevate their brand and set themselves apart from the competition, so we took them through our process to help them work out their best brand positioning.
The Four Ps
The brand positioning helps us determine the brand’s purpose, passion, process, and personality, as well as the brand “gift”. The purpose succinctly defines the brand’s reason for being, while the passion highlights the bigger picture. For example, Evnex’s purpose is “to provide market-leading EV charging systems”, but the passion is to “transition New Zealand and the world to an electric vehicle future.” The first one is a very Evnex-centric goal, and very achievable. The second is more aspirational.
The process walks brands through how they do what they do. For example, Evnex’s process is to “develop world-leading smart charging hardware and software, wrapped in a turnkey service.” This efficiently explains how they achieve their purpose. Their personality is listed out in a few adjectives. For Evnex, their personality is “honest & genuine, innovative, dedicated & personable, uncomplicated, and creative.” This list of points makes it easy for a company to understand who they are.
Finally, the brand “gift” sums up what the company gives to the world — in Evnex’s case, “plug and play smart charging systems”. These four “Ps” allow us to create the basis for the tone of voice — crafting how the brand should speak, what sort of words and tone should be used, as well as the brand story.
Personality Traits and Tone of Voice
The personality traits translate into your communication with your customers — whether online, in print, or in person. The tone of voice is then built from these personality traits and can be used across multiple platforms. Having a cohesive tone of voice is a great way to achieve consistency within a brand, making it more recognisable.
Tone of voices can vary greatly from brand to brand and even from product to product within a brand. For example, McDonald’s tone of voice is very different from Prada's. The way they speak to their respective customers comes across differently, and their value sets shine through their tone of voice and messaging. If a Prada ad used a similar tone of voice to a McDonald’s ad, we’re pretty confident it would not resonate with their core audience base.
From there, we craft the brand story. This is the story behind what the company does, and why it does it. This story tends to be a few short paragraphs, and tells the company’s background, purpose, and future. Brand stories can be used on about pages, throughout website copy, in printed collateral, and more.
The brand story is designed to be aspirational and inspirational — it lays out where a brand is going, what they’re working towards, and — if done well — inspires others to join them on that journey.
An elevator pitch is so-called because it’s designed to be delivered within a few seconds, such as if someone asked you “what do you do?” in an elevator, or at a barbeque. It’s a quick, one to three sentence snappy summary of what the brand does. We craft the elevator pitch to help the business achieve clarity and zero-in on what makes the brand unique. These can be used on social media bios, about pages, and when quickly describing what your brand does.
The elevator pitch is straight to the point and not as aspirational as the brand story. It’s a super important tool for those working under a brand to help explain what they do for a living, especially while networking. We’re amazed at how many people struggle to rattle off a succinct and clear elevator pitch for their business, which is what makes this all the more crucial.
Then, we craft three to four brand personas. These personas allow the brand to get a clear picture of who your target customers are, by including their age, gender, occupation, and where they fall on a sliding scale of questions such as how important price is to them or how much they value the quality of the product. While these personas are fictional, it gives a brand a good idea of who their target customers are, and gives us a really clear picture in mind of who the brand needs to appeal to as we roll it out to a creative identity, and beyond.
Logos, Typography, Colours, Imagery, and More
After the brand positioning, we get into the visual aspect of the brand. This includes logos, typography, colours, imagery and more — allowing the brand to come to life in more ways than just words. Believe it or not, all these visual elements are influenced by the brand positioning, as emotions play into colour choices, typography, and more. These visual elements create a framework of what the brand’s website, printed collateral, social media, and more should look like.
A good brand positioning can make a major difference for a business. Having a blueprint of what a business should look, act, and talk like takes a lot of guesswork out of the day to day and allows for a streamlined, strong brand that’s instantly recognisable. While it may seem like a lot of research and effort to create one, the playbook it creates is invaluable to a business.
If you’re looking for help in getting your brand positioning started today, get in touch with us via the contact form below.