Branding positioning strategy is the critical element in shaping all that you say and do to build a brand. When your brand positioning is clear and effectively communicated, your people feel more energized and inspired, your customers come for the right reasons, and you create the rational and emotional ties that build strong brands. Positioning is branding, and branding positioning. Strong positioning strategy inspires effective company and product names, engaging audience messages, and powerful brand identities.
Our Approach to Positioning Strategy
We help our clients occupy a distinct, understandable place in the minds of their most important audiences. Through understanding, analysis, strategic thinking and stakeholder engagement, we have developed the tools that inspire everyone in an organization to better tell their story. Our approach to brand positioning builds understanding and awareness, yields enthusiasm, and increases public engagement.
We dig deep into our clients’ business and culture to better understand their business, to identify branding positioning opportunities, to highlight their unique purpose, and to set clear objectives for brand positioning strategy. This process enables an organization to see itself in a holistic way. It allows a company to celebrate their true valuable differentiators and to focus on the most impactful and sustainable promises they can make. These are the foundational elements of good brand positioning. They become the key criteria by which an organization can evaluate its brand and storytelling opportunities.
Once an organization understands its differentiators, opportunities, purpose, and promise, it can identify the positioning strategy that best sets it apart from others in the minds of its key audiences. There is always more than one ways to position a brand. The key is to identify the brand positioning strategy that best encapsulates the organization’s purpose, its culture, and its aspirations for the future. A strong brand positioning strategy sets not just an authentic tone for a brand, it sets an aspirational tone as well. It should identify the idea that the brand wants to represent, and continue to own, for years to come as it grows.
A brand positioning strategy is only as good as the people willing to commit to and support it. A key to successful brand positioning is to keep stakeholders informed, involved and inspired. The more a community takes ownership of an idea, the stronger it becomes. The best way to inspire ownership is to show stakeholders that they are integral to the process. Once the positioning is set, it is just as important to show stakeholders what their role is in making the brand positioning a success.
<h2> Essential Elements for Successful Brand Positioning
Branding positioning strategy is how you make your promise clear, differentiated, and meaningful. When done effectively, your brand position helps articulate, clearly and compellingly, who you are, what you do, and why you matter.
- Who you are: Positioning strategy to meaningfully set yourself apart from others in your category or industry. Just as your name and personality set you apart from your peers, your organization needs to identify both the essential qualities that are shared by all and those that make differentiate you in meaningful ways.
- What you do: this is more than the product or service functions of your organization. This is your promise to the world–the promise you make to your employees, investors, customers and partners. It is an aspirational promise that you collectively need to live up to year in and year out.
- Why you matter: this is where the emotional connections are born. What would be missing in the world if you weren’t there to provide it? How do you make a meaningful difference in people’s lives? If it doesn’t matter, it’s not worth saying.
Brand positioning strategy has to be ownable, believable, beneficial, and sustainable.
- Ownable: your positioning must be true for you and nobody else. If you can own an idea, or better yet, a word, your leadership becomes clear and defensible. Some of the most successful brands in the world have achieved greatness through their singular and passionate focus on an ownable promise.
- Believable: you want people to come to you for the right reasons, so you can fulfill your promise. While good positioning strategy is always aspirational, it is still based in reality. Anyone who thinks brand is “hype” has been disappointed by a misleading or over-promoted promise.
- Beneficial: There has to be something in the positioning for everyone. For your employees, your investors, your partners and your customers. Too many brand positioning strategies focus solely on the “what” (products, features) and not enough on the “why.” The best brands inspire you to want to take part in their story, because it benefits you, no matter who you are.
- Sustainable: Good brand positioning strategy results in a lasting story. A brand story should evolve with you as you grow and prosper, but it shouldn’t have to change. While campaigns may be specific and changeable over time, the positioning strategy that informs them should be steady. Sustainability is what makes a single, ownable story last years and decades for organizations regardless of their size.
Here’s how we applied these brand positioning principles to one of the nation’s top public universities.
See how we helped position the global leader in aerospace.