I have helped position more than 150 brands over the past 15 years. During that time, my thinking on what should be included in a brand positioning statement has evolved. Here are the components I focus on today:
- Target customer description - To whom does your brand most appeal? Who is your brand's most advantageous customer? Who is your brand primarily serving? I ask people to think about today and in the future. I have them think about primary, secondary and tertiary targets. I have the marketers describe the target customers in as much detail as possible. The more targeted the brand is, the more clear the brand's promise becomes. Targeting a brand in great detail does not rule out secondary or tertiary markets or people who aspire to be the primary target.
- The brand's essence - The heart and soul of the brand, its timeless quality, stated in the form "adjective adjective noun." This does not need to differentiate. It just needs to capture the brand's core essence.
- The brand's promise, including its competitive frame of reference, its primary differentiating benefit or shared value within that frame of reference, the market forces that make that differentiating benefit relevant or salient and proof points for and reasons to believe the brand's promise. The brand's promise is very similar to the brand's unique value proposition. I focus on benefits or shared values that go beyond functionality, ones that are emotional, experiential and especially self-expressive.
- The brand's archetype - Based on Jungian archetypes, this provides insight into the brand's core motivations, what drives it to behave as it does.
- The brand's personality - seven to twelve adjectives that describe the brand as if it were a person.
- Other important brand associations - brand associations that are core to its character and identity.
For more information on brand positioning, read chapter 6 (Brand Design) of Brand Aid.