Making a brand delicious at every bite: The Positioning StatementFeb 24, 2023
We challenge you to think about branding without thinking about your logo and color palette.
We want you to forget about a logo. Push aside that PMS color. Leave those branding visuals on the laptop. Those are all additions. Branding elements help to build and underpin a brand, but they are not what creates it. Without logos and letters, what comes to mind?
Go on <gently nudges you towards the spotlight>, describe the soul of your brand without showing anyone a picture or products.
In the words of the world’s wisest caterpillar, “who. arrrrree. you?”
Describe your brand without mentioning your logo or brand colours... it's tricky.
To articulate your brand, you must define it.
If this exercise revealed a lack of articulation — like, you just don’t have to words to describe your people really are, what they really need, who you really are, what you bring to the arena, and why your uniqueness is everything — it may be time to recalibrate your positioning.
Positioning is the act of clearly defining the who-what-where-why of your business brand …and you can do it with a single sentence.
A positioning statement is a marketing tool that has the uncanny ability to clarify the heart and soul of any brand. It’s a mind-reader and crystal ball all in one. It unlocks the present and gazes into the future. It’s a North Star guiding you to what you want and need.
A positioning statement answers 5 juicy questions in one very long sentence that every brand needs to know- Who are your people? What do they need? Who are you? What do you deliver? Why are you special, different or the One?
The holy grail of branding.
A positioning statement is the recipe to which a brand is built. It’s the blueprint. It’s the map. It’s the key. And sometimes, it’s the one thing that many entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and business owners forget to use in their entrepreneurial journey.
Positioning and Messaging is our signature service. It’s our trademark, our thing, and we do love it so. We love it so much that spouting words of adoration and sending it roses every day will simply not do it justice. It’s that amazing!
To do it justice, we must spread the word. Why? As positioning is singlehandedly the most important thing when it comes to developing a fully realized brand that feels just right, because it is.
Charlie is a life coach helping clients break free from the grind and grey
See it in action…
Say hello to Charlie, our fictional hero. <waves> Charlie is a life coach, specialising in helping travel-loving individuals to take the leap from corporate positions and into life as a freelance digital nomad. This is their positioning statement:
For wanderlust corporate cogs in the machine,
Who need to break free from the grind, travel the world and work on their terms,
Charlie is the life coach and mentor
that delivers an inspirational framework teaching how to scratch that travel itch, fund the journey and find meaningful work along the way,
Because life is too short to be stuck in a grey-walled cubicle, at a job you don’t like, when there is a big wide world out there to explore.
And live the life of a freelance digital nomad
Charlie’s positioning statement answers the 5 key questions:
1) Who are your people?
Charlie’s ideal clients are corporate individuals with wanderlust.
2) What do they need?
They need to break free from a job they hate, travel the world and work on their terms
3) Who are you?
Charlie is the life coach and mentor
4) What do you deliver?
Charlie delivers a framework that teaches his clients how to travel the world, fund it and how to be a freelance digital nomad, finding meaningful and purposeful work that they love.
5) Why are you special, different or the One?
Charlie is the inspirational life coach helping clients live life to the full. It’s too short to be stuck behind a desk, in a grey-walled cubicle, especially when the world is calling your name.
A positioning statement answers the key questions, in one (very long) sentence:
For wanderlust corporate cogs in the machine, who need to break free from the grind, travel the world and work on their terms, Charlie is the life coach and mentor that delivers an inspirational framework teaching how to scratch that travel itch, fund the journey and find meaningful work along the way, because life is too short to be stuck in a grey-walled cubicle, at a job you don’t like, when there is a big wide world out there to explore.
Delicious at every bite
A positioning statement unlocks what the brand is, and every brand, whatever their size, shape or offering, needs one. Without it, a brand becomes flat, bland, and sounds like everyone else in the crowded marketplace.
If the brand was a cake, it’s like trying to bake without adding eggs, baking powder or a generous dollop of melted chocolate. It’s simply boring and extremely hard to eat.
The goal of any brand is to be one that everyone wants to devour. To keep your audience coming back for more, every time. To be delicious at every bite and every interaction. <licks fingers>
Yes, we ate the whole cake. Oops. <licks fingers>
Plot your course and power your journey
To run the risk of using even more metaphors to convey how important a positioning statement is, it’s both fuel and a navigation system. A positioning statement answers the 5 most important questions that a brand must know and in doing so:
- defines what makes you different than the oodles of other brands in your space
- gives you the message to share with your audience (and why); we all need a reason to believe
- answers the age-old question of why you do what you do and what gets you out of bed in the morning
- clarifies how you deliver the solution to your customers
- equips you with the messaging, words and copy to use in your marketing
In terms of our fictional hero Charlie and their life coaching business, the positioning statement provides them with everything they need to power their marketing mix and create a standout brand.
The positioning statement gives Charlie the words, tone and even the visuals that they can use in their social media posts.
Words: Both sentences “there is a big wide world out there to explore” and “life is too short to be stuck in a grey-walled cubicle” are lifted directly from the positioning statement.
Tone: The target audience are corporate individuals who have wanderlust. They want to break free, escape the grind and find meaning.
Visuals: Dreamy locations, far-off places, tropical paradises. This is what Charlie’s clients are dreaming of, so the visuals need to match that need/want/desire.
A positioning statement is the starting point for everything. Not only does it create the brand itself but also all the marketing tools, including website copy, social media posts, LinkedIn profiles, email sequences, newsletters, and social media bios.
Everything can be traced back to the most important sentence which provides the blueprint for the brand.
The positioning statement.
So, the next time someone hypothetically pushes you into the spotlight, or you’ve become bored with sounding a little too much like the other folks, or you know you’re playing it too small but can’t articulate it, write yourself a good old fashioned positioning statement and struggle no more.
Now you have the words, ideas, and phrases to communicate with your communities. What’s more, you’ve expanded your definition of what it means to have/be/do a brand identity.
Logos and color schemes are part of the picture, but your entrepreneurial masterpiece, dear reader, that is many-splendored. Your brand is nothing less than your reputation brought to life in words, actions, and images.
What do you want it to say…and who needs to hear it? Articulate it in a positioning statement.