Maze Starts HereIf you had to choose one priority with your marketing … if you only had the time or the budget for one marketing initiative – what should it be?

The brand positioning statement. To develop the most effective marketing strategy or any marketing tactics, you need to know what your brand means to your customers. This is true whether you’re a newly hired marketer looking to make a big impact, or whether you’re a seasoned marketer already hitting it huge.

Your brand positioning statement will tell you all of that … and more.

Build Alignment by Stripping It Down

One of our clients is a business consulting firm that is celebrating its 25 year anniversary. Over the years, many things have changed for this business. As a result, none of their current marketing materials truly reflect where the company is here and now or where they want to go in the next five years. In fact, even within the company, key leaders struggled to concisely explain what the company does. If management can’t explain it to themselves, how would their sales team be able to explain it to customers?

We asked them to step back and strip everything about their marketing down to the bare bones: What are they selling? To whom? Why? As we asked these fundamental questions, we were able to develop a brand positioning statement that made the most important points about this business crystal clear.

It’s like spring cleaning; every company should go through this process at regular intervals – if for no other reason than to make sure that everybody within the company is aligned around a common identity. Once you have this alignment – from marketing to sales to executives to on-the-ground employees – only then can you begin to talk about goals, strategies and tactics.

Ask the Tough Questions

The process of developing a brand positioning statement is really about asking the right questions. Be aware, the right questions will also be the tough questions. If the answers come too easily, you’re not digging deeply enough.

  • To whom do you sell? Do you sell to different types of customers? What do these buyers want? What obstacles prevent them from getting what they want?
  • What do you sell? There’s an old saying in marketing: “You’re not selling a toaster; you’re selling toast.” So what are you really selling? How do you define the category your product or service fits into? By defining the category, you can define the conversation.
  • What value do customers get from your product? What does your product do for your customers?
  • What’s different about your company? What do you do that no one else does? Make this count; offering “quality service” is not unique. Go beyond the clichés.
  • What’s the deeper, emotional benefit from your product that speaks to the customer’s heart? Why do customers connect with your product? What’s the emotional trigger?

Ultimately, the answers to these questions will provide you with the foundation for a marketing strategy that is well defined and allows everyone within your company to align to and believe in. From there, everything else will fall into place. After all, once you have a solid foundation, it’s so much easier to build your castle.

Once you’ve clarified your brand positioning statement, you’re ready to move on to creating super-effective marketing content. Download this eBook for strategies!