Brand Positioning – 8 Magical Words of Business (Part 2)

Who are you and why do you matter?

So once we know what’s at our core what do we do with this?

 The exciting part of this exercise is that once you know your brand DNA, there are two options for each DNA type that govern how you should differentiate your product or service in the market.

Another way to think about this: If you had £1 to spend on an activity that was going to achieve the best results, then this tells you where to focus.

There are some points to follow that will help you work out where your best chance of success lies:

The Mother: Customer Focus

Your natural preference would always be on the customer and providing a differentiating customer experience, so you should focus on this. Starbucks did this by creating the 3rd space.

Or your focus should be on catering for a specific niche segmentation within your market audience and doing it better and more focused than anyone else. You’ll see great examples of this with brands like Mr and Mrs Smith or the rolling stone publication.

The Mother: Focus on Customer Experience

Is your company maniacal about the experience?

Does your customer cover a high NPR score?

Do you talk incessantly about delighting your customers?

Does your company tell stories about customers in meetings?

The Mother Focus on Segmentation

Do you focus on customer segmentation?

Can you pinpoint the segment your company addresses?

Are those segments easily identified by age, gender, job activity, or aspiration?

Does your company refer to its customer by a unique or affectionate name?

The Mechanic: Product focus

You’ll succeed through focusing on one of two key deliverables

Creating and delivering value or enhanced product features. you won’t just do this once you’ll need to do it every day relentlessly.

Or focus on the value that you create for your customers or the features you deliver over the competition giving them more of what they want for less than anyone else. find new ways to service them and save on business costs.

A note a good example of this is the likes of Aldi and the discounters that can provide cheaper shopping by simplifying the user experience and offering different brands of comparable quality at lower costs. this is one way of doing this, it doesn’t just mean being the cheapest in the marketplace it’s about creating the biggest value.

The Mechanic: Focus on Value

Are you a commodity product or service?

Do you focus on more for less in your messaging?

Is your brand a promoter of a rare or unique service in your industry?

Do you compare your prices to those of your competitor in management meetings?

The Mechanic: Focus on Features

Do you introduce new features several times a year with at least some fanfare?

Do you talk a lot about competitive feature comparison in management meetings?

Does your company focus on the intricacies of its product in its messaging?

Do you participate in feature-by-feature competitive testing?

The Missionary: Concept focus

To really change the world you’re going to need to focus on ‘The next big thing’, and creating the most amazing game-changing product or service that the world simply can’t live without. You don’t have to be first to market but you need to get your product to market to change the world.

E.g Apple and the iPhone

The other option is to create  ‘a cult of personality’. there will be one charismatic leader person, normally ar founder or CEO that becomes the pinnacle of inspiration.

E.g Elon Musk: Tesla and Space x

The Missionary: Focus on the Next Big Thing

Is your company changing behaviour in its market?

Is your product or service redefining an industry or creating a new one?

Are your customers primarily early adopters?

Does your company issue market research?

The Missionary: Create a Cult of Personality

Do you have an extremely charismatic CEO or product?

Is it a lifestyle choice to work on your brand or company?

Are industry influencers aware of your company culture and able to define it?

Is cultural fit a primary criterion for hiring?

The Round Up

A solid positioning is critical to business success by telling the world who you are and why you’re here. when activated correctly it provides a clear reason to believe and differentiator that will become the central point of your messaging architecture.

Your brand DNA will dictate which of the 3 types of organisation or brand you really are, not who you want to be. From that, you can work out where you should focus to offer you the very best chance of success and be the best version of you.

There are no wrong DNA types simple the one that makes you, you. By working in concert with this you create the best chance of success.

Just because you’ve read a book that talks about making the customer experience the centre of everything you do doesn’t mean that this is the right solution for you, customer experience is always going to play a part of what you do but it should never come at the cost of delivering on what makes you, you.

Some criticise the likes of Ryan air for poor customer experience and it may be fair, but it doesn’t stop them from being extremely successful and the second most profitable airline in the EMEA.

Once you know this, you can go on to the next 6 c’s of positioning.

And we’ll get to that next time when we look at creating a clear messaging architecture.

If you think you could use a stronger positioning, or perhaps an objective input to give you a truly differentiate edge in the market, then drop us a line.

Suggested reading

Positioning: The Battle for your Mind – Al Reis and Jack Trout.

Get to Aha! – Andy Cunningham.

Available in all good bookshops.