Tagline, catch phrase, slogan, qualifier – whatever you chose to call it, a strong positioning statement is a vital part of your marketing arsenal.
A brand is much more than just your logo or your name. Your brand is a dynamic and complex set of elements which, if well-managed, can generate considerable customer loyalty. An intelligent positioning statement can drive consumer understanding and help develop a meaningful point of difference. It offers personality and “stand-out-from-the-crowd” impact. Where a logo lets you be seen, a positioning statement lets you be understood.
Just a few carefully configured words can communicate your key message/s to customers, convey your existing or desired market position and/or engage your audience via humour/empathy/emotional connection. It can even be a focus point for your staff, in the manner of a mini vision statement.
An effective and well-communicated positioning statement will fuse with your brand and be easily recalled even where it is not articulated, when just the brand-mark or logo are present.
Most of us can readily recall the statements related to big players such as Nike or Coke. (Just do it / The real thing.)
Some connect so well that they grow legs and move into common use: “it’s your money, Ralph” (CBA) “where can we take you today?” (Microsoft Windows) “so where the bloody hell are you?” (Aust Tourism).
Flick through any magazine or newspaper, or check-out a couple of TV ad breaks and you’ll see positioning statements at work. In effect, they work on any or all of your marketing collateral: print advertisements, business cards, letterheads, promotional brochures, newsletters, radio ads, vehicle livery – even corporate uniforms and giveaways like calendars, bumper stickers and key tags. In fact anywhere you want to reinforce your brand communications.
Positioning statements can be developed with longevity in mind or just for a single campaign, a website launch or an exhibition display. They can evolve as your business evolves, re-focussing to reflect a shift in emphasis, management or direction, or to launch a whole new identity.
So how does your brand manager set about developing a powerful positioning statement for your business? In much the same way as they develop any marketing collateral – consulting with you to understand your business and identifying what you want to say to your marketplace. Do you want to tell your customers or prospects what you do? How well you do it? How you do it differently? Your core values? How big you are? Where you are? That you lead? That you put in effort? That you can be trusted?
You may well say “all of the above”. The key is defining the most important aspect you want to communicate (or at least narrowing it down to two or three elements).
For example, to assure the market that their organic food products were a healthy choice, Ladybird Organics adopted the tagline “Crawling with natural goodness”.
When E&S Trading wanted to promote the positive lifestyle benefits of their homemaker appliances they positioned themselves with “feel at home”.
“The right people in the right jobs” not only explains what Matchworks (a recruitment/placement agency) does, but also that they do it well.
Now you know what you want to say, how do you say it? Do you use corporate, emotional or familiar language? Do you go dynamic with strong verbs, descriptive with power adjectives, quirky with word plays or triple-up with a rhythmic three-worder? The answer is simple – choose the style that suits your business style.
Occasionally a possibility emerges from a simple brainstorm, but the best solutions are derived via collaboration between your brand manager and a professional copywriter. That’s how these gems were developed:
eat | meet | be seen (Wool Exchange Function/Event Centre)
your special place (Riviera on Yarra Restaurant)
dripping with pool ideas (Gordon Avenue Pools and Spas website)
Look around and see what other businesses are saying about themselves. Then look closer to home … what does your marketing say about your business?