A well-crafted brand positioning has three primary components:
• A definition of the target market you wish to pursue
• A definition of the business your company is in or the industry or category it competes in
• A statement of your point of difference and key benefits
The language of a well-crafted positioning usually takes this general form:
• To (target market), Brand X is the (definition of business) that provides you with (stated point of difference / key benefit).
For example, "To computer manufacturers, Intel is the chip maker that provides the fastest and most reliable microprocessor available." Or, "To homemakers, Tide is the detergent that gets their clothes the whitest and brightest."
To define each component of the positioning more completely several questions need to be answered for each:
Target Segment Questions
• Would the customers we seek recognize themselves as a part of this target market?
• Is the target market both identifiable and reachable?
• Is it clear why this target market would be interested in our point of difference?
• If we have not served this target before, why do we want to serve them now?
Definition of Business Questions
• What is the category, industry, or business we compete in?
• How has this changed over time?
• Is the business we are in internally-driven or externally-driven?
• Will the marketplace value and believe our participation in this business?
Point of Difference Questions
• Is the key benefit important to our customer
• Can we deliver the benefit?
• Can we own this point of difference over time?
• Is this point of difference sustainable over our competition and their directions?
• Regarding brand associations, does our point of difference have to do with either the middle tier of the Brand Value Pyramid (the value level?)
Fortunately, many of these questions will have been addressed when you defined your Brand Picture.
Value: Does Our Target Market Value the Brand Positioning?
• Does this positioning motivate customers to choose our brand over competitive brands?
• Does it speak to the key needs of our customers?
• Will it ultimately help win the loyalty of customers and, when delivered, keep them for life?
• Will it allow us to charge a price premium?
• Will it have value across segments, especially for our most profitable customers? Does it state a premise worth a purchase or at least a call to action?
• Does it allow our brand to cut across multiple segments with virtually the same positioning?
Uniqueness: Does the Brand's Positioning Exclude Competitive Offerings?
• Does the market perceive our positioning as something that only our brand and our company can deliver?
• Is our positioning clearly different from competitive positioning or does it closely follow another's?
• Are we trying to differentiate our brand just to be different or is it truly a unique and valued position?
• When mentioning this positioning to customers, without revealing your brand, do other brands come up too?
• Can our positioning be clearly communicated and readily understood?
Credibility: Is Our Brand Positioning Credible in the Marketplace?
• Will this positioning be credible to our customers or target market based on what they know about our brand?
• What must be delivered to make our positioning credible?
• Do customers view other brands as more credible in their positioning?
• From an internal perspective, is this positing worth the investment required, or should we go with the "next best"?
• Can we realistically deliver on the positioning as promised?
Sustainability: Can We Own This Brand Position for a Long Time?
• Will this positioning remain valid over the next three to five years>
• How quickly might the competition copy it?
• Are we doing enough customer research to determine if needs and wants will remain similar to what they are today?
• What will it take to sustain this positioning internally and externally?
Fit: Does This Brand Positioning Fit Our Organization?
• Will it support our overall corporate objectives?
• Does it help us fill our long-range growth gap?
• Does it help drive momentum?
• Will it enhance our profitability?
• Will our employees rally around it?
• Can we measure our success by it in a consistent and meaningful way?
• Does it help focus our planning and day-to-day efforts?