3 Attributes of an Effective Positioning Statement For The DNA of Your Company

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3 Attributes of an Effective Positioning Statement For The DNA of Your Company

3 Attributes of an Effective Positioning Statement For The DNA of Your Company

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Positioning has an important role to play in a brand. It can be considered as the DNA of your brand. Your brand’s public communications are largely based on your positioning statement. Considering the vital role played by positioning, how will you craft a strong and accurate positioning statement for your company operating in the vertical of life sciences? What are the attributes an effective positioning statement should have? This post offers an insight into creating a winning positioning statement for your life science company and highlights some of the factors to consider to craft such a statement.

What is Positioning?

The job of the positioning statement is to define your brand’s position clearly, i.e., the space in the mind of your audience that belongs to your brand only. Positioning comes down to differentiating your life science brand from that of your rivals, and so, it’s important to get the language right that explains your positioning.

Positioning Statement Template

You can find a number of templates for positioning statement. Here is one that can prove to be quite helpful. You can use this template as framework to craft a solid and effective positioning.

“For (target audience) + Brand X is the only (market context) + that (unique benefit delivered) + because (reasons to believe).”

The key components in this positioning statement are: Target Audience, Market Context, Unique Benefits, and Reasons to Believe. You need to get a thorough understanding of each of these components before proceeding to create your brand’s positioning statement.

Things to Consider when Crafting a Positioning Statement

The positioning statement of your brand is NOT your website’s introductory paragraph, your company’s elevator pitch, or your tag line. The positioning statement of a brand is entirely private. Just like you won’t share your business plan details with your competitors or audience, similarly you won’t share the positioning statement. Since this is private, no need to make the statement sound appealing to your audience. Apart from being unique, the positioning statement should also be relevant, sustainable, clear, authentic and defensible. It should be true to the core character of your brand.

Here are some factors to consider when creating your brand’s positioning statement:

1. Uniqueness
The toughest part of crafting the positioning is figuring out what truly makes your brand different from others. Identifying the factors that truly set your brand apart from others, is not easy, but is certainly worth investing time on. Like most activities in marketing, figuring this out would be simpler if you understand your audience clearly, as well as their behavior and attitude in making purchases.

Your positioning statement must have uniqueness. If it isn’t unique, either the brand is a type of commodity, or the positioning of your brand is not specific enough. No one else among your competitors should come up with a positioning statement that’s identical to yours. Usually, for most competitors, the “market context” and “target audience” are generally same, however, uniqueness must be there in either “reasons to believe” or “benefits”. You would have a stronger positioning if your “benefits” are unique.

2. Focus on Target Audience, rather than all Audience
You must focus narrowly on your target audience. Businesses often tend to define their target audience too broadly. Your brand’s positioning should target a small segment only, but would have relevancy with other audiences outside that segment also.

3. Unique Benefits should be Compelling
The unique benefits should be really compelling and motivating advantages for your target audience. It’s better to have specific benefits instead of general benefits. They would also have more uniqueness. You don’t need to match up every benefit to a certain reason to believe. As a whole, reasons to believe have to serve as the proof for the brand’s ability to provide the unique benefits.

Thomas Miller is the senior most marketing analyst and advisor at Vintelli, a smart business directory for online listing. He is also a part time Web Consultant at B3NET Bio, a leading life science digital marketing agency. His 9 years of expertise in online marketing enables him to serve both B2C and B2B communities with better guidance.

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Differentiation and Positioning: What Does Your Business Stand For?

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Pursuing, attaining, and maintaining a competitive position in the market is at the heart of an effective marketing communications plan.

A well-crafted positioning statement defines your company’s direction. It answers two essential questions from the customers’ point of view: “What’s different about your business?” and “What unique benefit is derived from your product or services?”

Surprisingly, few companies exist where management is in total agreement on those answers—or even where the answers can be found.

The basic reason for answering those questions is to carve out turf that your brand aims to hold against competitors. That’s differentiation. The difference between what you offer and what others offer is important to customers.

Ideally, you’ll discover the important, single difference through research and strategic thinking.

Standing Out From the Competition

How can we win against competitors? What can we do that they are not doing, or cannot do or say, that’s important to customers?

The statement should be defined in a clear, simple communications strategy that covers the two questions above. It can be a very short paragraph defining the differentiation claim with no more than three key messages that powerfully support the claim. Then it has to be consistently applied across the organization, which absolutely includes “walking the talk.”

One thing successful brands have in common is they’ve established a clear difference that’s reflected in how they do things, what they’re known for, or what they create.

There are many opportunities for differentiating a new brand. It may how something is made, where it is made, how many years it has been made, the ingredients, how “hot” or “cool” it is, how easy it is to find, and level of social consciousness (think Newman’s Own and Patagonia). Jack Trout’s valuable book Differentiate or Die provides great insight and is the best read on the subject I’ve encountered.

Apple has differentiated itself in computers; Wal-Mart, Ikea, and Home Depot have in retailing for differing reasons. Waterford has it in crystal glassware. Porsche and Toyota have it in cars. Navy Seals have it among military services. McDonald’s has it in fast food. Jack Daniels has it in whiskey. Yosemite National Park has it in recreational destinations. Those companies all have established a “position” in the mind of the market, the people who care about what they offer. That perception is nourished and supported by organizations they want to keep it.

New brands have to carve out a new place in people’s minds that’s different. How that’s done well is whole other story. Attempting to be a “me, too” or copycat is not usually a successful strategy.

What’s Expressed by a Brand?

Positioning establishes business credentials and the mental “territory” you want to own. What does branding do for you? Can you even do branding for a small company?

Though you don’t have a branding staff, proper branding can, and should, be done right from the start or from the restart of a business.

The first essential thing to know is that a brand is not a logo or color scheme, although this is a common misconception. Rather, a brand is a promise of an experience.

If you don’t brand yourself, your competitors might… and your customers will eventually do so, too. But is that what you want? Is that what you want your employees to believe in and use as their guide in all their other marketing decisions?

Examine all your brand touchpoints by seeing where you interact with customers—and for how long and at what depth at each of these points. Don’t be surprised if some of these key touchpoints are in service or support, for example. Rank and rate these places, and also develop a list of key brand values. Then you can easily compare them with competitors and make sure you are different and that you provide customers with the appropriate experience.

There are places where smaller companies can provide branded experiences and services that are very personable and customizable to individual, localized needs—something that is very hard and often impossible for larger companies to accomplish. Even if larger companies pretend to offer personalized service, their large employee base may not care to execute on that promise—not that they would probably admit it.

Little Things Make a Big Difference

Small acts matter. Like answering a phone even though you are an online business. Or having a short delivery channel. Or an easy try-and-buy campaign with an easy return policy. Or personal customer support with personalized email. Or smart uniforms for your drivers. But you can’t claim a high-class brand position when you know you are offering cheap service. No problem, there are markets for most positions. Just know which one is yours.

Your brand values should be documented and shared throughout the company and your different marketing agencies. And all (including designers and planners) who interface with customers should be educated about striving to maintain these values.

Your brand promise then becomes the golden thread that helps shorten and clarify all design and management decisions. Sometimes, you may have to ignore good ideas because they just don’t fit in your company.

* * *

So, what about that name, logo, font, color scheme, tagline, and style guide?

Now, you see them as shorthand for the brand promise. They bring a consistent message to your customer and prospect base, across all channels, sales, and social media. The world learns what these words or symbols stand for—even though your world may be a small niche market where you have established a position and focused your brand efforts. Your customers and prospects know what to expect when you reach out to them while the visual aspects give them the memory handle for the experience promise.

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