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A position is a SINGLE place

At some point you have to narrow down your positioning.


Brand models get a bad rap, but the best ones work fine, so long as you don’t resort to eight-point type.


Even better is the classic statement. For people like…who want…this brand is the…that will…because…unlike…in fifty words or less.


But then that word count has to drop a whole lot further. You need to sum it up and that means ten words or less.


The problem is a lot of current thinking about positioning will take you in the opposite direction.


Some say what you need is a network of associations in people’s minds, plus a host of assets to trigger them.


Some go further and argue for a flexible and fluid approach. Liquid Death, appropriately, lead the way on this.


But positioning is about making a choice. What’s your position?


And you need to be able to distil that down to a short sentence, for everyone working on the brand and consumers.


It could be a promise, a belief, an idea or a call-to-action. If it isn’t a benefit, it should be of benefit.


Often the advertising line becomes the expression of the positioning.


Cadbury’s there’s a glass and a half in everyone.


Ikea’s the wonderful everyday.


Have a break, have a Kit Kat.


Money never felt like Monzo.


The challenge when developing a positioning is you won’t yet have the creative expression. You’re also a strategist not a copywriter.


But there are a couple of things you can do.


Firstly, look for a phrase that does two jobs in one.


The functional and the emotional, like Cadbury.


The lower and higher order, like Ikea.


The category entry point and the belief, like Kit Kat.


The promise and the personality, like Monzo.


And secondly, make the phrase easy to remember. Seek out those sizzles.


If I think back, the times I’ve done this best is when I’ve been crystal-clear on the target, need, promise, support and personality. I’ve written down a ton of OK phrases, none of which particularly stood out.


Then out of nowhere a form of words popped into my mind.


If your cat’s like Felix, then he’ll like Felix catfood.


Petitis Filous, the fromage frais mums buy for their kids, is ‘good for them, good for me’.


Lil-Lets in feminine hygiene is ‘designed for women, by women’.


For my own company, it took awhile but I eventually got to ‘moving people closer to brands’, which led to ‘moments of closeness’. It’s hard to do this for yourself.


In fact it’s hard to do full stop. The harder you try, the harder it gets.


But everyone will thank you.


And then claim they came up with it.


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