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Now that’s what I call POSITIONING

Pinning down a brand positioning has never been easy. It’s no simple task finding where those three circles of consumer, company and competition intersect.

But at least there used to be an agreed template, as opposed to the current mishmash of purposes, narratives and associations.

Amazing how that trusty old framework also shows up any weaknesses in your thinking.


Who is your target? Who isn’t? Are we talking broad or narrow? Can you afford to go broad? Is the plan viable if you go narrow?

And what are they like, this target of yours? What do they do, in and around your category? And how does this fit into their life?


…what? It may seem obvious, the category drivers probably. But what about their deeper needs? How do they want to feel or look when choosing a brand?

So where do you want to be on the Need Map? Big brands meet multiple needs, that’s one of the reasons they’re big. But they always have an anchor point.


What gets in the way? Insights need tension, otherwise they generally aren’t insights. This is the problem to be solved. Before getting to the answer, be clear on the question.


What are you selling? The category name might not help here. People don’t always see the world the same way Kantar do.


The benefit. Functionally, emotionally, ideally both. Something of value. Worth the money.

And make it personal. In the end it will all come down to whether their experience lives up to your promise.


The reasons to believe. Features of your product or aspects of your company. Are you putting your money where your mouth is? Remember, “a principle isn’t a principle until it costs you something”. Particularly true of social purposes, that.

And does your target actually care about any of this? My other favourite: “A difference that makes no difference is no difference”.


It might well be genius thinking but did someone get there before you? All positioning is relative to others, so what makes yours different? A big part of this could be personality, how your brand comes across.

Don’t miss the blindingly obvious in all this either. Is anyone talking about the category benefit or is that opportunity just hiding there in plain sight?

And there you have it, job done. Edit the statement down to 50 words and you’ll be surprised how much stronger it gets and how much scarier it will be to present. Strategy is choice.

But then you can define your purpose, write your stories and make your mood films without sailing away into the great blue yonder.


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