Somewhere between coming up with a brilliant idea and trying to transform it into a money-making machine, we really recommend taking some time to consider your brand positioning and messaging. Here’s what each concept actually means, and why it’s important to build a brand strategy that takes both of these factors into consideration.
But first, let’s start with brand strategy
Creating brand strategy is our jam at The Luxe Co. We get really excited when a customer comes to us with a creative idea, and love collaborating with them to formulate a plan that will actually get them noticed. Yes, part of that is how their logo looks. But, it’s a tiny part. First, we need to dig a little deeper and figure out the substance of a brand.
You see, the end-game is all about HUMANISING your brand, and to do that it needs to possess human qualities. All those things you’ve probably heard people banging on about like mission, vision, purpose, and values are just wishy-washy abstract concepts unless the brand is humanised. Obviously, a box of cereal can’t literally be empathetic or show integrity. But when the brand that this box belongs to has a “character” and has been humanised, an audience can totally buy into the idea that one brand of Bircher muesli is more caring about their health than another, for example.
In real terms, the brand’s substance is what drives the company to deliver this product to market. What is important to them? How do they see their future? What impact are they making on the world/their customers’ world? These things are also known as a MISSION, a VISION, a PURPOSE and VALUES. And to say that this information is vital in being able to attract your ideal customer is seriously downplaying the role of these attributes.
It’s only by really nailing these that you can attract your ideal customer, work out what dilemmas they have, and determine how you – the brains behind the aforementioned brand – can tell the story in a way that has the answers to solve their problems and save the day.
By answering all of these questions, we build brands that customers relate to (because the brand’s traits align with the traits of the audience) and give it a greater shot at success.
What is brand positioning and why is it a big deal?
One of the most important aspects of a successful brand strategy is effective positioning: essentially nutting out your place in a (sometimes supersaturated) market and explaining to your audience how you do things differently and why they should choose you over your competitors.
Let’s go back to the cereal aisle and think of all the options available … and why you pick the ones you do for your daily breakfast. Likewise figuring out where your product fits within an existing product/service category and why someone should choose it.
In these circumstances, “Well obviously, it’s the best” just doesn’t cut it as a suitable justification. Instead, what you really need to do is look at the landscape from your customer’s point of view.
We’re going to call in The Luxe Co.’s co-founder and creative director, Tina to explain…
“Let me give you an example. My personal favourite cereal is (please don’t judge) Coco Pops.
Now thinking about all this in relation to me and my love for Coco Pops makes no sense at all right? I’m a grown woman with kids of my own. Surely Kellogg’s’ brand strategy behind this particular product hasn’t been targeted to me as their primary or secondary or in fact any audience at all …?
You might not think so, but the truth is I first fell for the little brown monkey when I WAS their target market. And that is the ultimate brand – one that keeps you engaged for a lifetime.”
You see, by understanding your competitors (and what they do or do not offer) you can really drill down who your audience is, how they feel, and what they want in order to position your brand apart from your competitors. It’s also an opportunity to work out if there is an unmet need or gap you can fill.
For Tina and the monkey, the attraction was instant. He was a little bit disobedient, very cheeky and it all spoke to the actual product being a sometimes treat because in itself it was a little bit naughty too.
Six-year-old Tina loved feeling like she was like that monkey when she got to eat those crunchy chocolate pops. And while she’s no longer rocking her Kindy pigtails, she still loves the mischievous feeling of eating Coco Pops as an adult.
All the research we do is vital because it allows us to refine your brand’s character – and then use it to connect with your potential customers by speaking to their desires, characteristics, and behaviours. Which leads us to the subject of brand messaging…
Crafting brand messaging your audience will love
Okay, so if you’ve worked out your differentiator, who your ideal customer is, and why they might choose your product or service over another, now it’s time to tell them! After all, it’s one thing to know your brand is amazing, but not particularly useful if it’s not expressed with clarity and in an engaging way, or being heard by the people who need to hear it!
Enter brand messaging: This concept is where giving your brand a human personality and voice, as well as a story to tell in all your communications really comes into play.
You’ll use it EVERYWHERE! You’ll find it on your website, write your press releases around it, and it’ll definitely make its way into your social media captions.
A key part of effective messaging is knowing not just what to say, but how to say it and having a framework in place for that communication.
By crafting a brand message in a suitable tone of voice, and using the right language and vocabulary, you can speak to your audience in a way that will make them feel like you have listened and really taken the time to understand what their problems are and what drives them at their core.
If, for example, you’re a brand with sustainability as one of your values, then your customers’ problem is going to be climate change. And when you speak to them you need to always have this in your mind.
Brand positioning and messaging: Which one do you need?
Brand positioning and messaging are like a good cheese platter and your favourite glass of wine. Complementary and best served alongside each other. In order to amplify your brand, you need to both assert your position then reinforce it through your messaging.
Establishing – or positioning – your brand in relation to other brands in your market and then using this information to craft your brand message will truly differentiate you from your competitors, and ultimately pave the way to make you the kind of brand that customers trust and buy from.
But there’s a bonus benefit of perfecting your brand position and messaging: While your customers will be the obvious beneficiaries of a strong brand experience, you will also reap the benefits.
To start, clear and concise brand positioning and message can also empower your brand internally. When your own staff are educated on what your brand message is, they can seamlessly communicate this to third parties (so they’re not just asking people to throw spaghetti at a wall and hope it sticks) and streamline their workflows and processes as a result.
Want to understand your brand, audience, and competitors? We can help you develop a brand positioning and messaging plan that considers all of these elements and creates a strategic roadmap to success. Let’s chat!