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1. Positioning is not a tagline

  • A brand positioning is the 1-5 words that define what you stand for and why people should care about you. A strong positioning reflects what you want people to think of when they see, hear or experience your brand. Taglines may change periodically but a strong positioning can last forever.

2. Be your ‘B.E.S.T’

  • Big–Extraordinary–Simple–True. Positioning is about finding a big, unique, idea that is simple in its expression and authentic in its truth.

3. A common understanding

  • Positioning is about finding a big idea that can be differentiating and meaningful to customers as well as employees. A strong positioning creates a common understanding of what the brand stands for so that everyone in a company can understand why the brand matters and then act to support it and enhance its performance.

4. Positioning is found at the intersection of these three things

  • A) what’s special & unique about your brand B) customer needs or unmet needs C) competitive brand strengths & limitations. In our experience, executive interviews (or worksessions are the best way to mine insights and understanding around these three areas.

5. Clarify positioning with brand attributes and a manifesto

  • Once you’ve found your big positioning idea, bring it to life with six (6) core brand attributes/adjectives and a written manifesto that clarifies the brand positioning’s underlying meaning, amplifies your brand’s purpose and underscores your value to your customers and stakeholders.

6. The Third Place

  • Starbucks’ brand positioning is three words: “The Third Place”. It’s not about coffee per se, Starbucks wants to be The Third Place in your life after work and home. The essence of their brand is about being ‘essential’. And, everything the Starbucks brand does is about perpetuating the notion of the third place. When you think about your brand’s positioning use Starbucks as a reference point and ask yourself: “what’s our third place?”

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