At The Quell Group, we are focused on assisting our clients to identify a market position that they alone can own. We argue that it is a far more valuable use of both time and budget to focus on the development of a bulletproof market position and supporting positioning statement. The delivery of your positioning—the channels, the words, the images—are secondary to the creation of a bulletproof position.
Position vs. Positioning
Your position is the set of things that you own: superior product quality, unmatched speed of product development, customer service that is unmatched, etc.
All market-facing materials will derive from the unique position you have claimed for your own. By virtue of supporting a true point of differentiation, your marketing activity will be more effective, more memorable and, most importantly, generate positive ROI.
A positioning statement is a definition of how a given product, service or brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that its competitors cannot.
Once a solid positioning statement is developed, the rest of your marketing activity will be natural. Your positioning statement will dictate the words used in your social posts; the way the receptionist answers the phone; the look and feel of your trade show booth; in short, all market facing elements.
Bulletproof Positioning Statements
A positioning statement is a one- or two-sentence statement that articulates your company, product or service’s unique value to your customers in relation to your chief competition. It summarizes, for all of your team, exactly what makes your organization, your product or your service the compelling option for customers.
It conveys the distinct position that only you can claim — the position that is unique and cannot be duplicated.
It should capture those characteristics of your company that enable delivery of your value again and again. It ought to look something like this:
To DECISION MAKERS, COMPANY’S PRODUCT/SERVICE is/provides UNIQUE REASON TO BUY, which results in BENEFIT.
Or, in ‘real world’ terms:
To engineering hiring managers, Acme’s Engineering Scorecard provides a 10-step process for evaluating candidates for engineering positions, which ensures that new hires scoring eight or above are 85 percent more likely to be successful.
Tag. Are You It?
At Quell, we find that many clients initially gravitate to a desire for a single line that is intended to communicate their brand position. This catchphrase, known as a tagline, is a short collection of words that is supposed to be a memorable summary of their value proposition. If you take nothing else away from this post, understand that a tagline is neither a position nor a positioning statement.
Unfortunately, what some clients fail to realize is that the most ‘memorable’ taglines are usually the ones supported by multi-million dollar advertising budgets. We didn’t know we were supposed to just do it; that a soft drink could make the whole world sing and a computer could help us think different. We were told: over and over and over again.
Here’s a challenge. Think back to the last three meetings you had. Chances are, you exchanged business cards. We’re willing to bet that you can’t remember the tagline that was almost certainly prominently (and proudly) featured. Without the constant repetition and the mega budget, the tagline is usually an artifice that is quickly forgotten.
Thinking about taglines vs. positioning and positioning statements, everyone knows and loves “Got Milk?”, right? Right. And that’s the problem. Everyone knows the campaign, but it didn’t result in increased milk consumption. In fact, according to a Huffington Post article, gallons of milk consumed per capita actually declined from 23.9 gallons to 20 gallons during the duration of the campaign. So, it’s a very memorable tagline (again, supported by millions in ad spend) that wasn’t effective.
Compare those results against a campaign that Quell conducted for a leading financial institution. After a careful analysis of its market position, Quell assisted in identifying a uniquely distinctive market position and accompanying positioning statement, leading to the development of a campaign which resulted in more than 16 million digital impressions and a significant increase in new account creation.
Was there a tagline associated with the campaign? Yes. Was it the main point of emphasis and the reason behind our efforts? No. The purpose of the campaign was to effectively position the client to its target market as THE preferred option and to increase new account sign ups.
We’re happy to develop creative and memorable taglines, but not at the expense of the less-visible but more important work of creating bulletproof market positions and supporting positioning statements.
Contact us to learn more.