How To Create A Marketing Strategy That Will Skyrocket Your Results By 9,360%

Chapter 5:

How To Define Your Brand Positioning And Brand Voice

SWOT Analysis Icon

How To Define Your

Brand Positioning And Brand Voice

What Is Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning definition:

Brand positioning is the way your prospects and customers perceive the benefits your business, product, or service provides.

What Is Brand Voice?

Brand voice definition

Brand voice is the purposeful and consistent personification or characterisation of a brand often expressed through words, tone, and culture.

While some may distinguish brand positioning and brand voice as entirely different topics, they cannot exist without one another:

Marketing Position to Brand Voice

This is why purposeful strategic planning is important for both brand functions. And it begins with brand positioning.

How To Define Your Brand Positioning

Brand positioning happens whether or not you intentionally incorporate it into your marketing strategy. You can proactively influence this perception by planning your brand positioning before you publish content (therefore, before you define your brand voice).

Consider these key factors as you define your brand positioning:

  1. Relevancy
  2. Uniqueness
  3. Credibility

The following exercises will help you write your brand positioning statement like this example template:

{Insert target audience} trust {insert your brand} as the {insert unique product or service category} that {insert primary benefit} because {insert your brand} is the best way to {insert credibility statement}.

Relevancy

How can you make your brand relevant to your prospects?

You’ve already done much of the leg work to understand the emotional reasons why your customers choose your product or service. In your customer survey (see Chapter 4), explore the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the primary reason you use {insert your product or service}?
  • Why did you choose {insert your product or service} over other solutions?
  • What is the most significant difference {insert your product or service} is making for you today?
  • What is the single greatest benefit {insert your product or service} provides? / What is the primary benefit you have received from {insert your product or service}?
  • What prompted you to look for a solution like {insert your product or service}?

Copy the answers from those questions and paste them into a word cloud generator.

From here, analyze the most commonly-used words that describe your product or service and its benefits (or the emotional reasons why your customers buy from you).

For example, this is what it looks like for CoSchedule:

CoSchedule's Word Cloud

Use this visualization to determine:

Your primary benefit.

What is the #1 reason your customers hire your product or service?

In this example, CoSchedule’s primary benefit is ease + organize.

Enter in your Relevancy statement in cell B3 in the Brand Positioning + Voice tab in your marketing strategy template.

Uniqueness

How will your brand stand out from your competition?

In your customer survey, you asked the question:

If you didn’t use {insert your product or service}, what would you most likely use instead? / What would you likely use as an alternative if {insert your product or service} were no longer available?

The answers provided are the names of your top competition. At this point, review their websites for their brand positioning.

Review for qualities like:

  • Taglines
  • Headlines
  • Keywords
  • Common verbiage

Now brainstorm how your brand positioning will be uniquely different:

  • How would you define your product or service to someone outside of your industry?
  • How would you define your product or service to someone in your niche who’s never heard of it but who is familiar with industry lingo?
  • How do you envision your product or service is different than your competition?

You may also opt to look into your customer survey data for answers to this question:

How would you (briefly) describe {insert your product or service} to someone else?

Then enter that information in a word cloud generator to understand the most commonly used words.

^^^ This practice will also help keep your product or service category relevant in your brand positioning statement.

For example, this is what it looks like for CoSchedule:

CoSchedule's Brand Positioning Word Cloud

Use this process to determine:

Your unique product or service category.

What words describe your product or service?

For example, CoSchedule’s unique service category is marketing management platform.

Enter your Uniqueness statement in cell B4 in the Brand Positioning + Voice tab in your marketing strategy template.

Credibility

Why should your target audience trust your brand? Why should they believe your brand will deliver the benefit better than any competitor?

Again, look to the answers from these questions in your customer survey:

  • What is the primary reason you use {insert your product or service}?
  • Why did you choose {insert your product or service} over other solutions?
  • What is the most significant difference {insert your product or service} is making for you today?
  • What is the single greatest benefit {insert your product or service} provides? / What is the primary benefit you have received from {insert your product or service}?
  • What prompted you to look for a solution like {insert your product or service}?

(^^^ Yep, those are the same questions you reviewed for your primary benefit.)

This time around, you’re looking for words that describe why your customers trust you. The framework to follow is this:

  • {Insert your brand} is the only {insert credibility statement}.
  • {Insert your brand} is the best {insert credibility statement}.
CoSchedule's Word Cloud

Use this visualization to determine:

Your credibility statement.

What makes you the most credible brand in your unique product or service category?

For example, CoSchedule’s credibility statement is see + one + place.

Enter your Credibility statement into cell B5 in the Brand Positioning + Voice tab in your marketing strategy template.

Write Your Brand Positioning Statement

Let’s bring all three exercises together to help you write your brand positioning statement. Here’s your template again:

{Insert target audience} trust {insert your brand} as the {insert unique product or service category} that {insert primary benefit} because {insert your brand} is the best way to {insert credibility statement}.

For example, here are the results of the three exercises for CoSchedule:

  1. Relevancy: Ease + organize.
  2. Uniqueness: Marketing management platform.
  3. Credibility: See + one + place.

Therefore, the CoSchedule brand positioning statement example using that template looks something like this:

Professional marketing managers trust CoSchedule as the marketing management platform that gets them organized easily because CoSchedule is the best way to see every marketing project in one place.

Enter your brand positioning statement in cell B7 in the Brand Positioning + Voice tab in your marketing strategy template.

How To Define Your Brand Voice

Your brand positioning statement helps you understand the way you want your prospects and customers to perceive you. At this point, you need to deliver upon that statement in all of your messaging in ways that will connect with your target audience.

That’s where brand voice guidelines come into play.

And the best way to get started is to get into the mind of your marketing persona.

A simple exercise to even better understand your target audience is to grab a small sample of your current best customers and research them:

  1. Choose five of your existing best customers.
  2. Search for each name in Google.
  3. Review their social network activity to understand:
    • Interests (e.g. do they watch comedies? If yes, they may appreciate humor in your brand voice)
    • How they write (e.g. are they formal? If yes, they may appreciate your brand voice to be more academic)
    • Publications they read (e.g. do they read sci-fi? If yes, include nerdy sci-fi puns as part of your brand voice)
    • Etc.

Write a list of the words that come to mind as you review each of these customers. Once you’ve done this process for every person in this sample, review each list for commonalities.

For example, when we followed this exercise at CoSchedule, we discovered:

  • Our target audience is dominantly females who are obsessed with marketing, yoga, rock climbing, outdoorsy stuff (kayaking, hiking, biking), classic sports - i.e. baseball... basically, anything trendy.
  • They eat local or take-out (delivery), fancy donuts, coffee, kombucha, craft breweries.
  • They read, watch, and listen to TED talks, CoSchedule, heavy users on Pinterest and Instagram, read a lot of fiction (snarky/sassy fiction), “how to hack/organize my life” style books (self-help/self-improvement).

This is helpful because your brand voice should feel familiar + similar + natural to your target audience. Your voice needs to come off as someone they’d get along with + build a relationship with.

For example, CoSchedule’s brand voice might sound something like this:

30-somethin’ witty, smart female marketer who’s humble, helpful, and confident. Think Emma Stone -- sarcastic, witty, but sweet.

For more formal brand voice guidelines, you may opt for the following framework:

We are {insert desired perception}, but we are not {insert antonym of desired perception}.

^^^ This framework typically works best with around three statements.

For example, it might look this way at CoSchedule:

  • We are witty and sarcastic, but we aren’t pompous.
  • We are smart, but we aren’t domineering.
  • We are confident, but we aren’t arrogant or boastful.

Enter your three Brand Voice statements into cells B11-13 in the Brand Positioning + Voice tab in your marketing strategy template spreadsheet.

Also check out the deck available in the marketing strategy template kit to help you share this information in a much more visual way with your team.

Congrats! You’ve knocked out your goal, measurement, SWOT analysis, marketing persona, and brand positioning + brand voice. These are some huge accomplishments!

Continue to Chapter 6 to learn how to determine the best marketing tactics to use in your strategy to make that goal a reality.