Become what you claim to be. That starts with your positioning statement

Become what you claim to be. That starts with your positioning statement

Brands are like pop stars. With the right expression you reach your fan base. But then you do have to know who you are, and let it be felt throughout the entire organization. To do this, you make a positioning statement.

One of the most evocative pop icons of the moment is Billie Eilish. Billie is own, original and aware of who she is. She has seven Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two Guinness World Records, three MTV Video Music Awards and one Brit Award to her name. The youngest pop star ever to record a 007 song. Billie Eilish is her brand. Always relevant and distinctive for its fan base. The secret to her success? Its strong positioning.

Know who you are as a brand

If you really want to become just as strong a brand as Billie, you first have to know who you are as a brand. Build from your base. Do your own research. What do we stand for, why do we do what we do and how do we do it? And above all, for whom? And what do we do differently from the competition? A positioning statement is a powerful summary of all these strategic choices. It helps you keep your course in the erratic waters of entrepreneurship.

Would you like to work with us on your positioning statement?
That's possible. We like to do it with you, where we put all our knowledge in workshop form in your team. We also train teams to work with such a statement. Because how do you implement it in your communication strategy? And what does it ultimately mean for the content on your webpage and socials? The goal is to become and be what you claim in it.


The positioning statement: the building blocks

Become what you claim to be. That is something in which all colleagues have a role. From the top manager to the concierge. Your colleagues are your most important ambassadors towards your target group. Everyone in the company should therefore know what you stand for, what you strive for and what makes you different from the competition. Your positioning is therefore the basis for your internal and external communication strategy. Ideally, you collect input for your positioning by questioning the entire organization. Both top down and bottom up. Of course it is useful to make a structured plan for this. Asking random questions doesn't work. Developing a positioning is an in-depth process, but also an excellent opportunity to strengthen the focus and bring people back together. If you do it right, the Begeisterung, the commitment of your people to your brand, ignites.

Especially not

Therefore, the stupidest thing you can do is start all over again. If there's one thing that makes people lose Begeisterung, it's by burning everything that has been thought and done in the past and reinventing the wheel. Therefore, collect all output from sessions up to three years ago. Also the reports written by external agencies. Analyze all that output and find the corresponding conclusions. Also look at the potential discrepancy between what your brand wants to be and what you get back from your colleagues. And above all, keep your ego and (conflicting) interests of managers and stakeholders out of the door. Start building from this knowledge. After all, you only motivate colleagues to commit themselves again if you respects previous input. Have you made these analyses? Then you will continue to build on your (re)positioning with the following steps.

Ask yourself the following questions

1. WHY: What makes your ticker tick?

Why do you do what you do? What is the reason for your existence? A purpose as you wish. Also put your core values and brand values under the magnifying glass. Do they still fit? Also test this throughout the entire organization, because it makes no sense to put yourself first on something that your own people do not recognize. Your purpose has to match your personality, only then will you build a fan base as strong as Billie.

2. WHO: Who is the organization?

Just as Billie Eilish is and lives her own brand, strong brands also have strong personalities. Who is your brand or who do you want to be? Are you the caring helper or the playful clown? At Versdenkers we use the brand archetypes from Jung to determine core values, brand personality and aspiration values (who do we want to be). Jung's archetypes are fundamental characters that everyone can identify with. Each archetype stands for certain values and the pursuit of specific goals. As a brand, you benefit from this recognition.

3. THE WORLD: Which developments and insights play a role?

What happens in the world around us influences your vision and mission, and the strategic choices you make as a company. Social trends, changing needs of your target groups or new developments in the market. Explore the world and determine to what extent your insights influence the mission and vision of your brand. Be critical about this, don't jump on every trend train that rages by, even if it leads to commercial success. Credibility is one of the most powerful aspects of a strong brand. Look at Billie Eilish and you'll see how that works. So stay true to your own why.

4. FOR WHOM: What is/are the target group(s) you are targeting?

One company has two target groups, the other has ten. To address them, to touch them, you will have to get into the heart and mind of your target audience. Of course you will do target group research, but your employees often know very well what needs and desires your target group has. What are they up against, why do they need you? Need worlds can be mapped out well with Jung's model. In addition, we use the Customer Empathy Map (CEM). We then summarize insights from the CEM by connecting them to Jung's need worlds.

5. HOW: Your distinctive approach

The how is a very important aspect of positioning. In the golden circle it is the intermediate step between dream and deed. You know who you are, what you want and who you do it for. Now the question is: how are you going to do that. And we're talking more about your attitude, approach and style than about resources, services and products. You convert your core values into brand values. Your organization fulfills your role for your target group in a unique way. By describing your how you determine your distinctiveness compared to the competition. Because nobody does it like you.

6. WHAT: What services/products do we offer?

OK. You are really well on your way with your positioning. Only now do you get to your concrete products and services. The choices you make now are a direct result of everything that preceded them. If we look again at Billie Eilish, you can hear that the songs she writes are a direct expression of her “brand”. Clear positioning also makes it much easier to develop your product and service portfolio and keep it on track.

7. The last step: your positioning statement in a few sentences.

A positioning statement should be short and sweet. So now it comes down to condensing the whole process above into a few sentences that describe the essence of your brand. A solidified emotion in language. A positioning statement is very similar to a slogan or pay-off. It can therefore be very useful to do this together with a copywriter to write. You and your team will be able to gather the ingredients together, but to find the wonder of simplicity, with just that right metaphor, you need a sense of language. Do you have a copywriter on your own team? Perfect. But don't underestimate the fresh word from outside either. Whoever you with a copywriter who understands your brand and writes in your tone of voice.

Author: Lisa van Noorden
cover photo: Freepik