[sg_popup id=”9″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]Brands are either better, different or cheaper. Or not around for very long.
You have to find a unique selling proposition for your brand. The key to being unique, is not just unique for the sake of it, but to match up what you do best with what the consumer is looking for. Or else, you will play in the who cares zone. A great claim must be ownable to your brand, and motivating to the consumer.
To often, Brand Leaders start with the claim, and then try to make the most of it in everything they do. The problem with that strategy is your claim might not be a benefit, and even if it ladders up, it might not be something that is ownable for you or motivating to the consumer.
Start with the consumer first
Like everything in marketing, you should always start with the consumer first. Define your target, create motivating insights that help you connect, map out the consumers’ enemy and create a meaningful customer value proposition.
Hold a brainstorming session with everyone who works on the brand so you can:
- Get all of the consumer insights and need states out.
- Match them up against the list of the best features the brand offers.
- Find the rational benefit by putting yourself in the shoes of the consumer and seeing the brand features from their eyes: start asking yourself over and over again “so if I’m the consumer, what do I get from that?”. Ask it five times and you’ll see the answers will get richer and richer each time you ask.
- Then find the emotional benefit by asking “so how does that make me feel?” Ask that five times as well, and you’ll begin to see a deeper emotional space you can play in and own.
For instance, no one really cares that a golf club has 5.7% more torque. (a potential claim) When you ask what do i get from that, the better answers are longer drives or lower scores or winning a tournament (rational benefits). When you ask how does that make you feel, the emotional space is more confidence in your golf swing and optimism that you’ll break 80 all the time now (emotional benefit).
The Brand Positioning Statement
Before you get to your claims, you want to start to map out a best in class brand positioning statement, which has four key elements:
- Target Market (a)
- Definition of the market you play in (b)
- Brand Promise (emotional or rational benefit) (c)
- The Reason to Believe (RTB) the brand promise (d)
The more focused your decisions, the more successful you will be: decide on one target, one promise and maybe one or two reasons to believe that help to directly back up your promise. But the target shouldn’t be everyone 18-65, and don’t throw your eight best features at the wall and hopefully something sticks. And the reason to believe has to back up your promise, not be a whole new promise.
The classic way to write a Brand Positioning Statement is to take the elements above and frame them into the following: For the target market (a) Brand X plays in the market (b) and it gives the main benefit (c). That’s because of the following reasons to believe (d). This is what it looks like when you put them into this format:
The claims you are going to create should fit in the Reasons to Believe, and help to support your benefit. As I said above, don’t start with a claim and then try to create a benefit around the claim. Sometimes in big companies, the claims team sits in the R&D group, randomly developing claims. You as the Brand Leader need to provide the positioning work as a guideline for them to work within.
Brainstorming and sorting the claims
As you look for that separation for your brand, you have to ensure it’s ownable and motivating to consumers. Otherwise you’re just talking to yourself. What you want to do is hold a brainstorming session with a cross functional team, who might be from marketing, consumer insights, R&D, regulatory, sales strategy or a professional sales team. Add in people who have been on the brand a long time, and those who are new. Using the work above, with the Unique Selling Proposition and the Positioning Statement derived from the Customer Value Proposition, you want to create claims that would fit in the Reasons to Believe area. I would suggest you create potential areas to brainstorm under:
- Detail how your product works differently
- Showcase your point of difference in the production process.
- What do you do differently within the production process
- What added service/details do you provide in the value chain
- Usage of an ingredient that makes you better
- Process or ingredient that makes you safer
- Experts in the field who can speak on the brand’s behalf.
- Past users/clients with proof support of their stories.
- Clinical tests
- In market usage study
- Before and after studies
Once you create a brainstorm list that matches up to your benefits, you then want to do a claims sort through market research. Focus on the tests that help determine what is most motivating to move the consumer and what is most ownable to your brand. (grid below) One caveat is that you may wish to get Legal/Regulatory to go through the claims to make sure you will get approval. The key to a great lawyer is not finding out what will get rejected (anyone can do that) but to move the claim in a direction that will get approval. I want my lawyer to say “now if you said it this way…”
Build your claims around your main consumer benefit, not your benefit around your claims
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With Beloved Brands, you will learn everything you need to know so you can build a brand that your consumers will love.
You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.
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Beloved Brands: Who are we?
At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.
The best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique engagement tools are the backbone of our strategy workshops. These tools will force you to think differently so you can freely generate many new ideas. At Beloved Brands, we bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.
We help brands find growth
We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a big idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand. Finally, the big idea must influence employees to personally deliver an outstanding consumer experience, to help move consumers along the journey to loving your brand.
We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources. We work with your team to build out project plans, creative briefs and provide advice on marketing execution.
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We make Brand Leaders smarter
We believe that investing in your marketing people will pay off. With smarter people behind your brands will drive higher revenue growth and profits. With our brand management training program, you will see smarter strategic thinking, more focused brand plans, brand positioning, better creative briefs that steer your agencies, improved decision-making on marketing execution, smarter analytical skills to assess your brand’s performance and a better management of the profitability of the brand.
To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training
If you need our help, email me at email@example.com or call me at 416 885 3911