This is Part Three in a series about Brand Positioning Statements as an essential brand positioning tool, and Part Two of our explanation of the starting point for all Brand Positioning Statements: targeting.
In review, a Brand Positioning Statement is a brief yet very concise four-part explanation of the “brand essence” relative to important variables such as targeting, competitive set, value proposition and USP (unique selling proposition).
Going to market without a specific destination within the market could result in a lot of time and money wasted wandering around aimlessly while spinning your wheels. On the other hand, having a “bull’s eye” understanding of the type of person most likely to choose and remain loyal to your brand provides a very specific destination for sales and marketing activities. After all, no matter how wide and deep you marketplace appears at first glance, what it condenses down to is just a moment of decision-making time within the confines of an individual person’s mind. Success is achieved one person at a time, one moment of decision at a time.
For instance, Gatorade appears to be offered especially for the serious-minded sweaty male athlete. The Gatorade brand is consistently shown in this light. Serious-mind, sweaty make athletes is the bull’s eye. Around the bull’s eye, concentrically, are other circles reflecting broader types of consumers and customers. For instance, the next circle may be reserved for serious-minded sweaty female athletes. Next may be all athletic people in general. Then anyone that perspires or is de-hydrated. As the concentric circles become further away from the bull’s eye, targets may include supermarkets and convenience stores. Then, further out, Gatorade employees and the media. And so on.
As mentioned in an earlier note, often the core target description may attract people that may never fit the targeting description but aspire to (including people not included in the concentric circles of known brand participants.
Brand Positioning Statements are developed starting with the noun (i.e., the Gatorade brand, first and foremost, is for especially for the “athlete”.) Most people know it was originally developed to help a college football team. Next, the Gatorade brand can be said to be especially for 1) serious-minded, 2) sweaty, 3) male athletes.
Serious-minded athletes will be the ones most dedicated to their performance. They set very high goals for themselves. They reach farther than the others.
Sweaty athletes are the ones that are doing, not just dreaming. They press their physical exertion to the extreme.
Male athletes represent the majority of top-paid professional athletes. Although females have made huge strides in professional sports, males still dominate the field.
Therefore, serious-minded, sweaty, and male are three critical characteristics to the Gatorade brand. Serious-minded, sweaty, male athletes are the prize of all prizes in terms of reaching out to the most influential target audience in the category of sports beverages.
Gatorade’s targeting model is much more obvious than what other products in other categories may encounter when developing strategic brand positioning. In a later set of notes I’ll provide examples of other types of targeting models leverage by other types of brands.
BRANDLAND CHALLENGE: Develop a rough draft targeting model and tell us why it is what it is.
– Tim Bryant, Spartanburg