Brand Positioning Statements 401

Brand Positioning Statements are brief, four-part descriptions of a brand’s “essence” relative to target, competitive set, value proposition and USP (unique selling proposition). Previous articles provided a general overview followed by information on targeting. Today’s notes address the second component of this platform: The Competitive Set.

The competitive set section of a Brand Positioning Statement describes the category where the brand competes. Gatorade, for example, competes in the sports beverages category (a category it invented). Oldsmobile’s competitive set is automobiles. Pampers is diapers.

In addition, the competitive set component to a Brand Positioning Statement should also include information about how the brand wishes to be known and remembered “top of mind” within its given category of business. For example, Gatorade is the original sports beverage. Within the sports beverage category, Gatorade is the first. That’s a historical fact that cannot be altered. Ask people to name the first sports beverage and most will name Gatorade (many will also confess believing that being first equates to being best, for a while at least).

United Parcel Service (UPS) is known “top of mind” among delivery service brands as “the brown one.” A lot of time and money have been invested to position in association with a specific color.

BRANDLAND CHALLENGE: Tell us about your competitive set and your desired “top of mind” positioning. Call 864-674-6261.

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– Tim Bryant, Spartanburg

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