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THE BRAND LEADER
How to develop a unique, own-able
and motivating Brand Positioning
Brands need to stand out to win. The role of the Brand Positioning Statement is to take everything
you know about your brand and begin making focused decisions on limiting the choices as to who
you will serve, what you will say that is unique, own-able and motivating to get consumers to think,
feel and act differently so that you can create a bond that is stronger than what the product alone
can do. A good positioning statement should balance the rational and emotional benefits for the
consumer, helping to shape your external brand reputation, while reflecting your internal brand soul
in a way that will steer and inspire everyone connected to the brand.

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The 4 elements of a Brand Positioning statement
The 4 elements of a winning Brand Positioning statement include who you will serve, where you play,
where you will win then why the consumer should they believe us. Simply put, that’s the target,
category, main benefit and support points.
Before you just write out a random brand positioning statement, we recommend that you dig deeper
on doing the homework that helps uncover options and then focuses you on the best possible space
to own. Positioning has a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty, which means randomness is only an
intuitive guess on your part. Having a process that grounds your thinking will ensure you are owning
the best space. I always think the positioning statement takes everything you know about the brand
and narrows the focus to only those things that matter. The homework helps to lay out everything you
know, and then your decision making helps to focus on the elements that matter.
1. Who is in the consumer target? What slice of the population will be the most motivated to buy
what you do? The first thing to decide is the consumer target, which should be your first point of
focus, so that you can find the slice of the population that will be the most motivated by what you
do. The mistake for many Marketers is they think about who you want, and they forget to ask who
wants you. Who is the most motivated to buy what you do?
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2. Where do you play? What is the frame of reference that helps to define the space in the
marketplace that you compete in? We then frame the positioning by determining the category you
play in, defining the competitors you will position yourself against. No one really operates in a
blue ocean space, as positioning is always relative to some other choice the consumer can
make.
3. Where do you win? We then need to determine the main promise you will make to the
consumer target, in the sense of a benefit for the consumer, both the rational and emotional.
Think about what does the customer get, and how does it make them feel?
4. Why should they believe us? Finally, we will look to understand what support points are
needed to back up the main promise you are making. These support points have to support the
main benefit, not just random claims or features that you want to jam into your brand message.
The homework is hard, but the output provides clarity when you begin writing a brand positioning
statement that will help focus you on what is unique, own-able, and motivating to consumers
Who is your ideal consumer target?
Everything starts and ends with the consumer in mind. We believe that spreading your limited
resources across an entire population is cost-prohibitive and will provide you with a low return on
investment and low return on effort, that will eventually drain your brand. While targeting everyone
“just in case” might feel
safe at first, it is actually
less safe because you
never get to see the full
impact of the resources
you apply. Too many
Marketers seems to think
that the way to make your
brand bigger is to be able
to appeal to a bigger,
broader target. We take a
different approach
believing that instead of
going after who you want
the most, we recommend that you should go after those consumers who are the most motivated by
what you do. To get Brand Leaders to focus their target, we show three types of targets: selling
target, marketing target and program target.
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Difference between “selling” and “marketing” target
Selling Target
Marketing Target
Program Target
• Selling Target: Of course you should sell to anyone who wants to buy. I just wouldn’t spend my
money against this large of a target. You can always reactively sell to anyone who engage and
show interest in your brand, regardless if they fit your ideal target. However, as every brand is
constrained by limited resources, we just don’t recommend that you spend your limited marketing
resources against this large of a target, especially when you have seen no signs that they will
respond enough to provide an efficient pay back.
• Marketing Target: The best marketers know exactly who is their ideal consumer. In the new
world of Marketing, we can know more and more about these people. We recommend that you
focus your limited resources on those consumers that are the most motivated by what your brand
offers, those most likely respond to your brand story or your product offering, which then provides
you with the fastest and highest return on investment and return on effort.
• Program Target: Specific campaign target that you hope to move to think, feel or do with your
specific marketing program.
A few years ago, I was working with bank who told me that their target market for a first time
mortgage (home loan) was 18-65, new customers, current customers and employees. Sarcastically, I
said, “You have forgotten tourists and prisoners”. As I pressed to help them narrow their consumer
target, they pushed back saying that they didn’t want to alienate anyone “just in case” someone
outside the usual target wanted a home loan. While the odd 64-year-old might be tired of renting for
the past 40 years and wanting to finally buy their first home, they would not be offended if there was
a 32 year old in the advertising. The reality is that first time home owners are usually in their late 20’s
or early 30’s, and they usually spend 6-12 months looking for a house. No one buys a house on
impulse. And no one ever wanted a mortgage, without buying a house. The target should be: “28-33,
already considering buying a house within the next year and nervous about their debt load.” Imagine
the difference that focused target market will make in the brand message and in the media choices
you might make now. For instance, instead of just randomly advertising to everyone on mass media,
you can focus your resources where the consumer would be most open to your message. You could
advertise on real estate websites, take out billboard ads outside of the new housing developments
and buy radio ads on Saturday when people are looking at new homes. The focused target market
helps focus your resources on those consumers most likely to respond to your brand messages.
Realizing not everyone can like you is the first step to focusing all your attention on those that can
love you. It becomes all about choices and you will be much more effective at convincing a segment
of the population to choose your brand because of the assets and promise that you have that match
up perfectly to what they want. The best brands don’t go after consumers, they create a desire and
connection, to get consumers to go after the brand. The best way to get consumers motivated is to
tap into their need states, to understand their frustration points they may have and to connect by
showing that you understand them. Motivating someone to buy your brand should start with the
consumer not your product. You have to understand consumers, to match your brand up to their
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needs, wants and desires. Done right, if you can make consumers want to buy, then you will never
have to sell.
Who is your consumer’s enemies that you will fight?
While regular products solve regular problems, the most beloved brands beat down the enemies that
torment consumers every day. What are your consumer’s frustration point that they feel no one is
even noticing or addressing? For instance, the Disney brand fights off the consumer enemy of
“growing up”, while Volvo fights off the consumer enemy of “other drivers” or Starbucks fights off the
consumer enemy
of a “hectic life”.
Shifting from
solving a rational
consumer problem
to beating down a
consumer enemy
is the starting point
to reaching into the
emotional state of
your consumer.
Put yourself in the
shoes of your
Starbucks
consumer, who is a
38-year-old mom
with two kids. She
wakes up at 6:15
am, not only to get
ready for work, but
to get everyone in
the house ready
for their day. She
drops off one kid at daycare, the other at public school and then rushes into the office for 8:30 am.
She drives a van, not because she wants to but because it is a great transportation choice for
carrying all the equipment needed for after-school activities, including soccer, dance, tutoring and ice
hockey. It never stops. No one is really old enough to thank her, the only appreciations are random
moments of celebration or a hug at the end of a long day. Just after getting both to bed, she slinks
into her bed exhausted. What is her enemy? Her enemy is the hectic life that she leads. If only
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We m
Amazing Brands beat down the
enemies that torment us every day.
Starbucks
“Hectic Life”
Disney
“growing up”
Nike
“Losing”
Special K
“Jeans are
too tight”
Apple
“Frustration”
Volvo
“Other drivers”
she had a 15-minute moment to escape from it all. She doesn’t want to run from it, because she
does love her life. She just needs a nice little break. A place where there is no play land, but rather
nice leather seats. There are no loud screams, just nice acoustic music. There are no happy meals,
just nice pastries have a European touch. Not only does she feel appreciated, but the cool 21-year-
old college student not only knows her name but knows her favorite drink. Starbucks does an
amazing job in understanding and fighting off the consumer’s enemy, giving her a nice 15-minute
moment of escape in the middle of her day. Yes, the Starbucks product is coffee, but the Starbucks
brand is about moments. Starbucks provides a personal moment of escape from a hectic life,
between work and home. If you want to show that you better understand your consumer’s pain
points, think of how you would project the enemy to the consumer that you are fighting on their
behalf.
We think of Consumer Insights as secrets that we have discovered and
then use to our brand’s advantage
To paint the picture of our consumer target, you should use Consumer Insights to help to crystallize
secrets, thoughts
and stories that bring
the consumer to life.
The dictionary
definition of the word
Insight is “seeing
below the surface”.
Too many people
think data, trends
and facts are
insights. I always do
this little test asking
if this is an insight:
“Consumers in Brazil
brush their teeth 4x a
day compared with
only 1.8 times per
day for Americans”.
All we know is one
piece of data and if we don’t find out more, we might make a mistake. It might be that Brazilians
stand closer to each other, or they eat spicier foods or they have a lack fluoride in their water system,
or Brazilians believe they are the most beautiful people on the planet.
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Data
Information
Knowledge
Wisdom
Who?
What?
When?
Where?
How?
Why?
Context
Understanding
Insights help to paint the picture underneath
the consumer data you see at the surface
The dictionary definition of the word Insight is “seeing below the surface”. To get deeper, when you
come across a data point, you have to keep looking, listening, and asking yourself “so what does
that mean for the consumer” until you have an “AHA moment”. You have to understand beneath the
surface to turn the data point into knowledge and even wisdom about the consumer.
You can start with observations, trends, market facts and research data, but only when you start
asking the right questions do you get closer to where you can summarize the insight. Look and listen
for the consumer’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that help explain how they think, feel or act in
relationship to your brand or category. Because the facts are merely on the surface, you have to dig,
or you will miss out on the depth of the explanation of the underlying feelings within the consumers
that caused the data. Think beyond the specific category insights and think about life insights or even
societal trends that could impact changing behavior.
Get in the consumer’s shoes, then observe, listen and understand how they think, act, feel and
behave. You have to know their fears, motivations, frustrations and desires. Learn their secrets, that
only they know, even if they can’t explain. Learn to use their voice. Build that little secret into your
message, using their language, so they’ll know you are talking to them. We call this little secret the
consumer insight. Good insights get in the SHOES of your consumer and use their VOICE. We
force every insight to be written starting with the word “I” to get the Marketer into the shoes of the
consumer and force them to put the insight in quotes to use their voice.
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We recommend that insights should start with “I” to get you into the
consumer’s shoes and then use quotes to ensure you are using their voice.
Good consumer insights should get in the SHOES
of your consumer and use the consumer’s VOICE
For a Bank: “I am so busy driving my kids
around, I can never get to the bank during
banking hours. I wish there was a bank that
worked around my life, rather than me working
around the banks’ life”.
Quit Smoking: “I know I should quit. I’ve tried
to quit so many times, it’s ridiculous. I’m not
myself, I’m grouchy, irritable and feel out of
control. Quitting Smoking Sucks.”
For a Bank: Recent research shows
customers would use the bank 3.4x/
month and spend $56 more/month if
our Bank were open till 8pm.
Quit Smoking: There are no real
competitors. But studies show that
people try to quit cold turkey 7x before
reaching for a smoking aid to help
them quit.
Lousy, boring insights Good insights
When portrayed with the brand’s message, whether on packaging, an advertisement or at the
purchase moment, the consumer insight is the first thing that consumers connect with. When
consumers see the insight portrayed, we make them think: “That’s exactly how I feel. I thought I
was the only one who felt like that.” This is what engages consumers and triggers their motivation
and desire to purchase. The consumers think we must be talking to them, even if it looks like we are
talking to millions. If we want consumers to believe the brand is for them, then the insight is the first
signal that says “we get you, you should listen to us”. It is not easy to explain a secret to a person
who doesn’t even know how to explain their own secret. Try it with a friend and you will fail miserably.
Imagine how hard it is to find that secret and portray it back to an entire group of consumers. Safe to
say, consumer insights are hard to find.
Knowing the secrets
of your consumers
is a very powerful
asset. An insight
should ONLY
connect with the
audience you are
talking to. I hate
when people say,
“We don’t want to
alienate others”.
The best brand
communication
should be like
whispering an
inside-joke that only
you and your friend
get. Yes, when we
target, we actually do want to alienate others. That’s the only way we will truly connect. Your ability to
harness those secrets into creating insights that are arresting or intriguing, fuels the creative spirit as
you tell your brand’s story, launch new innovation and move the consumer through to the purchase
moment. After all, there is one source of revenue, not the product you sell, but the consumers who
buy. In a tough competitive market, your ability to harness the secrets of your consumers that only
you know, is a huge potential competitive advantage.
As part of the positioning exercise, we recommend that you put together a complete Consumer
Profile that outlines the focused definition of the target, add flavor with needs, enemies and insights
and then talk about where they are now and where you’d like to move the consumer in the future.
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Consumer insights connect when
consumers say “I thought I was the
only one who felt like that.”
Where to play and where to win.
First, you need to define where your brand will play. Starting with the consumer, the first step is
to uncover the various consumer needs and wants. In the diagram beside, we put all the consumer
needs and wants in the circle on the left hand side. We then match them up with what your brand
does best by putting
everything your brand
offers in the right hand
circle. This match up,
which is the
intersection of the
consumer wants and
what your brand does
best, sets up the ideal
space for your brand to
play in. Another way to
look at this is to do a
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What
consumers
want
The ideal space for your brand to PLAY matches up what
consumers want with what your brand does best
What
your brand
does best
The first step is to match up what your consumers want with what your
brand does best After defining your target market, you should begin by
matching up your target market’s need states against your brand assets.
Match Up
the consumer wants to
your brand assets
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Consumer Target Profile
Target
Consumer
Target Name Pro-Active Preventers
Demographic
Description
• Suburban working women, 35-40, who are willing to do whatever it takes to stay healthy.
They run, workout and eat right. For many, Food can be a bit of a stress-reliever and escape.
Their needs • Great tasting food, satisfy craving, healthy choices, maintain weight.
Their enemy • Guilt, failure, out of control diet, temptation.
Insights that
tell their story
• “I have tremendous will-power. I work out 3x a week, watch what I eat to maintain my figure.
But we all have weaknesses and cookies are mine. I just wish they were less bad for you”
• “I read labels of everything I eat. I stick to 1500 calories per day, and will find my own ways
to achieve that balance.”
What do they
think now?
• I have only recently heard of Gray’s Cookies. I’ve tried them a few times and did like them. I
wouldn’t say I use them all the time.
How are they
buying?
• Most have been influenced by friends who have tried. Those who are buying, still do so less
frequently than their normal favorite cookies. The household has yet to adopt the product.
The mom uses it when she’s trying to diet.
We want them
to think/feel/do
• Think: Gray’s might be a healthy alternative to my favorite cookies.
• Do: We want them to try Grays to see if they like the great taste.
• Feel: We want them to feel more in control, with less guilt.
need state type audit across the consumer target and then begin matching up what might be a good
match to your brand and then eliminate those that are a bad match for your brand.
Next, we narrow the focus of your brand by bringing in the competitors, which helps to zone in
on where you will win. If we look the chart below, the Winning Zone for your brand forces you to
think about finding the space where you are better, different or cheaper. If not, your brand won’t be
around for very long. You should avoid competing in the Losing Zone, which goes head to head with
a competitor that can deliver the consumer needs better than you can. The area with the yellow
arrow is the Risky Zone is a relative tie. You can win the tie is by being first, being more innovative
and creative or by finding the right emotional connection that makes the rational tie less relevant to
the consumer decisions. Avoid the Dumb Zone, where you wage a competitive battle in a space that
the consumer does not care about. When you find yourself competing in this space, you will find
yourself eventually talking to yourself. We rarely play in a blue ocean without any competitors. If you
think that you can do such a good job in delivering what the consumer wants, you might be naive to
ignore that a competitor may be doing it better than you are. Bringing the competitor into the mix (the
bottom circle below), we can see a shrinking playing field as your competitor can match up better
with certain key consumer wants, than your brand can. This forces you to focus on the space where
you can win. The winning zone is the perfect match of what the consumer wants and what you do
better than any competitor.
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What
consumers
want
What your
competitor
does best
What
your brand
does best
Brands have to be better, different, cheaper…
or else not around for very long.
Winning Zone:
your brand’s clear
difference matters to
consumers
Losing Zone:
competitor meets
consumers needs
better than you
Risky Zone:
equally meet consumer
needs. You win through
speed, innovation and
emotional connection
Dumb Zone:
Competitive battle
where consumer
doesn’t care at all
You can use
market research,
either testing
concepts or
benefit
statements to find
what is the most
motivating
positioning to
consumers and
what is most
own-able
statement for
your brand.
What is the consumer benefit?
One of the biggest mistakes brands make is speaking at the consumer with features (what you do)
and not benefits (what they get). The old saying is, “features tell, but benefits sell”. Stop telling
consumers what you do and start telling them what they get and how it will make them feel.
The first thing you want to do is to know up your brand’s core strength.
There are four options for
what Core Strength your
brand can win on: product,
promise, experience or
price. Many brand leaders
have their marketing
strategy wrong, when it
comes to aligning
everything behind the right
strength. Which core
strength can really impact
your brand positioning.
Product and experience
brands have to be better,
promise brands have to be
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Concept Test: Find the space where you can win, by matching
up what is own-able for your brand and motivating to consumers
How OWN-ABLE is this
idea for your brand?
How MOTIVATED
are consumers by
your brand’s idea?
High
High
Low
Low
Losing Zone
Consumers want it, but
your competitor owns it
Winning Zone
You own what
consumers want
Dumb Zone
Consumers don’t want it
and you don’t own it.
Risky Zone
Can win through speed,
innovation & emotion
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Line up strategy behind your brand’s core strength
PromiseProduct
Price Experience
Highly Competitive
Medium
LowFocus on what you are
best at. Let go what
matters the least.
We give 4 chips, forcing
one at the high, two at
the middle to support
the strength, and let go
of one at the low.
different, price brands have to be cheaper.
Here’s a simple little game that we play with executive teams. We provide them with 4 chips against
the 4 choices of product, promise, experience or price. They have to put one at the highest
competitive importance, two at the mid level and then force one to be at the low level. Try it and you
will be surprised that your team struggles to agree. You may also find that you are at one strength
now and figure it is time to shift your brand marketing to become focused on something else.
• Product: your main strategy should focus on being better. You have to invest in Innovation to stay
ahead of competitors, remaining the superior choice in the category.
• Promise: your strategy should focus on being different. To tell that story, you need to invest in
emotional brand communication. You want to connect consumers on a deep emotional level with
the concept.
• Experience: your strategy and organization should focus on linking culture very closely to your
brand. After all, your people are your product. As you go to market, invest in influencer and social
media that can help support and spread the word of your experience.
• Price: focus on efficiency and drive low-cost into the products you sell and high turns and high
volume. You have to be better at the fundamentals around production and sourcing.
Just like any decision, it’s hard to just pick one. But if you start to think about it more and more, you
will see how different each of these four choices really are.
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How your brand’s core strength helps guide strategy
• Establish reputation for superiority
• Invest in Innovation to stay ahead of competitors
• Rational selling and product focused
communication, directly calling attention to
differences.
• Challenge yourself to evolve and grow by
creating an emotional connection.
• Own low price, attack any challengers.
• Focus on efficiency with low cost & volume.
• Invest time in production/sourcing, using power
to win negotiations.
• Need good solid products, consumers willing to
accept lower experience.
• Call to action style communication
• Focus on building Big Idea and everything
(product, experience) lined up under it.
• Invest in brand communication that connects
with motivated audience. Leverage brand lovers
to influence.
• Emotional selling and advertising.
• Know where price matters or does not.
• Focus on building a culture and organization
with the right people.
• Invest in training the face of the brand.
• Use purpose and values to inspire & guide team.
• Word of mouth, earned media, social media, key
influencers, testimonials.
PromiseProduct
Price Experience
The next decision is the main benefit you want to focus on. Doing a Consumer Benefits Ladder
helps to organize your thinking as a great tool for bringing the benefits to life. The best way to work
the Consumer Benefits Ladder is to hold a brainstorming session with everyone who works on the
brand so you can:
• Leverage all the available research to brief the team, helping define the consumer target and get
all the consumer insights and need states out.
• List out all the features that your brand offers, and the brand assets it brings to the table. Make
sure that these features are competitive advantages.
• 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 “so if I’m the consumer, what do I get
from that?”. Ask up to 5 times and push the answers into a richer zone.
• Then find the emotional benefit by asking “so how does that make me feel?” As you did above,
keep asking, and you’ll begin to see a deeper emotional space you can play in and own.
Put all the information of the group brainstorm into a Consumer Benefits Ladder Worksheet. You can
put more on this list than you can use, either using market research to help narrow your focus or
making tough decisions on what you where you want to go.
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Consumer
Define target, need
states, enemies and
insights.
Functional
In the consumer’s
voice, answer, “so,
what do I get?”
Find benefits using a Consumer Benefits Ladder
Features
Product-focused
strengths, claims,
differences or
unique offerings.
1
3
2
Emotional
Look at rational
benefit, asking, “so
how does that make
me feel?”
4
Target: “Proactive Preventers”. Suburban working women, 35-40, who
are willing to do whatever it takes to stay healthy. They run, workout and
eat right. For many, Food can be a bit of a stress-reliever and escape.
Consumer Enemy: Guilt, failure, out of control diet, temptation.
Insights: 1) “I have tremendous will-power. I work out 3x a week, watch
what I eat and maintain my figure. But we all have weaknesses and
cookies are mine. I just wish they were less bad for you” 2) “I read labels
of everything I eat. I stick to 1500 calories per day, and will find my own
ways to achieve that balance.”
Emotional Benefits: 1) I feel in control of my health. 2) I feel more
confident in my diet. 3) I feel more knowledgeable about what I am
putting in my body. 4) I feel comfortable with my appearance.
Rational Benefits: 1) I get a great tasting cookie, as good as my current
cookie 2) I get a low calorie snack to make my diet easier. 3) I get a new
favorite cookie I can turn to when I’m hungry.
Features: 1) In blind taste tests, Grays matched the market leaders on
taste, but only has 100 calories and 2g of fat. 2) In a 12 week study,
consumers using Grays once a night as a desert were able to lose 5
pounds. 3) Made of all natural ingredients.
Gray’s Cookies
What are the emotional benefits?
From my experience, Marketers are better at the rational benefits than they are at the emotional
benefits. I swear every brand out there thinks their brand should be the trusted, reliable and yet like-
able brand. As a brand, you want to own the emotional space in the consumer’s heart as much as
you own the rational space in the consumer’s mind. It seems that not only do consumers have a hard
time expressing their emotions about a brand, but so do Brand Managers. Companies like Hotspex
have mapped out all the emotional zones for consumers. I’m not a researcher, but if you’re interested
in this methodology contact Hotspex at http://www.hotspex.biz We have taken this research method
and created an Emotional Cheat Sheet for Brand Leaders. This lists out the 8 major emotional
consumer zones, optimism, freedom, being noticed, being liked, comfort, be myself, be in control and
knowledge.
To own a space in the consumer’s heart, you want to own and dominate one of zones, always
thinking relation to what your competitor may own. Do not choose a list of emotions from all over the
map, or you will just confuse your consumer as much as trying to own a long list of rational benefits.
Once you narrow the major emotional zone you can own, you can use the supporting words of the
Emotional Cheat Sheet to add flavor.
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I’m curious for knowledge
I feel
optimistic
I want
to be in
control
I am
comfortable
I want to
be myself
Motivated
Special
Successful
Inspired
Interesting
Alive
Cool
Playful
Popular
Trendy Like-able
Friendly Intimate
Happy
Easy-
going
Nurtured
Compassion
Down-to--earth
Relaxed
Honest
Family
Trust
Safe
Respect
Reliable
Informed
Wisdom Smarter
Competent
I want to feel liked
I want
to feel
free
I want
to be
noticed
Excited
Emotional Cheat Sheet: 8 emotional consumer moods
Consumer
What is the support to the main promise?
If we borrow from a classic logic technique below, they teach you to one conclusion and two premise.
I took one logic class at University and sat there for 13 straight weeks of premise-premise
conclusion. Easy class, but the lesson has stuck with me:
• All fish live in water (premise)
• Tuna are fish (premise)
• Therefore, tuna live in the water (conclusion)
In a positioning statement, the brand benefit would be the conclusion. And the Reason to Believe
(RTB) would be the supporting premise. I say this for a few reasons. First, the RTB should never be
the conclusion. The consumer doesn’t care about what you do, until they get something from it. The
benefit has to come from the consumers’ shoes. Second, if pure logic teaches two premises are
enough to draw any conclusion, then you really only need two RTBs. Brands with a laundry list of
RTBs are not doing their job in making a decision on what the best support points are. You either
force the ad agency to decide what are the most important or the consumer to decide. By deferring,
you’re weakening your argument. Claims can be an effective tool in helping to support your Reason
to believe. We look at four types of claims: process, product, third person and behavioral.
Process
• 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
Product
• Usage of an ingredient that makes you bette
• Process or ingredient that makes you safer
Third person
• Experts in the field who can speak on the brand’s behalf.
• Past users/clients with proof support of their stories.
Behavioral
• Clinical tests
• In market usage study
• Before and after studies
Always present support points that math up to the main benefit you are promising. Never let claims
move up to the main message.
Beloved Brands 15 We make brand leaders smarter
Bring the 4 elements together to create a winning
Brand Positioning statement
After doing all the homework, you should be able to put together a winning Brand Positioning
Statement that addresses:
1. Who is in the consumer target?
2. Where do you play?
3. Where do you win?
4. Why should they believe us?
Taking all the homework above, the next stage is to narrow down to a tight brand positioning that
includes the target, category definition, benefit and support points. Having this type of statement sets
you up to write brand concepts or writing up a creative brief.
Keep the brand positioning simple, focused and unique. Make
sure the positioning is own-able and motivating for consumers.

Beloved Brands 16 We make brand leaders smarter
We make brands stronger.
We make brand leaders smarter.
Building a winning brand positioning statement
To
(Target)
• Healthy proactive preventers who want
to do more for their health, working
moms, who are 35-40 years old.
Gray’s is the
(Category)
Tasty healthy cookie option
That is the
(Benefit)
• Guilt free cookie that tastes so good
that you can stay in control of your health
That’s
because
(Support Points)
• In blind taste tests, Gray’s matched the
leaders on taste, but only 100 calories
and 3g of net carbs.
• In a 12-week study, consumers using
Gray’s once a night as a desert were
able to lose 5-10 pounds.
Beloved Brands: Who are we?
At Beloved Brands, we promise that we will make your brand stronger and your brand leaders
smarter. We can help you come up with your brand’s Brand Positioning, Big Idea and Brand
Concept. We also can help create Brand Plans that everyone in your organization can follow and
helps to focus your Marketing Execution. We provide a new way to look at Brand Management, that
uses a provocative approach to align your brand to the sound fundamentals of brand
management. We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional
work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing,
related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer
marketing and marketing execution. 

Beloved Brands Training program
At Beloved Brands, we promise to make your team of BRAND LEADERS smarter, so they produce
smarter work that drives stronger brand results.
1. How to think strategically: Strategic thinkers see “what if” questions before seeing solutions,
mapping out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will
play out. 

2. Write smarter Brand Plans: A good Brand Plan provides a road map for everyone in the
organization to follow: sales, R&D, agencies, senior leaders, even the Brand Leader who writes
the plan.

3. Create winning Brand Positioning Statements: The brand positioning statement sets up the
brand’s promise to the consumer, impacting both external communication (advertising, PR or in-
store) as well as internally with employees who deliver that promise.

4. Write smarter Creative Briefs: The brief helps focus the strategy so that all agencies can take
key elements of the brand plan positioning to and express the brand promise through
communication. 

5. Be smarter at Brand Analytics: Before you dive into strategy, you have to dive into the brand’s
performance metrics and look at every part of the business—category, consumers, competitors,
channels and brand.

6. Get better Marketing Execution: Brand Leaders rely on agencies to execute. They need to
know to judge the work effectively to ensure they are making the best decisions on how to tell
the story of the brand and express the brand’s promise. 

7. How to build Media Plans: Workshop for brand leaders to help them make strategic decisions
on media. We look at media as an investment, media as a strategy and the various media
options—both traditional and on-line. 

8. Winning the Purchase Moment: Brand Leaders need to know how to move consumers on the
path to purchase, by gaining entry into their consumers mind, help them test and decide and
then experience so they buy again and become a brand fan. 

Beloved Brands 17 We make brand leaders smarter
Graham Robertson at Beloved Brands
A NEW WAY to look at Brand Management. 

Graham is one of the voices of the modern Brand Leader. He started Beloved
Brands knowing he could make brands stronger and brand leaders smarter.
Beloved Brands will challenge you to think strategically so you can create a
Brand Positioning, a Brand Concept and a Big Idea for your brand. Graham
will help write Brand Plans that focus everyone who work on the brand and
make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce better
work that drives stronger brand results. 

Graham spent 20 years in Brand Management leading some of the
world’s most beloved brands at Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer,
General Mills and Coke, rising up to VP Marketing. Graham
played a major role in helping Pfizer win Marketing
Magazine’s Marketer of the Year. 

His public speaking appearances inspire brand leaders to
love what they do. Over 4 million marketers have visited his
website,beloved-brands.com with the desire to become smarter.
Graham has served as a contributing author to Advertising Age in
the US and Marketing Magazine in Canada. 

To contact Beloved Brands, email graham@beloved-brands.com
or call 416-885-3911. You can also follow us on Twitter @belovedbrands.
Beloved Brands 18 We make brand leaders smarter

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Creating a winning Brand Positioning statement

  • 1. THE BRAND LEADER How to develop a unique, own-able and motivating Brand Positioning Brands need to stand out to win. The role of the Brand Positioning Statement is to take everything you know about your brand and begin making focused decisions on limiting the choices as to who you will serve, what you will say that is unique, own-able and motivating to get consumers to think, feel and act differently so that you can create a bond that is stronger than what the product alone can do. A good positioning statement should balance the rational and emotional benefits for the consumer, helping to shape your external brand reputation, while reflecting your internal brand soul in a way that will steer and inspire everyone connected to the brand. Beloved Brands 1 We make brand leaders smarter
  • 2. The 4 elements of a Brand Positioning statement The 4 elements of a winning Brand Positioning statement include who you will serve, where you play, where you will win then why the consumer should they believe us. Simply put, that’s the target, category, main benefit and support points. Before you just write out a random brand positioning statement, we recommend that you dig deeper on doing the homework that helps uncover options and then focuses you on the best possible space to own. Positioning has a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty, which means randomness is only an intuitive guess on your part. Having a process that grounds your thinking will ensure you are owning the best space. I always think the positioning statement takes everything you know about the brand and narrows the focus to only those things that matter. The homework helps to lay out everything you know, and then your decision making helps to focus on the elements that matter. 1. Who is in the consumer target? What slice of the population will be the most motivated to buy what you do? The first thing to decide is the consumer target, which should be your first point of focus, so that you can find the slice of the population that will be the most motivated by what you do. The mistake for many Marketers is they think about who you want, and they forget to ask who wants you. Who is the most motivated to buy what you do? Beloved Brands 2 We make brand leaders smarter
  • 3. 2. Where do you play? What is the frame of reference that helps to define the space in the marketplace that you compete in? We then frame the positioning by determining the category you play in, defining the competitors you will position yourself against. No one really operates in a blue ocean space, as positioning is always relative to some other choice the consumer can make. 3. Where do you win? We then need to determine the main promise you will make to the consumer target, in the sense of a benefit for the consumer, both the rational and emotional. Think about what does the customer get, and how does it make them feel? 4. Why should they believe us? Finally, we will look to understand what support points are needed to back up the main promise you are making. These support points have to support the main benefit, not just random claims or features that you want to jam into your brand message. The homework is hard, but the output provides clarity when you begin writing a brand positioning statement that will help focus you on what is unique, own-able, and motivating to consumers Who is your ideal consumer target? Everything starts and ends with the consumer in mind. We believe that spreading your limited resources across an entire population is cost-prohibitive and will provide you with a low return on investment and low return on effort, that will eventually drain your brand. While targeting everyone “just in case” might feel safe at first, it is actually less safe because you never get to see the full impact of the resources you apply. Too many Marketers seems to think that the way to make your brand bigger is to be able to appeal to a bigger, broader target. We take a different approach believing that instead of going after who you want the most, we recommend that you should go after those consumers who are the most motivated by what you do. To get Brand Leaders to focus their target, we show three types of targets: selling target, marketing target and program target. Beloved Brands 3 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Difference between “selling” and “marketing” target Selling Target Marketing Target Program Target
  • 4. • Selling Target: Of course you should sell to anyone who wants to buy. I just wouldn’t spend my money against this large of a target. You can always reactively sell to anyone who engage and show interest in your brand, regardless if they fit your ideal target. However, as every brand is constrained by limited resources, we just don’t recommend that you spend your limited marketing resources against this large of a target, especially when you have seen no signs that they will respond enough to provide an efficient pay back. • Marketing Target: The best marketers know exactly who is their ideal consumer. In the new world of Marketing, we can know more and more about these people. We recommend that you focus your limited resources on those consumers that are the most motivated by what your brand offers, those most likely respond to your brand story or your product offering, which then provides you with the fastest and highest return on investment and return on effort. • Program Target: Specific campaign target that you hope to move to think, feel or do with your specific marketing program. A few years ago, I was working with bank who told me that their target market for a first time mortgage (home loan) was 18-65, new customers, current customers and employees. Sarcastically, I said, “You have forgotten tourists and prisoners”. As I pressed to help them narrow their consumer target, they pushed back saying that they didn’t want to alienate anyone “just in case” someone outside the usual target wanted a home loan. While the odd 64-year-old might be tired of renting for the past 40 years and wanting to finally buy their first home, they would not be offended if there was a 32 year old in the advertising. The reality is that first time home owners are usually in their late 20’s or early 30’s, and they usually spend 6-12 months looking for a house. No one buys a house on impulse. And no one ever wanted a mortgage, without buying a house. The target should be: “28-33, already considering buying a house within the next year and nervous about their debt load.” Imagine the difference that focused target market will make in the brand message and in the media choices you might make now. For instance, instead of just randomly advertising to everyone on mass media, you can focus your resources where the consumer would be most open to your message. You could advertise on real estate websites, take out billboard ads outside of the new housing developments and buy radio ads on Saturday when people are looking at new homes. The focused target market helps focus your resources on those consumers most likely to respond to your brand messages. Realizing not everyone can like you is the first step to focusing all your attention on those that can love you. It becomes all about choices and you will be much more effective at convincing a segment of the population to choose your brand because of the assets and promise that you have that match up perfectly to what they want. The best brands don’t go after consumers, they create a desire and connection, to get consumers to go after the brand. The best way to get consumers motivated is to tap into their need states, to understand their frustration points they may have and to connect by showing that you understand them. Motivating someone to buy your brand should start with the consumer not your product. You have to understand consumers, to match your brand up to their Beloved Brands 4 We make brand leaders smarter
  • 5. needs, wants and desires. Done right, if you can make consumers want to buy, then you will never have to sell. Who is your consumer’s enemies that you will fight? While regular products solve regular problems, the most beloved brands beat down the enemies that torment consumers every day. What are your consumer’s frustration point that they feel no one is even noticing or addressing? For instance, the Disney brand fights off the consumer enemy of “growing up”, while Volvo fights off the consumer enemy of “other drivers” or Starbucks fights off the consumer enemy of a “hectic life”. Shifting from solving a rational consumer problem to beating down a consumer enemy is the starting point to reaching into the emotional state of your consumer. Put yourself in the shoes of your Starbucks consumer, who is a 38-year-old mom with two kids. She wakes up at 6:15 am, not only to get ready for work, but to get everyone in the house ready for their day. She drops off one kid at daycare, the other at public school and then rushes into the office for 8:30 am. She drives a van, not because she wants to but because it is a great transportation choice for carrying all the equipment needed for after-school activities, including soccer, dance, tutoring and ice hockey. It never stops. No one is really old enough to thank her, the only appreciations are random moments of celebration or a hug at the end of a long day. Just after getting both to bed, she slinks into her bed exhausted. What is her enemy? Her enemy is the hectic life that she leads. If only Beloved Brands 5 We make brand leaders smarter We m Amazing Brands beat down the enemies that torment us every day. Starbucks “Hectic Life” Disney “growing up” Nike “Losing” Special K “Jeans are too tight” Apple “Frustration” Volvo “Other drivers”
  • 6. she had a 15-minute moment to escape from it all. She doesn’t want to run from it, because she does love her life. She just needs a nice little break. A place where there is no play land, but rather nice leather seats. There are no loud screams, just nice acoustic music. There are no happy meals, just nice pastries have a European touch. Not only does she feel appreciated, but the cool 21-year- old college student not only knows her name but knows her favorite drink. Starbucks does an amazing job in understanding and fighting off the consumer’s enemy, giving her a nice 15-minute moment of escape in the middle of her day. Yes, the Starbucks product is coffee, but the Starbucks brand is about moments. Starbucks provides a personal moment of escape from a hectic life, between work and home. If you want to show that you better understand your consumer’s pain points, think of how you would project the enemy to the consumer that you are fighting on their behalf. We think of Consumer Insights as secrets that we have discovered and then use to our brand’s advantage To paint the picture of our consumer target, you should use Consumer Insights to help to crystallize secrets, thoughts and stories that bring the consumer to life. The dictionary definition of the word Insight is “seeing below the surface”. Too many people think data, trends and facts are insights. I always do this little test asking if this is an insight: “Consumers in Brazil brush their teeth 4x a day compared with only 1.8 times per day for Americans”. All we know is one piece of data and if we don’t find out more, we might make a mistake. It might be that Brazilians stand closer to each other, or they eat spicier foods or they have a lack fluoride in their water system, or Brazilians believe they are the most beautiful people on the planet. Beloved Brands 6 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Data Information Knowledge Wisdom Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? Context Understanding Insights help to paint the picture underneath the consumer data you see at the surface
  • 7. The dictionary definition of the word Insight is “seeing below the surface”. To get deeper, when you come across a data point, you have to keep looking, listening, and asking yourself “so what does that mean for the consumer” until you have an “AHA moment”. You have to understand beneath the surface to turn the data point into knowledge and even wisdom about the consumer. You can start with observations, trends, market facts and research data, but only when you start asking the right questions do you get closer to where you can summarize the insight. Look and listen for the consumer’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that help explain how they think, feel or act in relationship to your brand or category. Because the facts are merely on the surface, you have to dig, or you will miss out on the depth of the explanation of the underlying feelings within the consumers that caused the data. Think beyond the specific category insights and think about life insights or even societal trends that could impact changing behavior. Get in the consumer’s shoes, then observe, listen and understand how they think, act, feel and behave. You have to know their fears, motivations, frustrations and desires. Learn their secrets, that only they know, even if they can’t explain. Learn to use their voice. Build that little secret into your message, using their language, so they’ll know you are talking to them. We call this little secret the consumer insight. Good insights get in the SHOES of your consumer and use their VOICE. We force every insight to be written starting with the word “I” to get the Marketer into the shoes of the consumer and force them to put the insight in quotes to use their voice. Beloved Brands 7 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. We recommend that insights should start with “I” to get you into the consumer’s shoes and then use quotes to ensure you are using their voice. Good consumer insights should get in the SHOES of your consumer and use the consumer’s VOICE For a Bank: “I am so busy driving my kids around, I can never get to the bank during banking hours. I wish there was a bank that worked around my life, rather than me working around the banks’ life”. Quit Smoking: “I know I should quit. I’ve tried to quit so many times, it’s ridiculous. I’m not myself, I’m grouchy, irritable and feel out of control. Quitting Smoking Sucks.” For a Bank: Recent research shows customers would use the bank 3.4x/ month and spend $56 more/month if our Bank were open till 8pm. Quit Smoking: There are no real competitors. But studies show that people try to quit cold turkey 7x before reaching for a smoking aid to help them quit. Lousy, boring insights Good insights
  • 8. When portrayed with the brand’s message, whether on packaging, an advertisement or at the purchase moment, the consumer insight is the first thing that consumers connect with. When consumers see the insight portrayed, we make them think: “That’s exactly how I feel. I thought I was the only one who felt like that.” This is what engages consumers and triggers their motivation and desire to purchase. The consumers think we must be talking to them, even if it looks like we are talking to millions. If we want consumers to believe the brand is for them, then the insight is the first signal that says “we get you, you should listen to us”. It is not easy to explain a secret to a person who doesn’t even know how to explain their own secret. Try it with a friend and you will fail miserably. Imagine how hard it is to find that secret and portray it back to an entire group of consumers. Safe to say, consumer insights are hard to find. Knowing the secrets of your consumers is a very powerful asset. An insight should ONLY connect with the audience you are talking to. I hate when people say, “We don’t want to alienate others”. The best brand communication should be like whispering an inside-joke that only you and your friend get. Yes, when we target, we actually do want to alienate others. That’s the only way we will truly connect. Your ability to harness those secrets into creating insights that are arresting or intriguing, fuels the creative spirit as you tell your brand’s story, launch new innovation and move the consumer through to the purchase moment. After all, there is one source of revenue, not the product you sell, but the consumers who buy. In a tough competitive market, your ability to harness the secrets of your consumers that only you know, is a huge potential competitive advantage. As part of the positioning exercise, we recommend that you put together a complete Consumer Profile that outlines the focused definition of the target, add flavor with needs, enemies and insights and then talk about where they are now and where you’d like to move the consumer in the future. Beloved Brands 8 We make brand leaders smarter Consumer insights connect when consumers say “I thought I was the only one who felt like that.”
  • 9. Where to play and where to win. First, you need to define where your brand will play. Starting with the consumer, the first step is to uncover the various consumer needs and wants. In the diagram beside, we put all the consumer needs and wants in the circle on the left hand side. We then match them up with what your brand does best by putting everything your brand offers in the right hand circle. This match up, which is the intersection of the consumer wants and what your brand does best, sets up the ideal space for your brand to play in. Another way to look at this is to do a Beloved Brands 9 We make brand leaders smarter What consumers want The ideal space for your brand to PLAY matches up what consumers want with what your brand does best What your brand does best The first step is to match up what your consumers want with what your brand does best After defining your target market, you should begin by matching up your target market’s need states against your brand assets. Match Up the consumer wants to your brand assets We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Consumer Target Profile Target Consumer Target Name Pro-Active Preventers Demographic Description • Suburban working women, 35-40, who are willing to do whatever it takes to stay healthy. They run, workout and eat right. For many, Food can be a bit of a stress-reliever and escape. Their needs • Great tasting food, satisfy craving, healthy choices, maintain weight. Their enemy • Guilt, failure, out of control diet, temptation. Insights that tell their story • “I have tremendous will-power. I work out 3x a week, watch what I eat to maintain my figure. But we all have weaknesses and cookies are mine. I just wish they were less bad for you” • “I read labels of everything I eat. I stick to 1500 calories per day, and will find my own ways to achieve that balance.” What do they think now? • I have only recently heard of Gray’s Cookies. I’ve tried them a few times and did like them. I wouldn’t say I use them all the time. How are they buying? • Most have been influenced by friends who have tried. Those who are buying, still do so less frequently than their normal favorite cookies. The household has yet to adopt the product. The mom uses it when she’s trying to diet. We want them to think/feel/do • Think: Gray’s might be a healthy alternative to my favorite cookies. • Do: We want them to try Grays to see if they like the great taste. • Feel: We want them to feel more in control, with less guilt.
  • 10. need state type audit across the consumer target and then begin matching up what might be a good match to your brand and then eliminate those that are a bad match for your brand. Next, we narrow the focus of your brand by bringing in the competitors, which helps to zone in on where you will win. If we look the chart below, the Winning Zone for your brand forces you to think about finding the space where you are better, different or cheaper. If not, your brand won’t be around for very long. You should avoid competing in the Losing Zone, which goes head to head with a competitor that can deliver the consumer needs better than you can. The area with the yellow arrow is the Risky Zone is a relative tie. You can win the tie is by being first, being more innovative and creative or by finding the right emotional connection that makes the rational tie less relevant to the consumer decisions. Avoid the Dumb Zone, where you wage a competitive battle in a space that the consumer does not care about. When you find yourself competing in this space, you will find yourself eventually talking to yourself. We rarely play in a blue ocean without any competitors. If you think that you can do such a good job in delivering what the consumer wants, you might be naive to ignore that a competitor may be doing it better than you are. Bringing the competitor into the mix (the bottom circle below), we can see a shrinking playing field as your competitor can match up better with certain key consumer wants, than your brand can. This forces you to focus on the space where you can win. The winning zone is the perfect match of what the consumer wants and what you do better than any competitor. Beloved Brands 10 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. What consumers want What your competitor does best What your brand does best Brands have to be better, different, cheaper… or else not around for very long. Winning Zone: your brand’s clear difference matters to consumers Losing Zone: competitor meets consumers needs better than you Risky Zone: equally meet consumer needs. You win through speed, innovation and emotional connection Dumb Zone: Competitive battle where consumer doesn’t care at all
  • 11. You can use market research, either testing concepts or benefit statements to find what is the most motivating positioning to consumers and what is most own-able statement for your brand. What is the consumer benefit? One of the biggest mistakes brands make is speaking at the consumer with features (what you do) and not benefits (what they get). The old saying is, “features tell, but benefits sell”. Stop telling consumers what you do and start telling them what they get and how it will make them feel. The first thing you want to do is to know up your brand’s core strength. There are four options for what Core Strength your brand can win on: product, promise, experience or price. Many brand leaders have their marketing strategy wrong, when it comes to aligning everything behind the right strength. Which core strength can really impact your brand positioning. Product and experience brands have to be better, promise brands have to be Beloved Brands 11 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Concept Test: Find the space where you can win, by matching up what is own-able for your brand and motivating to consumers How OWN-ABLE is this idea for your brand? How MOTIVATED are consumers by your brand’s idea? High High Low Low Losing Zone Consumers want it, but your competitor owns it Winning Zone You own what consumers want Dumb Zone Consumers don’t want it and you don’t own it. Risky Zone Can win through speed, innovation & emotion We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Line up strategy behind your brand’s core strength PromiseProduct Price Experience Highly Competitive Medium LowFocus on what you are best at. Let go what matters the least. We give 4 chips, forcing one at the high, two at the middle to support the strength, and let go of one at the low.
  • 12. different, price brands have to be cheaper. Here’s a simple little game that we play with executive teams. We provide them with 4 chips against the 4 choices of product, promise, experience or price. They have to put one at the highest competitive importance, two at the mid level and then force one to be at the low level. Try it and you will be surprised that your team struggles to agree. You may also find that you are at one strength now and figure it is time to shift your brand marketing to become focused on something else. • Product: your main strategy should focus on being better. You have to invest in Innovation to stay ahead of competitors, remaining the superior choice in the category. • Promise: your strategy should focus on being different. To tell that story, you need to invest in emotional brand communication. You want to connect consumers on a deep emotional level with the concept. • Experience: your strategy and organization should focus on linking culture very closely to your brand. After all, your people are your product. As you go to market, invest in influencer and social media that can help support and spread the word of your experience. • Price: focus on efficiency and drive low-cost into the products you sell and high turns and high volume. You have to be better at the fundamentals around production and sourcing. Just like any decision, it’s hard to just pick one. But if you start to think about it more and more, you will see how different each of these four choices really are. Beloved Brands 12 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. How your brand’s core strength helps guide strategy • Establish reputation for superiority • Invest in Innovation to stay ahead of competitors • Rational selling and product focused communication, directly calling attention to differences. • Challenge yourself to evolve and grow by creating an emotional connection. • Own low price, attack any challengers. • Focus on efficiency with low cost & volume. • Invest time in production/sourcing, using power to win negotiations. • Need good solid products, consumers willing to accept lower experience. • Call to action style communication • Focus on building Big Idea and everything (product, experience) lined up under it. • Invest in brand communication that connects with motivated audience. Leverage brand lovers to influence. • Emotional selling and advertising. • Know where price matters or does not. • Focus on building a culture and organization with the right people. • Invest in training the face of the brand. • Use purpose and values to inspire & guide team. • Word of mouth, earned media, social media, key influencers, testimonials. PromiseProduct Price Experience
  • 13. The next decision is the main benefit you want to focus on. Doing a Consumer Benefits Ladder helps to organize your thinking as a great tool for bringing the benefits to life. The best way to work the Consumer Benefits Ladder is to hold a brainstorming session with everyone who works on the brand so you can: • Leverage all the available research to brief the team, helping define the consumer target and get all the consumer insights and need states out. • List out all the features that your brand offers, and the brand assets it brings to the table. Make sure that these features are competitive advantages. • 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 “so if I’m the consumer, what do I get from that?”. Ask up to 5 times and push the answers into a richer zone. • Then find the emotional benefit by asking “so how does that make me feel?” As you did above, keep asking, and you’ll begin to see a deeper emotional space you can play in and own. Put all the information of the group brainstorm into a Consumer Benefits Ladder Worksheet. You can put more on this list than you can use, either using market research to help narrow your focus or making tough decisions on what you where you want to go. Beloved Brands 13 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Consumer Define target, need states, enemies and insights. Functional In the consumer’s voice, answer, “so, what do I get?” Find benefits using a Consumer Benefits Ladder Features Product-focused strengths, claims, differences or unique offerings. 1 3 2 Emotional Look at rational benefit, asking, “so how does that make me feel?” 4 Target: “Proactive Preventers”. Suburban working women, 35-40, who are willing to do whatever it takes to stay healthy. They run, workout and eat right. For many, Food can be a bit of a stress-reliever and escape. Consumer Enemy: Guilt, failure, out of control diet, temptation. Insights: 1) “I have tremendous will-power. I work out 3x a week, watch what I eat and maintain my figure. But we all have weaknesses and cookies are mine. I just wish they were less bad for you” 2) “I read labels of everything I eat. I stick to 1500 calories per day, and will find my own ways to achieve that balance.” Emotional Benefits: 1) I feel in control of my health. 2) I feel more confident in my diet. 3) I feel more knowledgeable about what I am putting in my body. 4) I feel comfortable with my appearance. Rational Benefits: 1) I get a great tasting cookie, as good as my current cookie 2) I get a low calorie snack to make my diet easier. 3) I get a new favorite cookie I can turn to when I’m hungry. Features: 1) In blind taste tests, Grays matched the market leaders on taste, but only has 100 calories and 2g of fat. 2) In a 12 week study, consumers using Grays once a night as a desert were able to lose 5 pounds. 3) Made of all natural ingredients. Gray’s Cookies
  • 14. What are the emotional benefits? From my experience, Marketers are better at the rational benefits than they are at the emotional benefits. I swear every brand out there thinks their brand should be the trusted, reliable and yet like- able brand. As a brand, you want to own the emotional space in the consumer’s heart as much as you own the rational space in the consumer’s mind. It seems that not only do consumers have a hard time expressing their emotions about a brand, but so do Brand Managers. Companies like Hotspex have mapped out all the emotional zones for consumers. I’m not a researcher, but if you’re interested in this methodology contact Hotspex at http://www.hotspex.biz We have taken this research method and created an Emotional Cheat Sheet for Brand Leaders. This lists out the 8 major emotional consumer zones, optimism, freedom, being noticed, being liked, comfort, be myself, be in control and knowledge. To own a space in the consumer’s heart, you want to own and dominate one of zones, always thinking relation to what your competitor may own. Do not choose a list of emotions from all over the map, or you will just confuse your consumer as much as trying to own a long list of rational benefits. Once you narrow the major emotional zone you can own, you can use the supporting words of the Emotional Cheat Sheet to add flavor. Beloved Brands 14 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. I’m curious for knowledge I feel optimistic I want to be in control I am comfortable I want to be myself Motivated Special Successful Inspired Interesting Alive Cool Playful Popular Trendy Like-able Friendly Intimate Happy Easy- going Nurtured Compassion Down-to--earth Relaxed Honest Family Trust Safe Respect Reliable Informed Wisdom Smarter Competent I want to feel liked I want to feel free I want to be noticed Excited Emotional Cheat Sheet: 8 emotional consumer moods Consumer
  • 15. What is the support to the main promise? If we borrow from a classic logic technique below, they teach you to one conclusion and two premise. I took one logic class at University and sat there for 13 straight weeks of premise-premise conclusion. Easy class, but the lesson has stuck with me: • All fish live in water (premise) • Tuna are fish (premise) • Therefore, tuna live in the water (conclusion) In a positioning statement, the brand benefit would be the conclusion. And the Reason to Believe (RTB) would be the supporting premise. I say this for a few reasons. First, the RTB should never be the conclusion. The consumer doesn’t care about what you do, until they get something from it. The benefit has to come from the consumers’ shoes. Second, if pure logic teaches two premises are enough to draw any conclusion, then you really only need two RTBs. Brands with a laundry list of RTBs are not doing their job in making a decision on what the best support points are. You either force the ad agency to decide what are the most important or the consumer to decide. By deferring, you’re weakening your argument. Claims can be an effective tool in helping to support your Reason to believe. We look at four types of claims: process, product, third person and behavioral. Process • 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 Product • Usage of an ingredient that makes you bette • Process or ingredient that makes you safer Third person • Experts in the field who can speak on the brand’s behalf. • Past users/clients with proof support of their stories. Behavioral • Clinical tests • In market usage study • Before and after studies Always present support points that math up to the main benefit you are promising. Never let claims move up to the main message. Beloved Brands 15 We make brand leaders smarter
  • 16. Bring the 4 elements together to create a winning Brand Positioning statement After doing all the homework, you should be able to put together a winning Brand Positioning Statement that addresses: 1. Who is in the consumer target? 2. Where do you play? 3. Where do you win? 4. Why should they believe us? Taking all the homework above, the next stage is to narrow down to a tight brand positioning that includes the target, category definition, benefit and support points. Having this type of statement sets you up to write brand concepts or writing up a creative brief. Keep the brand positioning simple, focused and unique. Make sure the positioning is own-able and motivating for consumers.
 Beloved Brands 16 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Building a winning brand positioning statement To (Target) • Healthy proactive preventers who want to do more for their health, working moms, who are 35-40 years old. Gray’s is the (Category) Tasty healthy cookie option That is the (Benefit) • Guilt free cookie that tastes so good that you can stay in control of your health That’s because (Support Points) • In blind taste tests, Gray’s matched the leaders on taste, but only 100 calories and 3g of net carbs. • In a 12-week study, consumers using Gray’s once a night as a desert were able to lose 5-10 pounds.
  • 17. Beloved Brands: Who are we? At Beloved Brands, we promise that we will make your brand stronger and your brand leaders smarter. We can help you come up with your brand’s Brand Positioning, Big Idea and Brand Concept. We also can help create Brand Plans that everyone in your organization can follow and helps to focus your Marketing Execution. We provide a new way to look at Brand Management, that uses a provocative approach to align your brand to the sound fundamentals of brand management. We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing, related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.  Beloved Brands Training program At Beloved Brands, we promise to make your team of BRAND LEADERS smarter, so they produce smarter work that drives stronger brand results. 1. How to think strategically: Strategic thinkers see “what if” questions before seeing solutions, mapping out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out. 2. Write smarter Brand Plans: A good Brand Plan provides a road map for everyone in the organization to follow: sales, R&D, agencies, senior leaders, even the Brand Leader who writes the plan. 3. Create winning Brand Positioning Statements: The brand positioning statement sets up the brand’s promise to the consumer, impacting both external communication (advertising, PR or in- store) as well as internally with employees who deliver that promise. 4. Write smarter Creative Briefs: The brief helps focus the strategy so that all agencies can take key elements of the brand plan positioning to and express the brand promise through communication. 5. Be smarter at Brand Analytics: Before you dive into strategy, you have to dive into the brand’s performance metrics and look at every part of the business—category, consumers, competitors, channels and brand. 6. Get better Marketing Execution: Brand Leaders rely on agencies to execute. They need to know to judge the work effectively to ensure they are making the best decisions on how to tell the story of the brand and express the brand’s promise. 7. How to build Media Plans: Workshop for brand leaders to help them make strategic decisions on media. We look at media as an investment, media as a strategy and the various media options—both traditional and on-line. 8. Winning the Purchase Moment: Brand Leaders need to know how to move consumers on the path to purchase, by gaining entry into their consumers mind, help them test and decide and then experience so they buy again and become a brand fan. Beloved Brands 17 We make brand leaders smarter
  • 18. Graham Robertson at Beloved Brands A NEW WAY to look at Brand Management. Graham is one of the voices of the modern Brand Leader. He started Beloved Brands knowing he could make brands stronger and brand leaders smarter. Beloved Brands will challenge you to think strategically so you can create a Brand Positioning, a Brand Concept and a Big Idea for your brand. Graham will help write Brand Plans that focus everyone who work on the brand and make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce better work that drives stronger brand results. Graham spent 20 years in Brand Management leading some of the world’s most beloved brands at Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, General Mills and Coke, rising up to VP Marketing. Graham played a major role in helping Pfizer win Marketing Magazine’s Marketer of the Year. His public speaking appearances inspire brand leaders to love what they do. Over 4 million marketers have visited his website,beloved-brands.com with the desire to become smarter. Graham has served as a contributing author to Advertising Age in the US and Marketing Magazine in Canada. To contact Beloved Brands, email graham@beloved-brands.com or call 416-885-3911. You can also follow us on Twitter @belovedbrands. Beloved Brands 18 We make brand leaders smarter