Brand Positioning and Messaging Demystified

We do a lot of work for clients in the technology and sciences fields and are continually amazed by the endless acronyms that seem so routine in these fields, but for a relative outsider can sometimes feel daunting. Working with such a client recently on a branding project, I was reminded that the branding work we do is just as full of industry insider terms that can be confusing or seem arcane. This is especially true because even branding experts sometimes play fast and loose with the terminology.

Following are some of the most salient branding terms, their descriptions and a few examples. As your brand is at the core of your marketing and sales, a basic understanding of these concepts will provide some useful structure to how you look at your business, and may even provide an Aha! moment.

The two most important terms you should understand are: Brand Positioning and Messaging. There are others, but we’ll cover those in another post.

Brand Positioning

Using the word “positioning” as a verb is peculiar to branding. Essentially, it means to establish — or position — your brand in relation to other brands in your market. When you hear terms like “competitive differentiator,” think “positioning.” The complete statement of your differentiation in the marketplace is your brand positioning statement. Below is a sample positioning statement we created for a technology firm.

brand messaging statement resized 600

Brand Messaging

A good positioning statement yields a set of market “messages” expanding on specific attributes of the positioning or targeting specific audiences. Messaging is a subset of positioning and serves as the intermediary step between the positioning and content creation for marketing vehicles such as the website, collateral and marketing programs. So, brand positioning enables brand messaging, which in turns makes content creation easier, faster and more on target. Below are some examples of brand messaging.

COMPANY NAME’s automated operation of marketing campaigns provides up to a 500 percent lift on marketing programs, an enterprise-wide view of customer contact and detailed closed-loop offer, and campaign performance analysis.

COMPANY NAME’s cross-channel campaign management capabilities can help you target thousands — or millions — of individuals, with the right message at the right time through the right channel.

COMPANY NAME brings digital and customer relationship marketing together into a comprehensive suite.

Can you articulate your company’s brand positioning and messaging?