Positioning Fundementals

Brand Positioning Fundamentals – The Need

In Building a Brand by Distility2647 Comments

Customer Need Brand Positioning

In my last post, I reviewed the classic brand positioning model we use here at Distility for 1day1brand. As well, we reviewed getting the target audience right. The Motorola Droid was used as our example to illustrate the key elements in a classic positioning statement which are:

1. Your target customer
2. Their need
3. Their frame of reference
4. Your dramatic difference(s)
5. Your reason(s) to believe

Together they give us a positioning statement such as the one I’ve intuited for the Motorola Droid:

For the technology leader who needs the latest and greatest device, the Motorola Droid is the iphone killer, with a giant screen and the ability to run multiple applications with ease.

Their need is not your need

Understanding the customer’s needs usually goes awry because it seems so easy to do. You have a brand after all. You are passionate about using your brand to fix some problem. So you figure “the problem my brand fixes is their need.” This kind of thinking tends to create irrelevant positioning because you have assumed the customer’s needs, rather than authentically discovering them. Not only that, but you’ve probably also eliminated the competition from the equation with such a granular definition.

Key point: If you are the only person who can fulfill the need as you have defined it, you have probably got it wrong. The need should be something they can fulfill through a variety of solutions, including yours.

Let’s get back to the example of the Motorola Droid. Compared to the iPhone it has a larger screen and can run many applications at the same time. So is that what our target audience – the technology leader – needs? No, that would be presumptious and far too granular. A good need is not satisfied by a feature. It is enduring. In the case of the Motorola Droid I’d intuit that the audience needs “the latest and greatest device.” This kind of need can be satisfied momentarily, by many different brands, but for this target audience it will always return.

During Distility 1day1brand, We Specifically Ask Participants:

  1. Is this a genuine need of the target audience? How do you know?
  2. Are there others who seek to fill this need? Directly or indirectly?
  3. Is this an enduring need? Something you can build a brand around long-term?

Stay tuned for our next post on possibly the most difficult brand positioning facet: The Frame of Reference.