Ant’s Brand Positioning Pyramid
It’s amazing how many brands present a confusing message. Some start-ups just haven’t spent enough time honing it down. Others have simply evolved beyond their original offering. (Carphone Warehouse for example.) Others are simply stuck, perhaps trying to be all things to all people.
Worry-not. Here comes Ant’s Brand Positioning Pyramid:
- The Strapline
- The Positioning Statement
- Website Homepage
- Reasons to Believe
1. The Strapline
A what? The strapline is a short sentence under the logo that helps your audience(s) to understand what you’re about. Not every business employs a strapline and you may not wish to either but trying to find a few words that represents what you’re all about is a great exercise.
There are typically three kinds of strapline:
Often important for a start-up with a wacky name, or a name that means nothing, this instantly helps the website visitor, bricks and mortar shopper or exhibition wanderer to understand what you do.
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Organisations often fixate on what they do, rather than the problems they solve for customers or clients. It might create a small but important shift in how you think about yourselves if you explore straplines around the unique benefit you bring to the people who buy from you.
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Perhaps the world’s most famous strapline is:
- Just do it
Apparently inspired by the final words on death row of double-murderer, Gary Gilmore, Nike first aired the slogan in a 1988 commercial about an 80-year-old runner named Walt Stack.* The brand's sales subsequently exploded.
The guy who created the strapline was Dan Wieden, the head of ad agency Wieden & Kennedy and he had no idea he had launched an iconic line that would shape the brand for the next 30+ years. "None of us really paid that much attention," he says. "We thought: 'Yeah. That'd work.'"
‘Just do it’ is a brilliant example of why this exercise (no pun intended) can be so powerful. Everything Nike does, writes, advertises, promotes, posts, (designs and manufactures even) can be sense checked against the ethos of those three words. And when you visit the website, it doesn’t even feature the words any more. But the tick logo does the job.
2. The Positioning Statement
It’s that classic elevator pitch. You get your big moment to pitch your service or brand in a New York elevator hurtling up to the 34th floor. How do you describe what you do and why it’s special?
Again there are choices of approach and tone here that will need to chime with your culture, your customers and the way you work.
So you might decide to tend towards a positioning statement that’s more about you, and what you do.
“AB Technology creates advanced AI fintech solutions that keep interbank transactions 100% secure.”
Perhaps you should focus on your customers and how you solve problems for them or improve their lives in some way?
“Peter’s Plumbs provide West Country cooks with the freshest, ripest harvest, for the juiciest deserts this side of Bristol.”
Or maybe it’s how you do it, that sets your organisation apart from others?
“Our electric bikes make your final mile deliveries cleaner, greener and more reliable.”
3. Website Homepage
They say you have no more than 15 seconds to reassure a visitor they have landed on the right website before they head off into the dark corners of the internet forever.**
Creating an opening heading for a website homepage gives you an opportunity to think about what you will say to keep them with you. By thinking about the navigation that will be visible too, it gives you license to keep it concise, so you don’t feel you need to cram everything in.
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Navigation would then be:
Business Liabilities Protecting your people Cover for your assets
4. Reasons to Believe
The first three steps might be enough to get your messaging aligned but considering Reasons to Believe is always useful.
You know your new app does something no-one else’s can, but how can you stack that up in just a few words? You’re confident you’re better at digital media planning than other providers out there, but no-one’s going to say they’re worse. What’s the evidence? The proof? What do you do that makes a genuine difference?
So looking at the fictitious Taylor Day again. What Reasons to Believe might they have?
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So if you feel like you’re not sure what to say, or what you’re for, give the pyramid a go. Or give me a call and I’ll facilitate it with your people.
**Website attention span