One of the most satisfying aspects of my job is the opportunity to help clients clarify and communicate their brand position – that stance that a brand takes in the face of its competition to clearly identify and distinguish itself. A strong position is a flag that a brand plants – the way to say “we’re different, we’re special, and you should choose us”.
Oddly, one of the most common obstacles I encounter during this type of work is the inclination of many brands to take a “safe” position at first. More times than not, I hear some pretty surprising things from these clients –
“When it comes down to it, how special are we, really?”
“We don’t want to bash anyone else – we don’t want to brag.”
“We want to differentiate ourselves – but we don’t want to be obnoxious about it…”
…and, usually, it’s the most dedicated and tenured champions of the brand that say these things!
Well, here’s the good news, folks – it is possible to take a strong brand position and consistently communicate it without being a braggart, obnoxious, or bashing anyone else. The trick is to believe in what you’re offering, embrace the ways that it is truly unique, and communicate it consistently and boldly.
Let me say that again – communicate it consistently and boldly.
“Bold” doesn’t have to equal “obnoxious”. Bold does not necessarily mean brag. Bold simply means to be unashamed in singing the song of your brand loud and clear. Think of all the brands you know and remember well – they’re the ones who’ve imprinted in your mind those qualities that make them special. They did not do this by magic or underhanded trickery – they did this by doing the work of thorough brand assessment, brand positioning, and consistent brand communication.
Here are two examples of bold brand positioning to inspire and entertain. Enjoy, and go boldly forth with your brand!!
American Giant and the “Greatest Hoodie Ever Made”
Startup apparel company, American Giant, has a four-month waiting period for its hooded sweatshirt. What’s the secret? Great quality and a pretty strong product/brand position – it’s the “greatest hoodie ever made”.
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
And then there’s the uber-chic hotel/casino in Las Vegas – the Cosmopolitan. Their tagline – “just the right amount of wrong”. Their marketing strategy – communicate the essence of their hip, strange, risqué brand, even if it means never showing the inside of the hotel or any of its rooms! Bold? You bet!