Making an emotional connection with your audience should be a year-round priority for your business, as consumers and clients (both B2B and B2C) make most of their buying decisions based on emotions. As I pursue business development opportunities, I aim to provide my potential clients with a brand that resonates with their audiences, and this often involves developing messaging that evokes emotion and impact.
Last year, I came across a blog by Jim Joseph of Entrepreneur and thought the message was worth reiterating with you: Many people have different interpretations about what brand positioning means. It’s one of those concepts that is hard to pin down, yet at the same time is so important to the success of your brand. Positioning is at the heart of your brand. It’s essentially the summation of everything your brand is about. Positioning is built from what you know to be true about your customer. It takes the benefits you’ve outlined and makes them meaningful to customers. In its simplest of forms, positioning is the mental space you want to occupy in your customer’s mind. It’s the first thing you want your customer to think about when they hear your brand name.
An emotional connection with your customer is the key to being a brand. But that emotional bond should be reflected in the positioning statement for the business. Positioning is more about emotions and less about the facts. That’s why marketers who think a claim about their product or service is a positioning statement, really miss the boat. The same goes for a description of your type of business. There’s no emotion in that and it’s emotions that differentiate a brand. Your brand’s positioning is the basis for building the brand experience across the entire marketing plan. The key is to make sure the actual brand experience delivers on what was intended in the positioning. Let’s take a look at a few big brands and what they’ve done for positioning. The tagline can often be a big hint:
- L’Oreal: “Because you’re worth it.”
- BMW: “The ultimate driving machine.”
- State Farm: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”
- Dove: “You are more beautiful than you think” – featured in photo above in ad called, “Real Beauty Sketches”
Notice the level of emotion in each of these taglines, which essentially highlights each brand’s positioning. Here’s how they might be translated into positioning statements:
- L’Oreal: Makes you feel valued and good about yourself.
- BMW: Makes you feel powerful.
- State Farm: Makes you feel secure and safe in times of need.
- Dove: Makes you see what other people see when they look at you.
These are obviously big blockbuster brands, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t do the same for your small business. Here are a few tips to creating a positioning statement for your company:
- Think about the emotional benefit that you offer your customer.
- Think about how you want your customer to feel about you, every time they think about you.
- Try to capture that emotion in a brief statement that best describes what you can offer, and jot down a few options.
- If you have a team, run the ideas by them and do a little brainstorming. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you start generating ideas.
- If you need help with any of these, have a marketing agency facilitate this process, their expertise will help you.
Do you feel your brand makes an emotional connection with your customers? Please share your experiences in the comments below.