Brand positioning statement

A few years ago my microwave broke, leaving me with a very important life decision between:
  1. Buying a new microwave
  2. Paying more than I probably should to repair this one

Because I have one of those built-in microwaves that’s mounted to the wall and fits perfectly into a crevice between the cabinet to the left, the cabinet above it and the cabinet to the right, I couldn’t just buy a cheap replacement to sit on the counter top. That would leave me with a weird-looking void between those cabinets on the wall where the broken one used to live. And you can’t have that, right? So I had to either go all in and buy another fancy stainless steel microwave that fit that exact space or get my broken one fixed. Since those things aren’t cheap, I opted for route two and brought in the repair guy.

After about thirty minutes, he had the microwave broken down into 100 pieces – spread all across my kitchen and dining room. And then two hours later, it was back on the wall and ready to heat up my leftover chicken from last night. Even though I learned during my time without a microwave that it’s NOT in fact essential to survival in today’s world, I was pretty happy to have it back.

You: I thought this article was about writing a brand positioning statement

Me: Yes, but sometimes metaphors make things more interesting, so I’m telling this exciting microwave story to illustrate a point. Thanks for your patience in the meantime!

When I finally decided to cough up the cash and hire the repair man, here’s the one thing I cared about:

  • A microwave that worked once he was done

And here are a few things I DIDN’T care so much about:

  • What tools he used to fix it
  • His process for fixing it
  • The parts he replaced

OK – here’s the part where I reveal the metaphor.

Head over to the B2B world where you and I live as business people and ask yourself this question: What do your customers and prospects really care about? Their problems being solved or your fancy tool set, process and tactics?

In my particular line of work (B2B marketing), my clients care about results that help grow their businesses. They want to attract more potential customers so their phones start ringing. They want their websites to convert visitors into real leads they can sell to. They want to close deals faster. Because of all this, we spend a lot more of our time and energy at Gorilla speaking to our customers’ challenges than to our awesome process or our marketing tools like website design, content writing, SEO and email marketing.

Our customer-centric brand positioning statement would go something like this: “We help B2B industrial companies generate website traffic, qualified business leads and paying customers using their website and other online media.”

A less-effective, self-centered brand positioning statement would have been: “We design websites, write blog posts and run email marketing campaigns.”

The first one is a lot better. Why? Because it focuses on the value we deliver for our clients.

So what’s your equivalent?

Your brand positioning statement should emerge from the common challenges you help your customers address and the outcomes you produce for them. Your customers care about themselves much more than they care about you. So don’t talk about you – talk about them. Earn their trust by making them confident you “get” them. Demonstrate that you understand their business problems and that your solutions will be designed to help solve them.

When you get around to writing that brand positioning statement, use it to distinguish yourself from 99 percent of your competitors. Focus on your customer — not on you.