We talk a lot about being well-positioned.

It may seem obvious why every brand, challenger or giant, needs to define what they do and why they do it. But here’s the thing, it’s a concept that is so intangible that we hear brands every day say, “I think we’re branded already. Can’t we just start creative development?”

The short answer? No.

The long answer is this: brand positioning is the essence of strategy. It provides more than just a catchy tagline, it provides the through-line for every single aspect of your internal culture, messaging, marketing plan and creative campaign moving forward. It is the distillation of a well-researched strategic brief that is instantly understandable.

It’s also tough to shake out.

Door Number 3’s owner, Prentice Howe describes it best in his Amazon best-selling book, The Empowered Challenger Playbook: How Brands Can Change the Game, Steal Market Share, and Topple Giants,

“This exercise is hard, and that’s why many companies don’t do it. Most people don’t like to stand naked in front of the mirror and ask, ‘What do we have here?’ They don’t want to sit across the room from all their stakeholders and team members and challenge the status quo, continually asking why.”

Nobody wants to be told that they are drinking their own Kool-Aid. But more often than not, that’s the case. Extensive research into a company’s organization, people, target audience, industry and marketplace, ensures the positioning is informed by every level of brand interaction. The result? Essentially, words on a page. The value? Priceless.

So, why do you need to be positioned? Because, if you are not positioned, you are forgoing strategy. If you are not positioned, you are gambling with marketing dollars.

Especially in the case of challenger brands, beginning with a positioning exercise is imperative to ensure that you are maximizing your messaging and your spend. Challengers simply do not have the resources to pour money into a few different campaign options and hope one sticks. Challengers must outthink, and that begins with a bulletproof positioning statement.

Challenge Yourself

So, what’s your brand positioning statement? Start by thinking about what your company offers your target audience that others in your category don’t. Write it all down. Then, grab a red pen and trim liberally until only the essential words remain. Ask yourself, “Is it believable? Does it resonate with our target? Is it uniquely ownable? Does it inspire me and my team to get out of bed each morning?”

If you’ve answered yes to all four of those questions, you’re not just on your way to a brilliant brand story. You’re on your way to stealing market share and toppling giants.

Door Number 3 is a full-service advertising agency that empowers rising brands to embrace their challenger-ability. To learn more about what it takes to become an empowered challenger, check out The Empowered Challenger Playbook: How Brands Can Change the Game, Steal Market Share, and Topple Giants – available now on Amazon.

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